The high school boys soccer season came to a close in Tooele County on Saturday, as both Stansbury and Tooele were eliminated in the Class 3A state quarterfinals.
Stansbury beat Juab 5-0 in Thursday’s quarterfinal round to set up a meeting with Region 11 champion Ridgeline on Saturday, but couldn’t hold off the Riverhawks in a 2-1 defeat in Millville.
Meanwhile, Tooele made an impression in its first state tournament appearance in a decade by beating Region 12 runner-up North Sanpete 2-1 on Thursday, giving the Buffaloes their first postseason victory since 2003. However, the Buffs were overmatched in their quarterfinal against Region 9 champion Snow Canyon, which rolled to an 8-0 win in Santa Clara on Saturday.
Stansbury 5, Juab 0
Ramon Horta scored three goals and Justin Putter and Ko Saavedra also scored to lift the Stallions past Juab and into the state quarterfinals.
“I think we had our spacing and we found ways to put ourselves in great spots,” Stansbury coach Jacob Jones said.
The Stallions (8-3-5) took the lead in the ninth minute as Putter converted on a nice through ball. Putter then set up Stansbury’s second goal of the afternoon, earning a penalty kick when he was taken out on a hard challenge by Juab goalkeeper Marcus Allred. Allred made the initial stop on the ensuing PK by Ramon Horta, but couldn’t control the rebound as Horta made it 2-0 just 29 minutes into the game.
Horta was far from done. Just after halftime, he received a perfect crossing pass from Dylan Spencer and headed it past Allred for a 3-0 lead.
“My teammates, man — they were just putting the ball everywhere perfectly,” Horta said. “Every single one put their heart out there on the field and that’s what gets us goals.”
Horta completed his hat trick from a sharp angle, banking a low shot from the side of the 6-yard box off the inside of the left post and in.
“It’s amazing just because it’s my senior year,” Horta said. “It’s now or never with my best friends and my family. Scoring a couple goals puts a lot of confidence in me.”
Saavedra, one of eight Stansbury seniors, capped the scoring with a hard shot from just outside the 18-yard box in the 75th minute, a nice send-off for a player who anchored the Stallions’ back line.
“He’s been begging for a goal,” Jones said. “The first thing he says at practice is, ‘hey, coach, I’m gonna hit it from here, watch.’ He practices that every day. It never goes out that well, but to see him hit it that well in his final home game, that’s awesome.”
Stansbury’s season ended two days later. Horta had the Stallions’ lone goal in the loss to Ridgeline, converting on a free kick in the ninth minute after the Riverhawks had scored three minutes in.
Tooele 2, North Sanpete 1
Tooele freshman Hunter Meyer scored one goal in each half to help the Buffs knock off the Hawks on Thursday in Mt. Pleasant.
Meyer finished the season with a team-high seven goals for Tooele, which posted a 5-9-2 overall record and went 3-4-1 in Region 10 play. The Buffs finished third in the region standings after enduring a 22-match winless streak that spanned parts of three seasons.
Tooele was eliminated from the postseason with Saturday’s loss to Snow Canyon. The bulk of the Buffs’ roster will return next season.