STANSBURY PARK — The Stansbury Stallions soccer team was hoping to make it three wins in its last four tries Tuesday as it renewed its Region 11 rivalry with the Tooele Buffaloes. The Stallions did just that. Three different players scored for Stansbury, and goalkeeper Ian Thompson recorded his fourth shutout of the season.
"There's still a lot that we can do to get better," said Armando Herrera, who scored in the 37th minute. "Despite the mistakes today, one of our coaches says that all we can do is keep getting better."
The Stallions got several chances to score early but were unable to convert. Although the Stallions weren't able to score, the Stansbury defense made sure that Tooele wasn't going to either. The defense, led by Bryce Terry, Josh Meyer and Nate Johansen, was impenetrable.
"Our coaches told us that we couldn't allow a goal today, no matter what," said Terry. "Josh and I worked really well together, and Nate was an absolute beast on the wing."
The Stallions were able to strike first in the 33rd minute when Tyler Williams crossed it in beautifully, and Jara Eshete headed it into the back of the net to make it 1-0. The goal gave Eshete his sixth goal in his last three games.
The Stallions scored again just four minutes later, with Eshete assisting. Eshete passed it to Herrera just outside the box and he did the rest. The senior took a touch, hit it with the outside of his right foot and put the ball into the upper 90 to give the Stallions a 2-0 lead.
"I stepped into that forward spot which I haven't played in a while, and did pretty well," said Herrera. "Coach told me I needed to go out there and work. I did that, and the work paid off."
The Stallions got their third goal from an unexpected source. Defender Terry scored in the 51st minute while he was down helping on a corner kick. Terry took the pass off a deflected corner kick, took a shot, and found the back of the net for his first career goal, giving the Stallions a 3-0 lead.
"The ball was just laying in front of me, and all I really had to do was put it in," said Terry. "It really wasn't that great of a goal, especially compared to Jara's and Armando's, but I'll take it."
The Stallion defense turned it up again for the last 30 minutes, not letting Tooele get any chances.
Thompson saved a breakaway chance by Jordan Shields when the defense made one of its few mistakes of the game, and Meyer and Terry cleared just about every ball out of the Tooele side of the field.
The Stallions move to 4-4 in Region 11 play and 4-5 overall, putting them just half a game behind Bear River for third place. Tooele drops to 2-5 in Region 11 and 2-8 overall.
CJ Pronk is a Deseret Digital Media intern and a senior at Stansbury High School. Follow him on Twitter @BigCeeJ3113