CLEARFIELD -- Fight for every inch.
That was the mantra the Clearfield Falcons took with them into their home playoff game against the Sky View Bobcats on Tuesday afternoon. After watching an inspiring movie clip highlighting that particular phrase, the Falcons put it to good use in their 1-0 opening round victory over the Bobcats.
"It's really hard when you score early in the game to maintain that sense of motivation and commitment to playing the game the right way that we almost got in our own way," Clearfield coach Lauren Clifford said. "We watched the movie clip and told the girls that our touch might be horrible and our passes might be crappy, but if you fight for every inch and show a lot of heart that things will work themselves out."
Both teams were trying to exert their own brand of football early in the match and it worked out for Clearfield as the Falcons scored the first goal in the 10th minute of play. Defender Lexi Taylor ripped a 40-yard free kick that found its way through the Sky View goalie's hands and into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
While that was the lone score of the game, it was the defense of Taylor, Jennae Devereaux and goalkeeper McKenna Sill that allowed the Falcons to come away with a win. Sill saved a couple of key shots and needed the crossbar's help in the second half on a shot from distance to keep the clean sheet and set up their next match on the road against Skyline on Thursday at 4 p.m.
"I thought that it might all happen like it did last year for us," Clifford added.
Last year, the Falcons scored in their playoff game in the fifth minute of play and had to defend the goal to earn the win.
"I am so happy for the girls because they have busted their tails the entire year and we hope to keep that momentum going into Thursday," Clifford said. "Our defense fought and fought and we earned this win. Sky View came out in a defense that we weren't expecting and we changed our tactics and I thought that maybe we were out of sorts. We just need to stay with what got us here and that will help us in our next game."
* BONNEVILLE 1, BOUNTIFUL 0: At Bountiful, the Lakers knocked off the Braves on their own home turf in a close-fought victory. Bonneville, the fourth place team from Region 5, will go on the road to meet Timpanogos, the second-place Region 7 finisher, on Thursday at 4 p.m.
* EAST 1, MOUNTAIN CREST 0: At Hyrum, the Leopards edged the Mustangs to advance to the quarterfinals to face Maple Mountain on Thursday on the road. Mountain Crest finished second in Region 5; East was a third-place team in Region 6.
* HIGHLAND 2, LOGAN 0: At Logan, the Rams beat the Grizzlies on the road behind goals from Krystle Payne and Kate Orchard. Logan was the first-place team in Region 5 before being beaten by the fourth-place team from Region 6.