They all want the big one. They are hungry this year. They are hungry for this. —Herriman head coach Ryan Mitchell
WOODS CROSS — Heading into the 6A boys state soccer tournament Herriman head coach Ryan Mitchell knew his Mustangs had their work cut out for them. The classification was talented, and despite their undefeated record and Region 3 title, the Mustangs could not afford to overlook anyone.
“I think there are several (title contenders),” Mitchell told the Deseret News. “Knowing a lot of kids in the state, it would not be very smart to underestimate anyone at this point.”
He singled out some particularly talented teams as well, such as the Pleasant Grove Vikings, the Granger Lancers and the Bingham Miners.
“I know the kids from Pleasant Grove, they are really good,” said Mitchell. “Bingham has a really deep roster, and the senior group at Granger won a state cup championship in club soccer.”
Tuesday evening at Woods Cross High School, Herriman faced off against one of those teams, Bingham, in the 5A state semifinals and got everything it could handle and then some.
The Mustangs are undefeated for a reason, and despite a rain delay and the best efforts of the Miners, Herriman walked out of Wildcat Stadium with yet another victory.
The win secures the Mustangs a return trip to Rio Tinto Stadium, where they will face off against Pleasant Grove Thursday at 4:30 p.m. for the 6A state championship.
“They all want the big one,” said Mitchell. “They are hungry this year. They are hungry for this.”
From the outset it was clear that neither team held much of an advantage over the other, if any.
Both the Mustangs and Miners mustered a couple of shot attempts in the first half, none of which came seriously close to finding the back of the net.
That is, except for a Bingham effort with just four minutes remaining in the half that crossed the end line, only to be called back due to an offsides infraction.
The second half was more of the same, as the Miners couldn’t beat Myers, nor the Mustangs Bingham keeper Zach Rothey.
That is until the first overtime period, when Johnson finally broke through, lifting Herriman to victory.