The state 3-A girls soccer tournament included more than its share of blowouts, as well as a few nail-biters. With the season on the line, a pair of Top of Utah teams saw their dreams end with 2-1 loss on Wednesday afternoon.
Region 11 champion Bear River, however, was ready for the playoffs, posting a smooth 4-1 win over Desert Hills on its home pitch.
* BEAR RIVER 4, DESERT HILLS 1: At Garland, the Bears led 2-1 at halftime. Knowing Desert Hills would make a push after the break, coach Gene Wilcox asked his team to be ready.
Sure enough, goalkeeper Terrell Womack needed to make a big save to turn the momentum. Bear River took charge after that, and won going away.
"She made that save about 10 minutes into the second half, and that really deflated them," Wilcox said. "Candace Buttarts also had a strong game at stopper, picking up the slack from a few injuries we have sustained."
Sadie Croney scored a pair of goals, and Sabrina Garcia and Whitney Wilcox each added scores for the Bears.
Bear River will now host Park City in Saturday's quarterfinals.
"They're a turf team, but we have a big field and plenty of speed," Wilcox said, promising a quality match.
* PAYSON 2, MORGAN 1: At Payson, the Trojans battled the Region 12 champions to the bitter end. Morgan led 1-0 at the break, thanks to a Kazarie Kephart goal off an assist from Regan McGreer.
Payson came back in the second half and scored to goals to edge Morgan (4-13-0) to advance to the quarterfinals.
Shelby Blauer and Hallie Neves each found the back of the net in the win.
* SNOW CANYON 2, BEN LOMOND 1: At Ogden, perhaps the best match of the first round of action found defending state champion Snow Canyon at Ben Lomond in a battle of strong squad.
The game was tied 1-1 at the half and looked headed to overtime and perhaps penalty kicks, when disaster struck for the Scots (11-6-0).
Cami Bergen converted a tough PK in the final six minutes to push Snow Canyon into the next round.
Kaylee Brooks scored early for Snow Canyon.
* DELTA 3, ST. JOSEPH 0: At Delta, the Jayhawks saw their season end early, with a road loss.
St. Joseph finished the season with 4-9-1 record.
* MILLARD 3, LAYTON CHRISTIAN: At Fillmore, the Eagles came up shy in their playoff opener.
LCA finished the season at 1-9-0.