SALT LAKE CITY — Morgan Trojans head coach Bryan Searle claims it's been years since his team has scored off of a header from a corner kick. His team corrected that problem Tuesday night, scoring not once, but twice off of corner kicks that were headed into the back of the net to give the Trojans the upper hand in a convincing 5-1 victory over the Judge Memorial Bulldogs at McCallister Field.
Corner kicks taken by senior midfielder Morgan Cragun were finished off by senior Heather Moore early in the half, and then later by junior Rhylee Freeman at the end of the half to stake the Trojans to a 2-1 lead.
"It's been several years since we've finished with a header off a corner. Two great balls in by 'Mo', two great headers by Heather and Rhylee, balls driven into the back of the net, no opportunity for the keeper to make a play. It was great."
The Judge Bulldogs kept it competitive in the first half, with freshman keeper Katherine Bellew coming up big with a couple of saves, one off a penalty kick when a Morgan player was tripped up in the box, the other off a free kick that had eyes for the upper part of goal that was tipped up and over the crossbar expertly by Bellew. Junior Jillian Nelson was credited with a goal for Judge in the 7th minute to keep it tied 1-1 early on.
Searle credited his players for trying to "keep it simple" in the second half, and it paid off with two quick goals off the foot of senior Logan Duran. Some fancy footwork by Duran cleared enough space for a solid shot off the outstretched hands of Bellew in the 55th minute. Two minutes later Duran found the ball at her feet again, this time after a Bulldog turnover which Trojan midfielder Tannah Carter pounced on a fed to Duran for a quick shot on goal and a Trojan 4-1 lead. Carter would later add her own goal to give Morgan the 5-1 win.
Coach Searle felt like the Bulldogs would be a difficult region opponent, with Judge Memorial having recently played up at the 4A level before realignment moved the Bulldogs back to 3A. "I don't want to pick out just one group of players. Whether it was our back four, or whether it was our mids, or our players up top. It was our most complete game that we've played."
Both teams continue Region 13 play on Thursday, with Judge visiting Grantsville, and Morgan entertaining South Summit.
Bill Bateman is a husband and father of 7 daughters--he spends most of his time at McKay-Dee hospital in Nuclear Medicine. He also writes the occasional article for the home-town Morgan County News.