HEBER CITY Tara Gehring scored a pair of goals as the Wasatch Wasps defeated the Morgan Trojans 3-1 in the first round of the 3A girls soccer playoffs Wednesday afternoon.
Wasatch (8-1-1, 14-2-1), the No. 1 ranked team in the state entering the playoffs, scored two goals within eight minutes of each other during the first half.
"We had a really great game offensively," Gehring said. "But I think our defense deserves a lot of credit."
The Wasps allowed the Trojans just four shots-on-goal the entire game.
Wasps junior Kristi Hoover got the scoring going with a goal in the 28th minute of the first half. Six minutes later in the 36th minute, Gehring, who broke the school's single-season scoring record of 17 goals earlier this season, added another goal to put the Wasps up 2-0. It was Gehring's 20th goal of the season.
The Trojans looked poised for a comeback when Kersey Davis snuck a goal past Wasps goalkeeper Makayle Price in the seventh minute of the second half.
However, that was all the scoring the Trojans would get.
The Wasps had several opportunities to put the game away in the second half but were unable to capitalize, allowing the Trojans to stay in it.
Wasps junior Kimberley Parker broke away from the Trojans defense during the 19th minute of the second half but overshot the ball over the top right corner of the goal. Six minutes later, in the 25th minute, Parker had another opportunity but this time kicked it right into the hands of the Trojan goalkeeper. Parker grasped her head and winced after the miss.
However, despite the two misses, Parker said she remained confident.
"I know that our defense is really good and they can back us up," she said.
In the 36th minute of the second half, the Wasps finally capitalized when Gehring pocketed the ball in the top right corner of the goal for her second of the game.
After the game, Morgan coach Tara Ferrin said she praised her players for their effort.
"We came down here to win," she said. "I told them they played a great game, that there's only one team that ends on a win and to not hold their heads low. We gave them a challenge."
Wasp coach Dawain Wheatley was also impressed with Morgan's effort.
"They finished the preseason 4-2, and I knew they were going to be tough," he said. "Morgan is a scrappy little team. They're athletic, they don't quit, and they're tough."
Wasatch will play Uintah (6-8-3) in the second round on Saturday.