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Boys soccer playoffs: Weber beats up Syracuse 4-1 in upset fashion

By BOB JUDSON - Special to the Standard-Examiner | May 14, 2024

SYRACUSE — The phrase “the innocence of youth” essentially means having no experience or knowledge about the more complex or unpleasant aspects of life.

It can lead to unbridled optimism when there should be trepidation.

Such was the case when No. 10 Weber faced off against No. 7 Syracuse in the second round of the boys high school 6A state soccer tournament Tuesday.

The Titans defeated the Warriors in both of their Region 1 matches earlier this year, had the higher seed and home-field advantage.

But Weber scored two goals in each half and dominated on defense all afternoon, advancing to the quarterfinals with a 4-1 upset victory over the Titans.

“Both games in the regular season, I think we were the better team on the field; a couple of balls didn’t bounce our way, but today we came into the game with confidence and swagger and we knew we could get it done and get the dub,” Weber junior Luke Pack said. “They were a good team, good fight. It was a fun game to play them.”

Pack got Weber (8-7) on the board in the 22nd minute with a kick from far away that bounced over the head of Syracuse goalie Austin Packer and into the net for a 1-0 lead.

“Me and my center back Jack Hammons, we have a good chemistry; I saw him look down at the ball and knew it was going to be a long ball,” Pack said. “I made my run, made sure to stay onsides … keeper came out and I just had to pop it over him.”

Christian Roediger made it 2-0 with a goal in the 33rd minute and, while the Warriors led comfortably at the half, they wanted more.

“We talked about how the first 10 minutes of the second half are very important, so we came out full energy and got it done. We put two more in and sealed the game,” Pack said.

Rhett Hogge may have missed the 10-minute mark, but his score in the 53rd minute mounted the Weber edge to 3-0.

Pack then completed a brace with his second goal only 1 minute and 40 seconds later, closing out the Warrior attack.

“I was in the box; it was a bit messy. The ball fell to me and I was able to bring it down. I had one player to take on … I took it to my right foot and put it in the bottom corner,” Pack said. “We had good momentum spurts; that’s what soccer is about; momentum and finishing your chances.”

Senior captain Conner Gardenhour, Garrett Graves and Pack had the other assists for Weber.

Syracuse (8-7) could only manage a penalty kick score by Boston Cheney midway through the second half — really its only shot on goal to that point of the game — then peppered Weber goalie Jack Wade with several shots the final 20 minutes to no avail.

“Before the game, we had a good talk that we had to be united along the back line; communicate well at the moments,” Wade said. “Coming into the playoffs, everyone knows this is a big game. We wanted to beat these guys; we lost twice to them. We wanted to show them who we are.”

Weber continues its road journey Thursday at No. 2 American Fork (13-2) after the Cavemen needed a PK shootout to get past No. 15 Corner Canyon.


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