Stansbury knocked Tooele out of the 5A state playoffs Saturday afternoon at Stallion Stadium with a 1-0 victory over the Buffaloes in the first round. Ninth-seed Stansbury will now play at eighth-seed Timpanogas Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the second round. Timpanogas is 10-4 on the year and Stansbury is 13-5.
“We are excited to play Timpanogos High. They have almost an identical record to us and we are playing under the lights Tuesday evening at 7:00. I hope we get a lot of fans to come out and support us,” said Stansbury coach Jacob Jones.
Saturday’s win was the Stallions’ third victory over Tooele this season. Stansbury won the first match 2-0 and the second match 2-1.
“All three games were great games, Tooele is getting better every year. They will be very hard to beat next year,” Jones said.
Tooele began the tourney as a 25th seed and defeated Maple Mountain, the 24th seed, 1-nil on Thursday in a play-in match at Maple Mountain.
Stansbury scored the only goal of the game with 5:30 remaining in the first half on a corner kick. With a scrum in front of the net, a Stansbury player got a head on the ball to keep it alive and Wyatt Barry blasted it into the net for a 1-0 advantage.
Tooele coach Stephen Duggan was given a second yellow card and was escorted out of the stadium with about 4 minutes left in the match for questioning the referee on not calling a foul against a Stansbury player who had received a yellow card earlier. Duggan received his first yellow card at halftime for asking the referee to be consistent with calls.
With about 7 minutes remaining players were involved in a brief skirmish, but none were ejected.
“I told the boys at the beginning that the playoffs no matter who you are facing are intense, hard fought and physical. We got exactly that from Tooele. They played one of the best games I have seen them play in my seven years of coaching high school ball. Bummer we had to meet in the first round,” the Stansbury coach said.
A Tooele defenseman was red-carded with 2:12 remaining and the Buffaloes played a man-down to finish the game.
Opportunities to score seemed about equal throughout the match, and both teams missed excellent chances to score more goals.
Duggan said the game was messy and sloppy and ruined by inept and biased officials.
“I didn’t feel either side did enough to win the game, the game was messy and sloppy, played with an undercurrent of players playing on the edge, and it was not controlled by the officials. Hence, the game as a spectacle was ruined by the inept and imcompetent way it was officiated. In truth, the game got ruined and it will go down in history as a game that neither team played as well as they could. We possibly had the more clearer goalscoring opportunities, especially from open play, SHS relied mostly on set pieces to create their chances. A draw, and OT would have been a fair outcome,” the Tooele coach said.
Coach Jones weighed in on the officiating.
“All officials are doing their best on the field. Without them, we don’t play. My hat goes off to all the officials out there. I don’t have to agree with them on every call or non-call but I tell my boys that they play the game, stay focused on soccer and accept the refs’ judgment,” he said.
“It is not always easy, especially when emotions are high, but if you get caught up in this call or that one, you are not focused on the game and if you aren’t focused on the game, a mistake will happen and the other team will capitalize on that mistake.”