3 Southern Utah teams advance to semifinals – St George News

ST. GEORGE – The semifinals will be played in the 4A State Boys Soccer Tournament after a day of action on the field, and three of the four remaining teams are from Region 10 in southern Utah.

Three quarterfinal games were played around St. George on Thursday afternoon as Crimson Cliffs defeated Pine View again, knocked out Dixie Sky View and Desert Hills scored a shock goal with two seconds left to defeat guest Mountain Crest.

In the fourth quarterfinals in the north, Ridgeline overtook Snow Canyon to secure a spot in next week’s semifinals.

Recaps of Thursday’s quarterfinals follow.

Desert hill 1, ridge 0

Thunder junior Gage Lewis pulled off a remarkable last-second stun on the field that could be described as a football buzzer-beater.

Desert Hills beats Mountain Crest in a 4A football tournament game, St. George, Utah, May 5, 2022 | Photo by E George Good, St George News

After almost 80 minutes of back and forth action, the guests had the best chances during the regulation. Mountain Crest hit two balls off the crossbar in the contest and Desert Hills goaltender Shayden Scott made a couple of other key saves.

As the clock ticked down in the second half and both sides grew a little tired, it seemed at least one and possibly two overtime periods were inevitable.

But then, in the last minute, Desert Hills won a corner kick. And with just two seconds left on the clock, Lewis collected a loose ball and drilled a shot into the net.

“So everyone was kind of in the box, and I just decided, ‘Hey, if it pops out, I got this shot,’ and eventually it did,” Lewis told St. George News. “I just got that one shot and luckily for me it went in. I’m just happy to be here.”

Fans and players on the touchline buzzed in anticipation as the Thunder moved the ball across the field in the final seconds.

“I felt the energy, everyone was on their feet,” said Lewis, adding that he knew they would score as soon as they got the corner kick at the last second.

Lewis and his teammates erupted in celebration after the goal.

The outcome of the match was further confirmation that something magical could happen for the Thunder.

As previously reported in the St. George News, the Desert Hills players have dedicated their season to freshman Stockton Beckstrom’s mother, who is suffering from cancer. The Thunder honored Beckstrom and his mother by starting him on senior night against Hurricane at the end of the regular season.

In Desert Hills’ first playoff game against Bear River and again Thursday against Mountain Crest, the visiting teams wore bracelets to show their solidarity with the Desert Hills family. And Mountain Crest also presented a gift basket before the game.

“That’s why we’re doing this,” said Desert Hills coach Benji Nelson. “I’m good friends with the coach over there and that just shows what a class these guys are. That’s why we coach.”

Next up for the Thunder is a 4A semi-final against backyard rivals and No. 1 seed Crimson Cliffs. The game is scheduled for the morning of May 10th at Juan Diego High School in Draper.

“I’m thrilled. We have Crimson, we know them well,” Nelson said. “It’s going to be a fight. We’ve been there before, we’ve done that, the big show. We’re going to give everything we’ve got. Two great ones Teams, may the best team win. Whoever plays well.”

Crimson Cliffs 3, Pine View 2

Region 10 Champion and No. 1 in the seed, Crimson Cliffs bested Pine View for a third time this year to secure his spot in the semifinals.

Crimson Cliffs beats Pine View in a 4A State Soccer playoff game, Washington, Utah, May 5, 2022 | Photo by E George Good, St George News

The Mustangs beat the Panthers 2-0, 1-0 in the regular season. Like those two battles, Thursday’s playoff game could have gone either way before Crimson Cliffs found just a little more in the tank and prevailed.

Goals for Crimson Cliffs came from Ryan Woolley, Scotty McKittrick and Luke Fairbanks. Woolley, McKittrick and Camden Squires all provided assists for the win.

Crimson Cliffs batted first in the game, then Pine View equalized. A McKittrick header late in the first half gave the home side a 2-1 lead at the break.

The Mustangs improved to 14-2 during the season and have won nine straight games by reaching the semifinals.

Crimson Cliffs and Desert Hills split their two Region 10 games that season, with the Thunder winning 2-1 on March 18 and the Mustangs winning 2-0 on April 5.

Dixie, 4, skyview 0

At Dixie, the 2nd-seeded Flyers scored twice in each half to defeat the 10th-seeded Sky View Bobcats 4-0.

Dixie’s first goal came less than four minutes into the game when Noah Knox netted it. About 15 minutes later, Jorge Quintero scored Dixie’s second.

Then, just two minutes into the second half, Kamden Rocha headed a shot from the left corner to give the Flyers a 3-0 lead. With just under 12 minutes remaining, Iker Meza rounded off the goal with a shot from close range.

Dixie advances to face No. 3 Ridgeline in the semifinals at Juan Diego on May 10.

Ridgeline 3, Snow Canyon 0

At Ridgeline High in Millville, the RiverHawks and Snow Canyon Warriors battled it out in an even, scoreless first half.

Snow Canyon at Ridgeline, 4A Boys Soccer Playoffs, Millville, Utah, May 5, 2022 | Photo courtesy of Rick Parker, Cache Valley Daily/St. George News

Ridgeline broke the ice with a breakaway goal about 33 minutes from time.

With five minutes left and Snow Canyon waiting for an equaliser, the Warriors came tantalizingly close to heading the ball into the net. However, Ridgeline saved again.

Shortly thereafter, Snow Canyon deflected an own goal into the net to make it 2-0. Ridgeline then added another insurance goal about a minute later.

“We had a really good first half with some great chances,” said assistant coach Marc Wittwer, who had just watched his son Stockton, a senior, play his last game for the Warriors.

“Once we scored, we switched to a lot of players in attack, which really exposed us, but we thought it was our best chance to win,” added Wittwer. “The last 10 minutes of the game we only played with two defenders.”

Snow Canyon ends its season with an overall record of 8-9, while Ridgeline faces Dixie in the semifinals on May 10th.

– written by Jeff Richards

4A Semifinals, Juan Diego High School, May 10:

  • #1 Crimson Cliffs vs. #4 Desert Hills, 10 p.m
  • #2 Dixie vs. #3 Ridgeline, 12:30 p.m

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