After the first half of play ended in a scoreless tie, Summit Academy’s first-year head coach, Trevor Ott, made an adjustment to his girls soccer formation — and it worked. The Bears scored two goals in the second half and advanced to the second round of the 2A girls soccer playoffs with a 2-1 win over Parawon.
“I slightly adjusted my formation in the second half and I moved around my star striker, Ryann Timm — she was getting man-marked, so I moved her out on the wing and had one of my fast girls go up top and that created a little bit more space for us to find,” Ott said.
Parowan struck first when midfielder Vanessa Lozano pushed the ball past Summit Academy goalkeeper Abbey Hawkins to put the Rams up 1-0, just six minutes into the second half. The Bears responded with 34 minutes left in regulation, when Jerica Fox took advantage of a defensive breakdown and shot the ball into the left side of the net to tie the match at one.
Three minutes after Fox’s goal, Timm — who leads the Bears in scoring with 31 goals — rocketed a goal to the left side in a one-on-one matchup with Parowan goalkeeper Taylor Cowen. It would be the decisive goal in a close game.
The first half between 11-4-0 Parowan and 9-3-1 Summit Academy was mostly a battle in the midfield. Both teams' goalkeepers didn’t get much exercise — quality chances for Parowan and Summit Academy were sparse. The Rams, led by head coach Richard Thatcher, employed an offside trap, catching the Bears offside five times in the first half alone.
Ott said that the game plan for Wednesday night was to “come out and be aggressive.”
“We’re at home, and we’re one of the top scoring teams in the state, so our goal was to come out and be aggressive, and control the ball like we usually do, and I think we did,” Ott said. “We created a lot of chances, didn’t quite get them to go in, but we mostly did what we wanted to do.”
Ott’s MVP of Wednesday’s game was sophomore midfielder Sydney Drummond.
“[Drummond’s] positioning was exceptional. She cut off a lot of counterattacks, her distribution was excellent, her tackling was great, and it really allowed the rest of the midfield to get forward and attack a little bit better,” Ott said.
The first-year coach commented that the playoff game was a lot more intense than a regular season matchup.
“Based on what we saw today, I would say a considerable amount. We tend to have our own way here at home and we did most of the time with the ball, but [Parowan] was making a lot of great saves at the end and fighting hard,” Ott said. “They gave us more pressure at the end when they had 10 players than most of the game.”
With the win, Ott, Timm, Drummond and the rest of the Bears will face Manti, who defeated American Prep by a score of 9-0 on Wednesday. The matchup between the Bears and the Templars will kick off at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Ott and his team are excited for the challenge of facing the No. 1 team in their bracket.
“I’m super excited. I’m a first-year coach, this team graduated seven or eight seniors last year, so we’re a young team, and so we’re really excited with the way our season has gone, and we think that we can go far,” Ott said.