The Stansbury boys soccer team was flying high at the beginning of the season, but a recent swoon has put the Stallions’ state tournament hopes in jeopardy.
The Stallions fell for the fourth time in five Region 11 matches Wednesday, losing 3-1 to Ben Lomond at Stallion Stadium in a match they led after just 40 seconds. Stansbury (7-7-1, 5-4-1 Region 11) sit in third place in the region standings with two matches left in the regular season, though fourth-place Park City and fifth-place Bonneville each have four matches left. The Stallions can clinch a postseason berth with wins over Tooele and Ogden in their final two matches, or by winning one of their final two and having Bonneville lose one of its final four.
Still, it is a frustrating position for Stansbury, which started region play with a 4-0-1 record.
“We’ve got another gear we’ve got to find, and we’ve got to choose to find it and not lay down and walk away,” Stallions coach Jacob Jones said. “We’ve got to find ourselves against and find how we compete.”
The Stallions got on the scoreboard almost immediately in Wednesday’s match. Brandon Bustillos headed a clearing attempt into open space for Mitchell Holdstock, who converted on a breakaway in the first minute to give Stansbury a 1-0 lead. SHS had chances to extend its lead, but Ben Lomond (7-4-0, 6-2-0) turned away shots from Sam Holdstock and Israel Jones before finally getting a goal of its own in the 37th minute.
The fact that the Scots came back wasn’t a surprise to the Stallions, who had an early lead the last time the teams met.
“We went up two goals on them at their place and they were feisty all the way through,” Jacob Jones said.
With the score deadlocked at 1-1, each team had opportunities to take the lead early in the second half — none better than Sam Holdstock’s shot that was denied at the right post by the Scots’ goalkeeper. The Scots broke the tie in the 59th minute after Stansbury’s Dallan Petersen received a yellow card for a foul in the 18-yard box, and Ben Lomond converted on the ensuing penalty kick.
“They played with a little more intensity than we did,” Jacob Jones said. “We were a step behind. We were a little slow, and when you’re a little slow, you don’t get the calls your way because your body’s not in the right place. It’s our fault.”
The Scots added another goal eight minutes later on a free kick from near midfield, as Stansbury goalkeeper Ethan Toland got a hand on the long attempt but couldn’t get enough of it to keep it from going into the top left corner. The Stallions nearly cut the lead to one in the 71st minute on a shot by Max Gutierrez that hit the crossbar, but Ben Lomond held on for the victory.
The Stallions will hit the road Tuesday to face county rival Tooele before wrapping up the regular season at home April 26 against Ogden.