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6A soccer championship: Farmington runs out of gas in title-game loss to American Fork

By CONNER BECKER - Standard-Examiner | May 23, 2024
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Farmington senior Josh Foster takes a moment after the conclusion of the 6A state boys soccer title match vs. American Fork on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at America First Field.
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Farmington junior Mac Jensen squeaks a pass through his defender during the 6A state boys soccer title match vs. American Fork on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at America First Field.
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American Fork junior Preston Osborne (11) looks for a lane past Farmington junior Mac Jensen (left, 27) and senior Toby Grant (10) during the 6A state boys soccer title match on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at America First Field.
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American Fork goalkeeper Sebastian Barreda launches the ball out of the box during the 6A state boys soccer title match vs. Farmington on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at America First Field.

SANDY — On a day when top seed Farmington owned the shot margin, it still wasn’t enough in a stingworthy, 1-0 loss to No. 2 American Fork in Thursday’s 6A state boys soccer championship match at America First Field.

The Phoenix, which close its spring campaign 16-2 as the state runner-up, never found the answer to the Cavemen (15-2) and junior Demitri Larsen’s first-half goal courtesy of a corner kick by senior Ben Harley.

Farmington’s best look off the foot of senior Chase Ashby scratched the crossbar just before halftime.

The Phoenix senior, who’s continuing his career at Incarnate Word in San Antonio next fall, tipped his cap to American Fork goalkeeper Sebasatian Barreda, who reentered the game in the second half after his teammate Maddux Peay left goal with an apparent injury.

“I thought our warmup was really good so it set us up for a good game,” Ashby said. “I just think we could’ve connected some of those passes. They had a great defense and (Barreda) made some great saves.”

Farmington opened the match with a bevy of well-placed shots, but the Phoenix drew consecutive yellow cards leading up to Larsen’s decisive first-half score.

The second half featured more of the Phoenix’s aggressive playstyle but with little to no results in the box. Farmington coach Aaron Soelberg said that nerves come with the territory of a state championship and — sooner or later — they were going to catch up with his club.

“It’s a title at stake,” Soelberg said. “When you don’t get a few calls to go your way, it can affect you mentally and I thought we did a pretty good job keeping that mental for a majority of the time — but I’d say those last four minutes we had chance after chance after chance and didn’t see any fruit of the labor.”

American Fork threatened to score again midway through the second half when junior Lewis Knecht found an open shot on Farmington sophomore goalkeeper Jaxon Beynon. Beynon, who tended the net for the full 80 minutes, caught a break when the Cavemen’s attack was called offside before Knecht’s goal could register.

Losing steam, the Phoenix opened one final chance to knot things up when senior Toby Grant nearly connected with sophomore Jack Burrup on a straightaway that might’ve easily sent the match past regulation.

The end result wasn’t what Ashby and his eight fellow seniors could’ve wished for their younger teammates, but Ashby feels this year’s underclassmen received a “lesson in ‘hard work'” during a state tournament run that saw the Phoenix work from behind on multiple occasions.

“Us as the senior boys, we got together and we’re the guys to kind of dig in and build some motivation to win,” Ashby said. “It was over skill, it was over heart, but it was more just dedication to having to grind and win the game.”


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