ST. GEORGE – Dixie’s late-game heroics struck again, this time twice, as the Flyers took down the Desert Hills Thunder 4-3 in double overtime.
In doing so, Dixie takes over second place in Region 9, leapfrogging the Thunder and staying within three points of first-place Snow Canyon, which defeated Cedar. Pine View also moved up in the standings, beating Hurricane and hopping over the Tigers and into fourth place.
As for the Flyers, it appeared Dixie would be swept by Desert Hills as the clock rolled under three minutes. But Jose “Tauri” Morales came through with an equalizer with under three minutes left in the game. Oscar Quintero found the back of the net for the golden goal (in sudden death) with under two minutes left to play in the second overtime.
Dixie head coach Burt Myers marveled at the way his team continues to play at the end of games.
“We got a few players that can feed off of each other,” he said. “We put pressure and the other team gets on their heels and we take advantage of it. You’re never done till you’re done, I guess.”
Desert Hills head coach Benji Nelson thought it was a good match that came down to a questionable call by the referee.
“I thought it was a really evenly fought match,” Nelson said. “Their last goal they took the keeper out, cleats up, and the ball bounced around to them and they scored. It was one of those controversial plays. It came down to a referee on a call who said he wasn’t in position to see it. They got the break.”
Desert Hills led 3-2 at the half. Myers knew his team could play better, so he encouraged them to get good shots.
“We wanted to get them excited because we let a few things get by us, and that’s not like us,” he said. “We made some big mistakes. We told them to get looks at the net and they did what they needed to do and what we asked them.”
Nelson said the defense near the top of the 18-yard box was too loose, which led to the loss.
“Our goal was to keep possession and mark them and get on them really quickly so they don’t have time to turn and get in space,” he said. “We just didn’t mark that guy at the top of the box well and it came back around.”
Both teams will have a week-long break before their next games, but the coaches differ on how they view this break.
“I would just as soon play the games, and then have a break, but we’ve got a few (injuries) here and there and we can get them healed up really well,” Myers said. “We can get in good shape and stay focused, and that’s the big thing, just staying focused.”
Nelson said: “I think we got a little tired, so it will be good to get in better condition. We’re going to try to condition and focus on our game plan and rest.”
For Dixie, Morales scored twice, Quintero scored the game winner and Kortland Warnick scored the other.
For the Thunder, Walker Heaton scored two goals and Ben Simister scored the other.
“It was two good teams just battling,” Myers said. “They did some good things, we did some good things. We made some mistakes, they made some mistakes. It was so evenly played it came down to the last 1:37 in the game.”
Dixie will visit Cedar Tuesday (Apr. 18) to take on the Redmen at 4 p.m.
“It’s tough to play at Cedar, you just got to go up there and get some goals,” Myers said. “The field is soft, so you get tired. You’ve got to use a lot of players. (You) just hope the ball rolls your way more than it does theirs.”
Desert Hills will play against Hurricane Tuesday (Apr. 18). Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
“We’re focused. We just got to take it one game at a time,” Nelson said. “We can’t get overconfident. We’ll come out harder.”
Pine View 4, Hurricane 3
Pine View plays host to Snow Canyon next week Apr. 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Hurricane will host Cedar Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Snow Canyon 2, Cedar 0
Ben Kemp and Kolton Barber each scored a goal for the warriors, while Quinn Hargis recorded the shutout.
The Warriors have now scored 16 points and lead by an entire win over second-place Dixie.
Snow Canyon will next travel to Pine View Apr. 18. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Cedar will play at Hurricane Friday at 7:30 p.m.
REGION 9 SOCCER STANDINGS
(team, region, points, overall)
Snow Canyon 5-0-1 (16) 9-2-1
Dixie 4-1-1 (13) 8-2-2
Desert Hills 4-2-0 (12) 8-4-0
Pine View 2-4-0 (6) 3-8-0
Hurricane 1-4-1 (4) 3-6-1
Cedar 0-5-1 (1) 2-10-1
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