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All-Area MVP: Goalkeeper Stockton Short stood tall for Region 1 champion Weber

By Patrick Carr - Standard-Examiner | Jun 25, 2022
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Weber High senior goalkeeper Stockton Short poses for a photo outside the school on Tuesday, June 14, 2022. Short is the 2022 Standard-Examiner All-Area Boys Soccer MVP.
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Weber goalkeeper Stockton Short raises the state championship trophy after his team defeated Skyridge in the 6A boys soccer state championship match Friday, May 28, 2021, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.

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Weber High senior goalkeeper Stockton Short poses for a photo outside the school on Tuesday, June 14, 2022. Short is the 2022 Standard-Examiner All-Area Boys Soccer MVP.

PLEASANT VIEW — There’s a generation of children in Utah named Stockton, or Malone, or some other name that very obviously ties back to the Utah Jazz’s heyday in the 1990s.

Weber High senior Stockton Short does ironically share the Stockton name with the former Utah Jazz point guard and Short did start on the Warriors’ basketball team, but soccer is where Short stood tall as the goalkeeper for Weber’s Region 1-winning team.

In 17 games this year, Short kept nine shutouts and only nine goals got past the athletic 6-foot-3 keeper, who’s bound for Division-I Utah Tech University (formerly Dixie State) on a soccer scholarship later this summer.

Short was the only returning defensive starter from the 2021 team that allowed just three goals in 19 games, and he made plenty of big saves this year that were the difference in Weber winning and losing games, some of them critical.

Short is the 2022 Standard-Examiner All-Area Boys Soccer MVP.

With Weber’s 6A second-round playoff game against American Fork tied 1-1 in the second half, the Cavemen had a one-on-one chance to score and Short saved it. Almost as if the save gave the Warriors a jolt of energy, they went and scored three goals in the next nine minutes to win 4-1.

In the team’s second game against Syracuse, which ultimately decided the region championship, Short made a handful of crucial saves in a 1-0 win. One of them was from another one-on-one chance.

“I started leaning to my left and he kicked it that way and it was going to my bottom left corner, but since I was already going that way, I barely touched it and it barely went wide,” Short said.

Diving for soccer balls and making big saves is what Short loves about the goalkeeper position. Those things constitute a small fraction of the goalkeeper’s job during a game.

Keepers have to be good with their feet and have good distribution skills with their feet and arms. There’s also a lot of downtime in games when keepers stand around by themselves — especially if a team like Weber is as good as it was this year in controlling the ball.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned about playing soccer, it’s anybody can win any game and you always have to be ready no matter what,” Short said. “There’s been instances where a team can keep the ball the whole game and the other team gets one counter attack, one shot and it’s a goal. And the final score ends up being 1-0.”

Before games, Short says he’s not very talkative in the locker room beforehand; instead, he visualizes himself making certain plays in the game. He goes all-out in pregame warmups.

With all that downtime standing in front of the goal comes the potential to get lost in one’s thoughts if the game is happening on the other end of the field. Short said it was important this year for him to have a positive approach no matter what was happening.

“That’s probably the hardest thing about being a goalkeeper is always staying — because you have some pretty high highs and some low lows when it happens, having that, you always have to have a good mindset no matter what happens,” Short said.

Add Short’s 2022 statistics to 2021’s record-setting tallies of 16 shutouts and three goals allowed, and Short kept 25 shutouts in 36 games in the last two seasons while allowing just 12 goals.

Adding on to that the back-to-back Region 1 titles and the 2021 6A state title with an unbeaten team, and it’s fair to say Short has had a two-year period in goal like no other.

“It’s really set the tone that Weber High soccer’s not something to mess with, we’ve definitely left a mark,” he said.

Part of that has obviously been Weber’s midfield and defenders in front of Short. This year, Weber’s midfielders were experts in controlling possession, leaving few times where defenders, let alone Short, had to intervene in a play.

But when the game got to points where Short had to intervene, he was decisive and made the right calls, whether that was making saves, passes or plucking crosses out of the air.

Short played high-level club soccer both with local clubs La Roca and Avalanche, but he also played football (he was second on the team in receiving yards) and basketball for Weber this season. He said playing multiple sports helped tremendously, from lifting and getting stronger with football, to emphasizing how important a defender’s first step is in basketball.

“Your first step as a goalkeeper to jump and make a save is really important, and so I think they all tied into making me a better soccer player,” he said.

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