It will be difficult for opponents to score goals against the Stansbury boys soccer team this year with several defensive players returning from a squad that advanced to the 4A state championship game last season. The team also includes stellar goalkeeper Devun Collins who returns for his senior season.
The Stallions registered their second-consecutive shutout Friday afternoon at home 1-0 over the Cottonwood Colts in the Region 7 opener. Stansbury defeated Box Elder 1-0 in overtime in a non-region match on March 12.
The Stallions notched the only goal of the match against the Colts around the 45-minute mark when a shot ricocheted off the Cottonwood keeper and Wyatt Barry headed the rebound into the net.
The Stallions’ offense pressured the Cottonwood goal early in the game and nearly scored on a handful of shots. The Colts countered with some near misses of their own kicking the ball high over the keeper.
Sophomore defender Isaac Ferry helped to limit the Colts from getting chances in the first half. Senior John Shields looked sharp on defense as well.
The Stallions seemed to gain offensive momentum in the second half, but the Colts were able to pressure the net a few times too, especially after a yellow card to Stanbury’s Carson Gibbons.
Collins made a pair of excellent saves midway through the second half to keep the Colts from tying the game.
The Stallions nearly scored a second goal with 11 minutes left in the contest on a centering pass from Tyson Ferry to Tayson Alder whose shot hit the post. A shot from Boone sailed right, and a wide open shot from Barry sailed high over the net.
The Colts possessed the ball late in the match in scoring position, but ran out of time as the horn sounded.
“We return almost all our defense from last year’s championship run. With a defense like we have we know we can compete against everyone,” said Stansbury coach Jacob Jones.
“We’re super excited to have Devun back. He’s a wonderful leader. He’s dedicated and demanding,” the coach said.
“Our team continues to improve. We had more clear chances in this game than any of the others.Getting a clean sheet was excellent given the pressure we were under at times. Just a great effort up and down the field from everyone,” Jones said.
Cottonwood is now 0-5 on the season, but gave the Stallions a great battle. The Colts have lost some close games to solid teams.
“We were super happy to get a win,” Jones said. He expects all Region 7 games will be competitive.
“I don’t see a clear cut win anywhere in our region. All games are going to be tough and well played. We are super excited for the competition,” the coach said.
The Stallions opened the season with narrow losses to Ogden, Mountain Crest and Cedar.
The Stallions play at Granger on Friday, March 25.
Snow has raised havoc with scheduled games so far, but the Tooele (0-4) soccer team is scheduled to host Cedar Valley (1-3) in its first Region 7 game on Wednesday, March 23, and then travel to Uintah (2-0) on Friday, March 25.
The Cowboys opened their season with an 8-0 victory over Wendover on March 15. Trevor Tuckett was the player of the game with three goals. Cole Cowan, Billy Barker, Nathaniel Stettler, Kento Sakmoto and Christopher Hansen also scored goals with Zach Carver getting the shutout.
Grantsville scored a goal in each half to defeat American Prep West Valley 2-1. Cowan and Sakmoto scored goals. Joe Wright added an assist.
The Cowboys traveled to American Fork on Friday, March 18 and lost to American Heritage 4-2. Barker and Stettler scored goals with assists from Wright and Sakmoto.
Grantsville Coach Travis Lowry said he was impressed with American Prep and American Heritage.
“The American Prep game was really fun and exciting. I was very proud of my team’s fight to the end and to come from behind to pull out the win,” Lowry said. “The American Heritage game was pretty frustrating. It was our third game in five days and we had a lot of fatigue and didn’t play our best. Hopefully it will become a learning experience.”
The Cowboys begin Region 13 play on March 22 with a trip to Ben Lomond, then host Morgan on Thursday, March 22. They play at Utah Military Academy Hill Field on Monday, March 28, and host Ogden on Tuesday, March 29.
Each region game should be a battle, according to the coach.