Scoring goals has been a difficult task for the Grantsville boys’ soccer team this season.
Region opponents have scored 22 and the Cowboys just one so far this year. On March 22, Grantsville gave up only one goal, but could not find the net in a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Tooele.
The Cowboys followed that up with a good game against powerful Ben Lomond, losing only 3-1.
Grantsville broke out of the scoring slump in the second half against Wendover on Friday to claim a 6-0 victory. The Cowboys took control in the second 40 minutes finding the net five times to cruise to a win against a Tooele County opponent.
The Cowboys usually play the Wildcats each year, but didn’t get a game scheduled last year with a new Wendover coach. The Wildcats prevailed 2-1 over the Cowboys in the 2011 season.
“I’m very pleased with the way the team played today,” said Grantsville coach Travis Lowry. “Our team leaders led the way to the win. We stay upbeat together as a team, but sometimes individual players get down on themselves. That didn’t happen today, everybody played with more confidence.”
Benton Tripp was on fire for the Cowboys with a hat trick, while three other teammates scored goals.
Grantsville was getting chances in the first half but could not convert. The Cowboys had 18 shots on goal compared to two for the Wildcats. It appeared the first half would end in a 0-0 tie, but the Cowboys finally found the net. Joe Lopez stole the ball and pushed it out in front to Andrew Harrell who popped it into the net at the 39-minute market to give the Cowboys a 1-0 lead at intermission.
Wendover threatened at the start of the second half, but it was the Cowboys who scored at the 47-minute mark. The Wildcat goalie came out of the box and Grantsville was awarded a free kick. Tripp connected on a quick kick to make it 2-0.
The Wildcats’ Salvador Rivera got a good look six minutes later, but the kick sailed high over the goal. Soon after that play the floodgates opened for the Cowboys.
Tripp fired in his second goal at the 58-minute mark, and Jesse Lynn connected for a goal to make it 4-0 at the 60-minute mark. Tripp scored a third goal two minutes later to make it 5-0, and Lopez scored in the final minute to make it 6-0.
“I’m really excited about the improvement of soccer in the county — all three of the 3A schools are getting better,” Lowry said.
Wendover plays in a strong 2A league with St. Joseph, Summit Academy, Rowland Hall, Waterford and South Summit. The Wildcats have lost six straight after opening the season with a 4-2 win over West Ridge Academy.
“We usually have four or five really good players, but this year we only have a couple of real strong players so it hasn’t been as good a year,” said Wendover coach Tom Carlisle.
After a week off for spring break, the Cowboys return to action at home with a match against Ogden on April 9 and a home match against Morgan on April 12. Grantsville plays at Tooele on April 19.
Wendover plays at Waterford on April 9 and hosts Rowland Hall on April 12.