Grantsville was looking for its first-ever league win while Tooele was hoping for its initial victory of the 2005 boys soccer season.
Something had to give Thursday when the two squads met for the first of two league affairs. Buff duo Pake Lyman and Ian Mohr fired in a goal each to stake the hosts to a 2-0 lead and Tooele net tender Josh Cedar made it stick to vault the local school to its first win of the year at THS.
Lymann booted a ball into the back of the net in the opening eight minutes and Mohr fired in a score just four minutes later to provide all of the scoring in the first-half.
Both teams provided tough and entertaining soccer for the remaining 68 minutes and neither team managed to push the ball in between the pipes thanks to stellar play on both sides and hard-nosed defensive play.
But Tooele parlayed the two early scores into the league triumph and the Buffs finally tasted victory for the first time on the boys soccer campaign. The Buffs now face three of their final four foes at home to close out the season while the Cowboys hit the road for three of their final five contests. Tooele hosts Ogden today at 3:30 p.m. and then hits the road to Grantsville for a league bout Friday at 7 p.m. Meanwhile, Grantsville ventures to Morgan today to battle the Trojans at 3:30 p.m.
The Tooele High alumni game was postponed due to inclement weather Saturday. The contest has been rescheduled for April 23 at 5 p.m. Entry fee will be $2 per person.
Buff Coach Chris Wilcox said the match proved to be a tough battle between county neighbors Thursday in Tooele.
“It was a good game,” Wilcox stated. “Grantsville came out ready to play. I think they surprised our boys and had some really good opportunities that if they would have gone their way, it could have been the difference in the match. But our kids hung in there and fended off everything they threw at us. It was a much-needed win for our program and we hope it will give us confidence for the Ogden match. And if we could pick up a couple more wins, we might be able to sneak into the playoffs.”
Tooele drew first blood just eight minutes into the hard-fought match. Lyman fired off a shot that hit the back post and bounced in to stake the hosts to a quick 1-0 cushion.
Mohr extended the Buff margin to a pair of tallies just four minutes later. Chris Park took a free kick off a penalty and drilled the ball to the middle of the field. The ball bounced around and Mohr grabbed the rebound and drilled the shot into the back of the net and gave the Buffs their first two-goal lead of the season.
While Tooele seized the quick cushion, both teams turned in stellar defensive play for the remaining 68 minutes of the match.
Buff net minder Cedar, sweeper Andrew Stagg, center defender Porter Hunt and the defender duo of Brady Caldwell and Marcus Gressman turned away some strong Cowboy scoring threats.
However, goalie Josh Rowley, sweeper Ben Smith, stopper Tim Williamson and the tandem of Seth Krieser and Skylar Phelps also turned in strong defensive efforts to turn away more Buff scoring threats.
The Buff midfield of Lyman, Mohr, Jenner Black and Chris Fowler and forwards of Park and Dorian Cochran did provide some scoring opportunities during the match. The reserve play of Sebastian Varga, Coy Frailey, Derek Nielson and Nate Swank also keyed the victory for THS.
But the strong play of Grantsville midfielders Kyle Copeland, Ilan Lemmon, Tyson Cook, Gordon Smith, Zach England and Alan Rugg and forwards Ian Anderson, Taylor Clark, Michael Copeland and Galana Eshete also triggered the Cowboys’ victory bid.