Ogden girls soccer handles Canyon View to advance to 3rd straight state title game
SANDY — A Canyon View High soccer defender pressed her hands on her head, an obvious sign of stress and worry.
And that was just after the first Ogden goal.
The Tigers, in their 3A state soccer semifinal against CV Thursday night at Jordan High, scored two more after that and beat their foe from Southern Utah 3-0 to advance to a third straight state championship game.
They’ll face Morgan, the team they split the regular-season series and Region 13 championship with, Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium at 2 p.m.
After the Trojans beat Real Salt Lake Academy High in the earlier semifinal, MHS coach said Ogden was “absolutely” the team to beat this year.
Tigers coach Ryan Robinson said Morgan is a lot like the pressure-minded Canyon View team Ogden beat.
“(Morgan) works super hard, there’s not a lot of stop in either team to tell you the truth. They push hard, maybe they’re a little more athletic up top so maybe if you don’t rotate the right way, they’re a little more dangerous,” he said.
Sophomore midfielder Ruth Larsen assisted the first two goals with somewhat identical crosses — both from the right side to a player at the back post.
Tori Kalista had the first goal, as she scuffed a volley attempt but saw the ball roll into the far corner anyway.
When CV goalkeeper Aspen Bergener came out of her goal to challenge Larsen, Bergener didn’t commit enough and Larsen’s pass found a wide-open Grace Pulley for an easy tap-in and 2-0 halftime lead.
“I think what led to the win was being persistent and just really trying to connect and be patient, not always trying to go forward,” Larsen said.
The third Ogden goal came directly from Larsen this time, instead of finding a teammate’s foot. She latched onto a through ball down the left and slipped it under Bergener’s arms with 12 minutes left in the match.
“After the first 10 minutes there was just really a lot of energy in there, and finally we started playing along our back line a little bit, slowing it down which opened up some spaces for us. It wasn’t the most control that we’ve showed but considering the pressure they were putting on, it was enough,” Robinson said.
Saturday on the bigger field at the bigger stadium, Ogden and Morgan will face off for the third time this year with all the marbles up for grabs.
“They’re really fast and they’re physical, so just one or two touch on the ball, getting it from one player to another as fast as we can,” Larsen said.