The Grantsville girls soccer team didn’t have much of a problem in its first home match of the season Tuesday afternoon, routing Cyprus 9-2 in a contest the Cowboys dominated from the opening seconds.
However, there were still lessons to be learned despite the blowout victory, as the Cowboys (2-0) are preparing themselves for what promises to be a challenging Region 13 season ahead.
“It was good for a second game,” Grantsville coach Travis Lowry said, noting that he was also pleased with last week’s season-opening win against Juab, a team the Cowboys might see again when the postseason rolls around.
Despite being from a much smaller school, the Class 3A Cowboys were more than Class 6A Cyprus could handle right from the start. After the Pirates kicked off, Grantsville immediately gained possession and sophomore midfielder Alyssa Roberts broke through for a goal just 11 seconds into the contest. High-scoring striker Whitney Wangsgard and senior midfielder Kylee Haycock added a pair of goals before the game was even 10 minutes old.
However, with a big lead so early in the game, Grantsville may have relaxed a little bit. Speedy Cyprus forward Paige Nguyen managed to find her way through the Cowboys’ defense for a breakaway goal in the 12th minute to make it 3-1, briefly lifting the Pirates’ spirits. Unfortunately for Cyprus, that’s when Wangsgard really got going, as she bagged her second goal of the game just two minutes later to put a damper on the Pirates’ momentum.
Wangsgard was far from done. Before the half was over, she had put three more goals on the board — one off a perfect crossing pass from Haycock, another off a through ball from Laura Sandberg and the third on a breakaway.
Another defensive breakdown by the Cowboys allowed Nguyen to score her second goal of the game for Cyprus seven minutes into the second half.
“Our defense has got to pick it up,” Lowry said. “This game, it looked like they knew they had it. We look like we’re not at full-throttle yet.”
Wangsgard scored her sixth goal of the game and ninth in two games on an assist from Raegan Carter in the 53rd minute, and freshman Elizabeth Whitworth covered a pass from Danielle Hunsaker into a goal in the 67th minute to cap the scoring. Grantsville nearly won the game by the mercy rule in the 71st minute, but Talia Hawke’s penalty kick attempt sailed off-target.
Sandberg finished the match with three assists and goalkeeper Adalyn Enslen picked up an assist in addition to making five saves in her second career varsity match.
Grantsville played host to American Preparatory Academy of Draper in a non-region home match that was not complete at press time Thursday. The Cowboys will play host to Millard and St. Joseph in non-region matches next Tuesday and Thursday before opening Region 13 play Sept. 4 at South Summit.