ST. GEORGE There wasn't a lot to talk about, but nine corner kicks for Orem to none for Dixie is just about all you need to know about the quarterfinal girls soccer match at Walt Brooks Stadium Thursday afternoon.
Orem's Maggie Plothow scored twice on perfect corner kicks from Kaitlyn Thomas to lift the Tigers over the Flyers 2-0 and advance Orem to the 4A semifinals Tuesday in Salt Lake City.
Thomas continued her magnificent playoff performance, picking up where she left off after scoring four goals against Mountain Crest Tuesday. As Orem's free-kick specialist, she took part in most of the corner kicks and managed to get the ball right where it was supposed to be. She appeared patient and comfortable moving the ball, as well.
Plothow, who was also active on both sides of the ball, landed one into the goal off her left knee and another off the side of her head.
"I credit our give-and-go," said Plothow. "Jamie (Lyons) was great on combo plays."
The Tigers pressured Dixie nearly the whole game. But leading 2-0 at the half, Orem still couldn't break the game open, which says a lot for Dixie's defense. The Flyers were fortunate to give up only two goals, while most of the game was played on their side of the field. Dixie's defensive players Rachel Watts, Ashley Hall, Becca Larsen and Chamea Palmer were kept busy and did a good job to hold off several Tiger offensive attacks.
It was a good thing for Orem that it scored in the first half because no shots for either team were even close the second half. When defenses are playing tough, corner kicks and penalty shots are usually the story of high school soccer games.
And getting the corner kicks is what Orem did and Dixie had none. That's where Orem took control of the game.
"In my 13 years of coaching, they are the best team we have faced," said Dixie coach Burton Myers. "We didn't answer well, but I'm proud of our defense. For 79 minutes and 40 seconds, we held them."
Speaking of defense, just about every time the Flyers got the ball into Tiger territory, Orem's Brianne Larsen was there for the stop. Tiger goalkeeper Aly Tucker, who is credited with a shutout, saw little action, as Dixie was unable to get the ball beyond Orem's defensive brick wall.
"We were good defensively," said Orem's coach Ed Louder. "We kept the offensive pressure up the whole game. They are a good defensive team, but we finally broke through."