GRANTSVILLE – With their first playoff game in school history just around the corner, the Stansbury Stallions picked up a tune-up win with a 5-1 decision over Region 11 rival Grantsville in prep soccer action Tuesday.
Five different players scored for the Stallions in the contest, while dominating the game on both ends of the field.
“Our No. 1 goal was to control the field,” said Stansbury coach Brandon Anderson. “We knew we were going to have the shots. We stayed patient, controlled the ball well, and stuck to our game plan.”
Stansbury, which plays at Spanish Fork Thursday, got going early when Tyler Williams scored a goal inside the penalty box to make it 1-0. A few minutes later, Jonny Calderon set up Jara Eshete for the goal to extend the lead to 2-0.
After Zack Sharp missed on a free kick, he made up for it by feeding Ethan Babcock for the goal to make the score 3-0. Just before the half, Sharp got another chance on a free kick and connected from 20 yards out to give the Stallions a 4-0 lead heading into intermission.
Stansbury’s clean sheet was taken away early in the second half when Grantsville's Sam Williamson took the ball, played very physical with Stansbury defender Bryce Terry, and knocked it in the back of the net to make the score 4-1.
Although the goal gave Grantsville a little momentum, the Cowboys were unable to get anything else going.
Calderon recorded another assist when he found Darius Johnson for the final goal of the game.
With a playoff spot secured, Stansbury gave its young players a chance to get some varsity action. Travis Hansen, Ethan Larsen, and Sam Babcock were among those players that saw some extensive playing time for the Stallions.
“I thought this was a great opportunity for them to step on a field and get some real varsity time,” said Anderson. “They played disciplined, they played smart, and they played as a team. Their composure was outstanding.”
The Stallions improve to 7-7 overall and 7-5 in Region 11, while Grantsville ends the season 2-14 overall and 1-11 in Region 11 play.
CJ Pronk is a Deseret Digital Media intern and a junior at Stansbury High School.