Stansbury met cross-county rival Tooele on their turf Monday and proved that their earlier triumph was not a fluke. The Stallions secured a 4-0 soccer victory, topping their double OT 3-2 win Sept. 12 at THS.
While the last game found both teams scoreless following the first half, Stansbury struck fairly early with midfielder Chloe Corbett dribbling down the field. Corbett kicked it past the goalie, to put the Stallions on the scoreboard.
Of Corbett’s score, SHS coach Jeremy Alverson said, “She won a 50-50 ball and dribbled down and it looked like there might have been a foul but she just muscled her way through it and continued on. I think the official just gave us advantage and didn’t make the call and Chloe was able to get around the keeper and put that in the back of the net.”
Alverson said the goal was a “huge” plus for his team to get the first goal, which allowed them to settle down and play their game.
In the meantime, there were several tenuous attempts on goal by both sides. Toward the end of the first half, Stallion Mackenzie Landward punched in a kick from the left side. Tooele goalie Kate Michael got her hands on the boot, but lost her grip. The ball bounced up, but she was able to secure it following the bounce.
Maddy Graber also had an attempt on goal for SHS, but the kick was high.
After the half, Tooele’s Codi Christensen sent a kick toward the net, but it was caught by Stansbury goalie Sammy Howa.
Sydnee Barton and Mackenzie Landward aligned for the Stallions’ second goal. Landward tried attacking the net first, but missed the mark. Shortly after, she got the ball again and this time fed it to Barton on the outside left corner where Barton hit her target.
Alverson said this was the most difficult shot his team took because of the tough angle at which Barton attempted the goal. He said the keeper was in correct position but Barton’s kick put it out of the keeper’s reach to the upper corner on the far side of the net.
The Stallions’ third goal, which was perhaps the most beautiful score of the night, came on an Ashlynd May assist. May headed the ball over a THS defender to Stansbury’s Reagan Didericksen. Michael came out of the box to beat Didericksen to the ball, but Didericksen lobbed the ball over Michael as Michael went sprawling and the ball rolled into the left corner of the net.
“That was one of the best assists I’ve seen all year from Ashlynd,” Alverson said. “It happened quick. Tooele’s a good defensive team and so we were able to go bang, bang, like that. That’s what you got to do, so kudos to those two ladies.”
Both teams ramped up their play and the intensity at which most of the players attacked the ball ratcheted up several levels. Makenna McCloy and Kendall Bell, both No. 7s for their respective teams, went for a ball near the northeast sideline. Even after the ball had been sent on to other players, the two were engaged in a physical battle, which became heated enough to morph into hits and punches.
The referees conferred and assessed both players yellow cards.
Soon after that incident, Graber made an assist to Barton, but Barton’s kick landed above the net. Immediately following that errant attempt, Landward kicked the ball forward to Barton, who hit the left corner, but the play was called offsides.
Tooele’s Chelsea DeSantiago pushed forward for an answer, but her kick was too high.
Stansbury pressed forward with 9:45 remaining in the half and it looked as though they could rally another point, but a tangle of players caused the refs to blow the whistle in front of the Tooele net where both sides had locked up with the goalie. That play ended with a goalie kick toward Tooele.
Following a Stansbury throw-in, near the Tooele goal, with Michael forward out of the net, McCall Littlefield looked as though she would make an easy shot. But Littlefield’s kick hooked right.
The No. 7s locked up again. This time Tooele was given a kick for the foul. Soon after, McCloy had a good look on goal, but her kick was far left.
Within the final two minutes, Emily Franz threw the ball in from the left side of the field for Stansbury, right into Littlefield’s range. Littlefield locked in kicking it straight and hard to the right corner of the net.
“She’s got a great throw and McCall’s smart,” Alverson said. “There’s no offsides on a throw and so they kind of worked together. Again it was being in the right place, seeing a teammate and making the right play.”
In the final ticks of the clock, DeSantiago looked as though she tripped a Stansbury player. The referees did not call the trip and soon after, the whistle blew for the end of game. Stansbury had blanked the Buffaloes 4-0.
The Stallions celebrated their senior night, following the win, saying goodbye to their eight seniors on their final game on their home field. However, the seniors, along with the whole team are gearing up for their final game at Bonneville tomorrow.
“Bonneville is a great team,” Alverson said. “We’ll bring it to the field on Wednesday and see what we can do.”