Ugly incident during East-Woods Cross girls soccer match offers schools, athletes a teaching opportunity

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  • JMerrill Provo, UT
    Oct. 17, 2012 4:56 p.m.

    I have eight daughters who participated in various high school and college sports including soccer and rugby. I have never seen anything as egregious as this: a knee to the face of an opponent already down, snapping the player's head back. It's unfortunate that the apology came only AFTER the video clip became public.

    The East High teacher's and administration's pandering to the offending student makes the situation worse. At some point we each have to take responsibility for our actions, even if we immediately regret them.

  • Varsity Jones Spanish Fork, UT
    Oct. 16, 2012 7:39 a.m.

    My experience as both a coach and a referee in the high school ranks has shown me that an element in the escalation of physicality in soccer is what the center referee allows. At times I think my colleagues are officiating a match for RSL. They let way too much pushing, shoving and fouling go uncalled. And there when there is a blow-up like this they wonder why the players, coaches and fans are so mad at them. The schools in the central and rural areas of the state are always appalled and frustrated by the level of fouling that referees in the Salt Lake area let slide. When it comes time for the state tournament, the coaches have to tell their players "prepare to be mugged and you won't get any calls."
    In the Woods Cross-East situation, of course it was the player's mistake. But I wonder how much overly aggressive play was allowed by the officials that may have contributed to the buildup of emotions and frustration expressed by the players.

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 8:28 p.m.


    When is the last time you saw a football player knee an apposing player in the head without his helmet on?

  • localblue Sandy, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 8:09 p.m.

    I can't believe how many people on this site are rushing to judge a girl based on a five second clip. You have no idea what happened before the five second video or throughout the game, including anything that was said or the physicality of play up to that point. I get that it's an inappropriate reaction and there is no excuse for losing control of emotions. But having played team sports throughout my life, I can say whether it's a local pickup game or organized leagues, we have incidents like this all the time that if viewed as a single five second clip would be an inaccurate representation at best of the total situation. A single BYU football game has multiple incidents as outrageous as this one, but of course that is football and they are men, so perhaps it's normal and justified??

  • satch Highland, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 7:06 p.m.

    If that were my daughter her season would be done. I would not leave it up to the region. Furthermore, how did the center ref or assistant ref miss this. They can't see everything, but that was right in the middle of the field.

    My daughter plays high school and premier league soccer and while I have seen other girls and coaches view this type of play as "part of the game," it is unacceptable. There are other coaches and parents and players that feel the same as I do.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Oct. 15, 2012 5:53 p.m.

    It seems to me that both the 'victim' and the 'offender' have made good choices as this has come to light. Sure, there should be some discipline but let's not be so quick to throw the book at her. As I have probably stated before, we are quick to demand justice when others mess up and even more quick to plead for mercy when we are the ones who make a mistake.

    I liked the comment from rjpkp. This few moments of recorded history does not fully describe anyone. We should all be judged after a lifetime of highs and lows and what all the resulting moments have molded us into.

  • JRJ Pocatello, ID
    Oct. 15, 2012 5:31 p.m.

    True, the short clip cannot show who the young lady truly is, but I do agree that it was an act that should garner a consequence. If you forget to make your house payment, the bank may empathize with you, but the consequence will be that you will have a fine to pay. This is no different. I agree with suspension as well.

  • Dr Rush Saint George, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 5:31 p.m.

    If this was seen in the game by the official she would have been red carded and thrown out of the game and suspended for the next game. At minimum that should be the penalty. Emotion is part of all sports but out of control emotions cannot be tolerated period. @rbn and rjpkp,true that a short clip etc should not be the judgement of ones life but what this girl did on the field would be criminal assault anywhere else, have some empathy for the victim instead of so much sympathy for the perpetrator.

  • CougMan San Diego, CA
    Oct. 15, 2012 5:23 p.m.

    In HS I had a wrestling teammate that became frustrated and stood up and hit a kid in the mouth. He was immediately suspended from the team for the rest of the season. If you're looking for a teachable moment, THAT was it for the wrestlers in the entire region.

  • RBN Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 4:53 p.m.

    East is out of the playoffs. The girl is a senior. There's nothing to suspend her from. I think the principal will handle it just fine.

  • RBN Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 4:24 p.m.

    My daughter has played against the East girl, and hasn't found her to be a dirty player. I believe her behavior was out of character. People make mistakes, particularly teenagers and many make fools of themselves during competetive moments. Legal, one snapshot doesn't define you for life.

    That said, the officiating in girls soccer requires much improvement. The referee assistants should be more bold in calling fouls. In girls high school soccer they rarely do. Center refs should be less proud and seek help from their RAs. Girls soccer is in many cases more rough than boys soccer. Fouls that would be called in boys games are often ignored in girls games. The result is a game that is more sluggish, less fluid, and less fun to watch.

  • ezrhino Lehi, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 3:33 p.m.

    If this really is a teaching moment, the girl who let her emotions dictate her actions should be suspended without question. A lot of us played high school sports, the vast majority kept emotions in check; even in situations that were potentially more emotional. I couldn't tell if she was trying to come up with an excuse. Coaches, don't enable the action and please suspend her.

  • sherlock holmes Eastern, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 3:15 p.m.

    The soccer world continues to think it can get by with one official. Getting another would help catch more of this kind of stuff and maybe discourage it. Soccer has gotten way physical.