Snow Canyon shuts out Ogden in 4A state soccer quarterfinals

Snow Canyon vs. Ogden in 4A girls soccer quarterfinal won by Snow Canyon, 2-0, St. George, Utah, Oct. 13, 2018 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Snow Canyon Lady Warriors won a hard-fought game at home over Ogden Saturday afternoon to stay alive in the 4A girls soccer playoffs.

In the quarterfinal matchup, the Lady Warriors scored two goals in the second half to get a 2-0 shutout win over the Tigers.

Snow Canyon head coach Kenny Kunde said his team came out “a little bit slow” in the first half.

Snow Canyon’s Adi Melendez (10) makes her way past Ogden defenders in 4A girls soccer quarterfinal match won by Snow Canyon, 2-0, St. George, Utah, Oct. 13, 2018 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

“I think we were nervous: touches on the ball, long kicks, not really keeping the ball, giveaways, and putting ourselves under unnecessary pressure,” Kunde said. “It was a pretty sloppy first half.”

At halftime, Kunde said he and the other coaches talked to the players about “game planning, and how we were kind of getting away from that.”

Kunde said his players came out much better mentally once the second half started.

“In the first 20 minutes (of the second half), we had 12 shots and we were just doing a lot better finding those opportunities to attack up front,” he said.

Snow Canyon finally broke the shutout on a penalty kick midway through the second half.

“Heidi (Smith) got up all through the defense and took it to the goalie and then was going to kick it in, and a girl just came in from behind and took her down,” Kunde recalled, adding that senior Adi Melendez put the ensuing penalty kick into the net for the game’s first goal.

“And then, maybe 10 minutes after that, we had a really good combination play down the right side of the field,” Kunde added. “We put a really good cross on the pole, and Heidi was able to head it in.”

The referees handed out several yellow cards for fouls during the physical contest.

Snow Canyon vs. Ogden in 4A girls soccer quarterfinal won by Snow Canyon, 2-0, St. George, Utah, Oct. 13, 2018 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

“We knew from scouting reports that they would play physical,” Kunde said of Ogden. That’s the style that they play, and so we needed to match that intensity and I thought we did a good job of that.”

Goalkeeper Megan Rodgers picked up the shutout for the Lady Warriors. She was helped out by a strong defensive effort by her surrounding teammates, their coach noted.

“Shout out to our defense for playing a really good organized game today,” he said.

In picking up their second straight playoff win, the Lady Warriors now advance to play the Logan Grizzlies in the 4A semifinals next Friday, Oct. 19, at Jordan High School, starting at 3:45 p.m.

The Grizzlies, the Region 12’s No. 1 seed, are 17-2 on the season, including 13 wins in a row and 10-0 in region play. Logan beat Bonneville 2-1 in double overtime Saturday to advance to the semifinals.

“We know it’s going to be a really tough game so that we’re prepared for that,” Kunde said.

As for the Warriors, they are making their fourth straight appearance in the state semifinals, although they just missed making it to the finals in each of the past three years.

“It’s our fourth year in a row in the semis. We’ve got to get over the hump this year.”

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Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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