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2A boys' soccer: Waterford starts fast, cruises past Wasatch Academy for championship

Published May 14, 2016 9:54 pm

2A boys' soccer • Senior Daniel Beesley has a goal in the first minute and a hat trick in the first 12, as Ravens roll past Wasatch Academy.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Sandy • Waterford senior right midfielder Daniel Beesley shrugged his shoulders in Michael Jordan-esque fashion as he was substituted out in the 15th minute Saturday afternoon.

Beesley had already netted a hat trick over the first 12 minutes of the 2A boys' soccer state championship game to give the Ravens a commanding three-goal lead over Wasatch Academy, and he smiled while embracing coach George Shirley as he crossed the sideline.

"I just couldn't believe it," Beesley said. "Three goals in 12 minutes — I can't believe that happened. [Coach] was like, 'I can't believe you scored. You? Beesley?' "

The Ravens were hardly slowed despite Beesley's early departure, as they cruised to a 6-0 victory for the state title.

Less than a minute into the game, Waterford senior left midfielder Cale Lopez collected the ball outside the 18-yard box and played a near-perfect cross, which Beesley volleyed past the goalie into the left corner.

"I saw [Beesley] back post," Lopez said. "We wanted to start fast. We knew that if we got a couple of goals early, they might not be able to recover."

Beesley, who is best friends with Lopez off the field, praised the left midfielder for his two-assist, two-goal effort in the Ravens win.

"Cale does that all season," Beesley said. "He gets in and crosses it all the time. I thought maybe they would miss it because it went over the first [defender] — I thought he was going to get to it — but I said I'll stick my foot out just in case, and it paid off. I don't think I could do that again."

Beesley's second goal came after a spell of exceptional individual play that saw him dribble by three defenders before following up his shot's rebound for the Ravens' second goal in the 11th minute. Just moments later, Lopez and Beesley again combined on a cross for the third.

"We just don't finish extremely well, and throughout the tournament that's been consistently better for us," Shirley said.

After a 2-3 start to the season, Shirley changed his team's formation to a 3-5-2. Both he and Beesley said the alteration helped the team improve significantly. Waterford outscored its opponents 25-4 in four state tournament games.

"Losing last year in PKs was a heartbreaker," Beesley said. "To come back and beat ALA in the quarters and to beat Manti in the semis, who beat us our freshman year, it's just a great run."

Shirley was ecstatic to send the seniors off with a state title.

"Four years ago was the first time I took the program over as a head coach, so this is a little extra special for me," Shirley said. "I have a little extra special bond with those kids." —

2A championship: Waterford 6, Wasatch Aca. 0

R Senior Daniel Beesley is subbed out at the 15-minute mark after recording a hat trick in the game's first dozen minutes.

• Senior Cale Lopez adds two goals and two assists for the Ravens.

• Waterford's switch to a 3-5-2 formation helps it outscore its four tourney opponents by a combined 25-4.






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