We played our game, we played the ball fast. I think that was the leading factor in our win today. —Judge Memorial's Joseph Paul
SANDY — All season long the Judge Memorial Bulldogs have had one thing on their mind when they are on a soccer field — score.
“We intend to score,” Judge Memorial head coach Kelly Terrill told the Deseret News prior to the 3A state tournament. “It doesn’t happen by accident. That is what we work on all the time, getting behind the defense and scoring the ball.”
All season long, Judge Memorial has done just that.
Including their first two playoff games, the Region 13 champion Bulldogs racked up a classification-best 73 goals, including eight contests in which the team scored five times or more.
Thursday afternoon at Alta High School, in the semifinals of the boys 3A state soccer tournament, the Bulldogs were back at it.
Led by Arias, who had a hat trick, as well as Terrill, who chipped in two scores, Judge Memorial handily defeated the Delta Rabbits 8-2.
The win secured the Bulldogs a berth in the 3A state championship game, to be played Saturday at Zions Bank Stadium.
“We just score goals,” Terrill said. “That is what we do. The team works together to put the ball in dangerous places, and those three guys (Terrill, Paul and Baende), they finish. They work hard to finish.”
“We played our game, we played the ball fast,” Paul added. “I think that was the leading factor in our win today.”
Aside from the initial ten minutes of the contest, a period Paul described as “tough,” the Bulldogs were far and away better side.
They dominated possession, carved up the Rabbits defense time and again and after Delta senior Tyler Dalton was ejected from the game, in the 32nd minute of the first half, made short work of the Region 14 champs.
“We played well,” said Terrill. “We really got it going in the second half. We were able to get a lot of kids in the game, rest our starters. We had one kid, Arias, who had a hat trick. He isn’t even in the starting lineup.
“They all played hard today. It was a physical game and luckily we came out of it without any injuries or red cards.”
That is except for starting goalkeeper Jaciel Guzman, who, according to Judge Memorial athletic director Scott Platz, broke his nose and was rushed to a nearby hospital.
Junior Caleb Castro played in his stead for the majority of the contest, and aside from a late first-half goal by Delta’s Jager Springer and a late second-half score by Sam Clark, was nearly flawless.
“He did a good job,” said Terrill.
Baende, Paul and Anthony Aguilar each added a goal for the Bulldogs, who will face a familiar region foe in the Morgan Trojans in the title game.
“I want to play Morgan,” Paul said ahead of the Trojans' semifinal contest with American Leadership Academy, a game Morgan won 3-2. “I don’t want the easy way out. I want to play Morgan.
“We were region champs, undefeated, and I want to bring the state championship back to Judge. I want to play Morgan.”