OGDEN — To get to the 4A girls soccer state semifinals, Ogden High had to do something that many coaches secretly dread having to do: beat a team for a third time in one season.
Everything actually set up for Ogden to not beat Stansbury in Saturday afternoon’s cold, windy and eventually rainy state quarterfinal.
The Tigers handled the Stallions 5-0 and 4-1 earlier this season, the cold weather made the game a little slower and the Stallions were eager to get a third crack at the region champs.
In the end, it was Ogden indeed holding on for a 1-0 win to book a spot in next Thursday’s state semifinal against Jordan High, where the Tigers will face Green Canyon.
Abby Beus lined up a low left-footed shot in the 15th minute that skipped into the hands of Stansbury’s goalkeeper.
Then the ball spun out of the keeper’s hands, rolled underneath her and across the goal line or the game’s only score.
“I think they played really well. They played hard, moved the ball really well. We won, that’s all we needed to do,” Ogden head coach Skylar Stam said.
As evidenced by Ogden’s muted celebration after the final whistle, the Tigers don’t want to just win games, but they want to have all their cylinders firing and win games by a lot.
They had plenty of chances thanks to the defense calmly dealing with each of Stansbury’s long balls and the midfielders making sure none of the Stallions’ forwards got in behind the back line.
“If you get through our front line, good luck getting through our midfield. They do well together, defend well together,” Stam said.
Ogden’s had a penchant this year for blowing teams out of the water (87-14 goalscoring margin in 18 matches), but what’s hidden in numerous 6-0, 5-0 and 4-0 blowouts is the amount of times “0” shows up.
Saturday was the 10th shutout the Tigers have kept this year. Goalkeeper Allison Collinwood only needed to make one save, that on a long, bouncing free kick.
The Stallions rarely had the kind of deep runs that threatened Ogden, and the defenders were in the right spot every time to deal with whatever passes Stansbury tried.
Midway through each half, Stam told her wing players — Beus and Tori Kalista — to switch sides, something she does if one of them is getting the ball a ton, which Beus was.
It wasn’t until the second half that the wingers, creators of dozens of chances this year, started to find space behind SHS’s midfielders and stretch SHS’s defense a little more.
Soccer, though, is a fickle sport.
“We didn’t finish as well as we could’ve today. But we moved the ball around very well, they ran a lot of circles, which is what we worked on,” Stam said.
As for Green Canyon, Ogden’s semifinal opponent at 4 p.m. Thursday, the Wolves demolished Cedar Valley 4-0 in the quarters and split two region games with Mountain Crest.
The Tigers split both games with the Aviators this year and handily beat MC both meetings, including this past Wednesday’s 4-1 playoff win.
MORGAN 9, RICHFIELD 1
Brooklyn Peterson and Corinne Henderson each scored twice to send Morgan to next Thursday’s 3A semifinals, where the Trojans will meet Judge Memorial, whom they beat twice this year in region play.
Brooklyn Field, Sydney Cragun, Emily Edgington, Faith George and Aspen Telford each scored one goal. Sadie McGreer had two assists and Capri Jones had one assist.
MHS led 3-0 at halftime. Next Thursday’s semifinal is at Juan Diego High at 6:30 p.m.