Wasatch boys soccer edges Provo in penalty kicks in wild battle | News, Sports, Jobs


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Wasatch players celebrate after winning the Shootout in the Region 9 game in Provo on Thursday, April 21, 2022.

Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald

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Wasatch keeper Jackson Medina makes a save from penalties during the Region 9 game in Provo on Thursday, April 21, 2022.

Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald

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Provo and Wasatch players battle for the ball during the Region 9 game in Provo on Thursday, April 21, 2022.

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Provo keeper Sean Gutzman resurfaces Thursday, April 21

Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald

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Provo midfielder Carlos Rodriguez executes a free kick during the Region 9 game against Wasatch in Provo on Thursday, April 21, 2022.

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Provo and Wasatch players battle for the ball during the Region 9 game in Provo on Thursday, April 21, 2022.

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Provo and Wasatch players battle for the ball during the Region 9 game in Provo on Thursday, April 21, 2022.

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Provo and Wasatch players battle for the ball during the Region 9 game in Provo on Thursday, April 21, 2022.

Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald

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Provo and Wasatch players battle for the ball during the Region 9 game in Provo on Thursday, April 21, 2022.

Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald

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Provo and Wasatch players battle for the ball during the Region 9 game in Provo on Thursday, April 21, 2022.

Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald

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With less than 15 seconds remaining to play in Thursday night’s physical, fiery Region 9 boys’ football game in Provo in Provo, it appeared Wasatch was on course to avenge his earlier home loss to the Bulldogs as the Wasps took a had a 2-1 lead.

Then all sorts of chaos broke out.

Provo desperately kicked the ball down the field, looking for another chance. As the ball bounced high right in the top of the Wasatch box, Bulldog student Nephi Rodriguez jumped and headed it, then was hammered by Wasatch keeper Jackson Medina as he missed his attempt to clear it.

After much deliberation about the clash, officials gave Medina a yellow card and awarded a penalty to Provo. Another Wasatch player received a second yellow card (resulting in a red card) for taunting Rodriquez for writhing in the ground in pain.

Bulldog junior Seth Gutzman stepped forward and made the PK, tying the game in dramatic fashion and forcing overtime.

After neither team was able to get the ball into the net in the two 10-minute overtime periods, the victory was decided on penalties.

There, Medina made it big for the Wasps and got the only distraction as Wasatch won 2-2 (3-1).

“Our guys just kept exploiting it,” Wasp head coach Jared Hendry said after the game. “We put a lot of pressure on him in extra time. The guys came together when we went into the shootout and they said we’ve got this, we’ve got this. They were calm and balanced and we have a great goalkeeper. He did that all season. He can make those PK saves. It was just amazing.”

He has given much credit to his team’s leaders for keeping the team focused after the turn of events at the end of regulation.

“Our guys got away and just said, ‘Hey, we got this,'” Hendry said. Our captains and our assistant coaches put everyone at ease. The guys just said they would bring it to them. We wanted to keep playing and see how it goes.”

After neither side could find the net in the first half, Wasatch took the lead with two set pieces. On both – one that came in the 42nd minute and one that came in the 64th – Gilberto Vargas, the Wasp’s second year, was the one who got the ball over the line.

Two minutes down, Provo needed just a minute to close the gap when Rodriguez was fouled in the box, resulting in a penalty goal for Bulldog senior Carlos Rodriguez.

“We knew Provo was a great team,” said Hendry. “Provo is phenomenal. But we came out and we were ready to play them today. We’ve overpowered them, but they’re pushing, and when you do that, the calls go your way. But it was a great game.”

Neither team adapted particularly well to the feature, resulting in a dozen yellow cards and one red card for each team. The intensity of the action on the pitch made it clear that both teams wanted to win this game.

In the end, however, it was Wasatch who got the job done.

“We’re at the top of the regional standings now,” said Hendry. “We were neck and neck all year long. In the national rankings, I think we’ll both be in the top four and get a bye to the first round, which is what we’re aiming for. Now we want to build on that and go into the rest of the season and live our hearts out. We have a really good region and we have four games left, so tomorrow we’ll celebrate a bit and then move on to the next game.”

Wasatch (9-2, 5-1) plays next in Spanish Fork on April 26, while Provo (10-2, 5-1) hosts Springville on the same day.

Both games are scheduled to be played at 7 p.m



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