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Prep soccer: Pair of 1-0 wins send Juan Diego, Snow Canyon into 3A final

Published May 14, 2016 4:36 pm

Boys' soccer • Snow Canyon will play the Soaring Eagle for the title.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated.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 • As a Class 3A state boys soccer semifinal went to the late stages, and then to the even later overtime stages, it became apparent that Juan Diego was getting better and was the more likely candidate to win on a golden goal.

Then again, defending champion Dixie was getting closer and closer to a penalty kick shootout.

It never happened for the Flyers. In the 92nd minute, just into the second 10-minute overtime, the Soaring Eagle's Michael DiGeronimo broke loose on a give-and-go and poked the ball past Dixie keeper Ethan Poulton for the game-winner in a 1-0 victory.

Golden, indeed.

"I saw my player [Ruben Castillo] run through. I gave it to him and asked for it back," DiGeronimo said. "It was a great assist. He touched it forward and it was just me and the keeper. I picked my head up and slotted it through."

After the winning strike, players from Dixie (8-3-1) remained face-down and motionless on the field near the goal for nearly two minutes. The teams faced each other in either the semifinal or the final round for the fourth time in the last five years.

Soaring Eagle coach Scott Platz said he was getting more and more anxious as time started to run out on regular play.

"As the second half progressed, we started playing our game and possessed the ball more," Platz said. "As I was sitting next to my assistant coach, I was, 'Man, I really want to win, but I really want to win this thing now — and not have to sweat it out.' "

Juan Diego (17-0) will play Snow Canyon in the championship at 11 a.m. Saturday at Alta High School.

DiGeronimo, for his part, had some anxiety as well as he knew he would be in Juan Diego's lineup of shooters if the game went into penalty kicks.

"My coach told me I was going to be in the lineup earlier this week, and I had been dreading it," DeGeronimo said. "I wasn't going to let this game go to PKs. I had to finish it."

Snow Canyon 1, Logan 0 • A relative flurry of great chances for the Warriors (11-1-1), five in eight minutes, started with just 10 minutes left before halftime.

One shot was superbly defended by Grizzlies' keeper Benji Ayala, but the Logan senior couldn't get to the eventual game-winner.

In the 37th minute, a header by Maxwell Kemp found the net after an assist from Alex Vichi.

"I just saw Axel over there in the corner and he had been working that kid all night outside back," Kemp said. "He's played a couple of balls in there perfect that none of us could quite get to. But that one was right there and we needed to capitalize on it."

Logan fell to 10-6-2.






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