MIDVALE — The last time the Sky View girls soccer team passed through the Salt Lake Valley was en route to play American Fork in a preseason game two months ago. The result was an embarrassing defeat to the eventual 6A state champions.
And a long bus ride home.
Coach Sharron Wood is hoping for a different result Saturday.
On Friday, Sky View rolled past Ogden 5-0 to advance to today’s 4A title contest at Rio Tinto Stadium, where the Bobcats will take on Bonneville. Wood said Sky View is an entirely different team.
Twelve straight wins will do that.
“The girls are playing for each other. They’re playing as a team,” she said. “They had time to think long and hard after that (American Fork) game and that has made a difference.”
Haley Haynie, Kylie Griffin, Sarah Spencer and Emmie Woodward scored first-half goals as Sky View built a comfortable 4-0 halftime advantage and then leading scorer Sydnie Barlow added a clinching score late in the contest, which was played on a chilly evening at Hillcrest High School’s turf field.
“We passed the ball well and made good use of our possessions,” Wood said. “We’re playing our best right now, when it counts.”
It took Sky View only 2:16 to get on the scoreboard and the Bobcats were never threatened. Ogden, the second-place finisher from Region 11 with postseason wins over Cedar and Spanish Fork, threatened several times in the second half but could never get a shot by Sky View senior’s goalkeeper, Kelsea Cracroft, who recorded her third shutout in the last four games.
Bonneville 2, Snow Canyon 1 (SO)
Ashley Croyle and Karli Conley were the heroes for the Lakers, who turned back Snow Canyon in the early semifinal match that didn’t end until after 80 minutes of regulation, 20 overtime minutes and 12 penalty kick attempts.
The score was tied 1-1 following regulation and two overtimes. The Warriors made four of their first five penalty kicks, but so did Bonneville. After Croyle stopped Snow Canyon’s sixth attempt, Conley accepted her teammate’s call and finished the game by sliding the ball into the net for the winning score.
“I didn’t know they (her teammates) were going to ask me,” said Conley, while accepting a myriad of congratulations requests. “I had no doubt in myself.”
Bonneville coach Rob McDaniel said her teammates didn’t either.
“This team unity is amazing,” he said. “They (the players) gathered in a circle, picked our shooters and they had the confidence in each other to move us forward.”
Bruce Smith grew up in Boise, Idaho, and is a longtime newspaper sports writer. He writes primarily high-school sports articles for the Deseret News.