The Grantsville boys soccer team has had to learn on the fly this season, with an inexperienced roster of underclassmen forced to play big minutes against a difficult region schedule.
The Cowboys’ latest lesson came on a chilly, gloomy and wet Wednesday afternoon in Bluffdale, where Grantsville suffered an 8-0 loss to one of Class 3A’s top teams in Summit Academy. The defeat dropped the Cowboys to 2-8-0 overall and 0-4-0 in Region 13 play, with four matches left in the regular season.
“They’ve got some really good players on their left side,” Grantsville coach Travis Lowry said of Summit Academy. “Then they bring their outside back up, and we don’t see that very often. It’s tough for us to be physical with them.”
Injuries have compounded the Cowboys’ problems this season, and they lost another key piece when sophomore Nathen Wright left Wednesday’s game with a right leg injury and didn’t return. Wright was the fourth Grantsville player to go down with an injury this year.
“It’s killing us,” Lowry said.
Despite being short-handed and overmatched by a more experienced Summit Academy side, the Cowboys hung tough with the Bears (8-1, 4-1) for much of the first half. Summit Academy scored its first goal in the fourth minute and added another in the 17th, but Grantsville’s Dayne Linton and Trevor Tuckett kept the Bears defense busy early on.
However, Summit Academy blew the game open with goals in the 25th, 27th and 30th minutes to take a 5-0 halftime lead. Grantsville continued to battle in the second half, but gave up goals in the 51st, 68th and 77th minutes as the came ended early because of the mercy rule.
“It’s too bad,” Lowry said. “I like how we’re playing. We’ve been playing well. It’s hard to keep the kids up because they’re playing well, but it’s not resulting in wins.
“I’m proud of the guys. They’re not quitting. They try hard and they work hard. We put together good sections of the game, but we’re a little overmatched still.”