Girls soccer: Wilson’s 30-yard goal sparks Ogden’s 4-1 win over Morgan; Tigers closer to region title
OGDEN — Reagan Wilson is right-footed and plays left back for the Ogden High girls soccer team, but she was right in the middle of things in Tuesday’s Ogden-Morgan game.
The Trojans’ defense cleared out a short corner kick in the 63rd minute, but the clearance went to a wide-open Wilson 30 yards out from goal. She settled the ball, shot it, watched it fly, and watched it spin and dip under the crossbar.
“I thought the keeper was gonna save it. I honestly didn’t think it was going in and when it did, I was so surprised,” Wilson said.
Wilson’s goal, her second of the season, broke a 1-1 tie in the second half and was the first of three goals over the final 17 minutes of gameplay as the Tigers beat Morgan 4-1 in the teams’ second regular-season meeting.
The win clears the path for Ogden (9-2, 6-0 Region 13) to claim an outright region championship should the Tigers win three of their next four games. Those four games come against teams Ogden has already defeated by a combined score of 35-1.
Early in the first half Tuesday, Ogden midfielder Nevaeh Peregrina ended up with the ball deep in Morgan (7-4, 4-2) territory and fired a shot that was well-saved by Trojans keeper Madi Wangsgard. But the rebound fell to Bella Gray, who fired in low for the opening goal.
Toward the end of the first half, Morgan’s Kapree Charlton hit a low shot that Ogden keeper Emily Blackford did well to save, then Blackford got up to grab the ball before it rolled out for a corner kick.
Apart from Charlton’s shot and one close-range free kick for each team, scoring chances were limited. Trojans centerback Emma Toone intercepted a pass and prevented a one-on-one scoring chance for Megan Beus then, seconds later, blocked Kate Pulley’s hard shot.
At the other end, Ogden defender Brianna Kalista sprinted to the right side and made a slide tackle to prevent Morgan’s Lacie Poll a clean look at goal.
The temperature jumped early in the second half when Poll got a through ball and converted a one-on-one scoring chance to tie the game.
“I think we just stayed composed and just played our game, didn’t let anything get in our heads and we just did our best,” Wilson said.
Peregrina had two long-range shots, one a free kick, that were both saved by Morgan keeper Miya Turner, and a set piece crossing attempt by Gray floated just past the Ogden players in the penalty box a few minutes later.
The Tigers got the breakthrough with Wilson’s long-range goal from a cleared-out corner kick in the 63rd minute, then padded the lead with goals from Gray and freshman Elle Weston.
“When you play an Ogden team that is this good, that has this many good players — if we play that slow, we’re going to be eat up every time we play them,” Morgan coach Bryan Searle said. “We’ve got to play a little better, a little cleaner, less giveaways and I think we need to be a little more aggressive with it, too.”
Gray, who missed time to attend training camp for the El Salvador Under-17 Women’s National Soccer Team, now has 11 goals this season and is one of three Ogden players with double-digit goals, along with Peregrina (11) and Ruth Larsen (12).
For the third year running, Region 13 girls soccer has essentially come down to the Ogden-Morgan games.
Ogden won this season’s first meeting, a 5-1 decision in late August, with what its coach Ryan Robinson called “really close” to as complete of a game as the Tigers have played.
The Tigers can mathematically clinch a share of the region title with wins against South Summit (Thursday) and Ben Lomond (next Tuesday at home), and can clinch it outright with one more win after that.
As the region title race begins to crystalize, so does the playoff picture. Before Tuesday’s game, Ogden was No. 3 in the RPI rankings and Morgan was No. 4.
The Tigers could jump up a spot and the Trojans could drop a spot after Tuesday’s result. The way both teams have won this year, they’re likely to end up in the top 4-5 spots in the RPI once the state tournament brackets are released next month.
Connect with reporter Patrick Carr via email at email@example.com, Twitter @patrickcarr_ and Instagram @standardexaminersports.