GARLAND — The Stansbury Stallions' soccer team traveled to Bear River Friday night, looking to pick up its biggest win of the year. The Stallions did just that. Jara Eshete recorded a fantastic hat trick, and Ian Thompson and the Stansbury defense recorded a shutout in a convincing 3-0 win over the Bears.
"I made a goal for myself that I was going to score three today," said Eshete. "I came in confident, told myself that I was going to do it, and I made it happen."
Eshete's first goal came from nearly 40 yards out in the 20th minute. Eshete took a couple dribbles, fired a shot that looked to be way too high, but it took a dive in the last few yards, and found the back of the net to give the Stallions a 1-0 lead.
"It was very ambitious," said Eshete. "I knew we needed a goal to get us going, I hit it perfectly, and it went in."
Eshete netted his second goal just before the half. Darius Johnson took a shot that was deflected, but Eshete found himself in the right place at the right time to put it back in and give the Stallions a 2-0 lead and a lot of momentum heading into the half.
Along with the great play from Eshete, the Stallions played lockdown defense all game. Bryce Terry, Josh Meyer, Nate Johansen and all of Stansbury's defenders helped back up the solid play of goalkeeper Ian Thompson throughout the match.
"I came into today thinking I was the biggest, baddest keeper in Region 11," said Thompson. "I believed it, and I think that's the mindset you have to have heading into these types of games."
The Stallions took a 3-0 lead in the 59th minute when Eshete had a goal that may have eclipsed his first one. He got a perfect cross from Junior Calderon and finished the play with a right-footed scissor kick volley into the back of the net.
The Stallions were able to control most of the second half and kept up their solid play until the final whistle blew.
Stansbury moves back into fourth place in Region 11 and moves to 3-5 overall, and 3-4 in Region 11. The Bears stay in third place and move to 6-5 overall and 5-3 in Region 11.
CJ Pronk is a Deseret Digital Media intern and a senior at Stansbury High School. Follow CJ on Twitter @BigCeeJ3113