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3A boys' soccer: Juan Diego earns shot to defend state title by ousting Logan

Published May 12, 2017 10:12 pm

3A boys' soccer • Castillo scores twice to power the Soaring Eagle over Logan.
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Sandy • Juan Diego's Ruben Castillo scored a goal in each half to spark his team to a 3-1 victory over Logan in the Class 3A boys' soccer state semifinals Friday night at Alta High School.

The Soaring Eagle had to go against a stiff wind in the first half, but Castillo eventually scored his 21st goal of the season to give his team a 1-0 lead at the break.

He doubled the advantage less than two minutes into the second half. An initial shot was deflected by the goalkeeper, but Castillo was there to collect the ball and send it into the net.



The teams continued to battle through the half. Juan Diego dominated possession, but the Grizzlies managed to make a few runs and had one shot bounce off the crossbar.

Junior forward Jered Mariani made one of his many deep runs on the left wing and booted a perfect cross to senior Derek Stuercke in the box, who took a point-blank shot in the 66th minute to complete the Soaring Eagle scoring for the night.

"This was a difficult situation," Castillo said. "In my four years here, this is the first semifinal in which we had to play a team from our own region."

The attacking midfielder said the players approached the game like they were taking on the state's best team.

"It was a tough first half with the wind against us, but to be leading at the half was the best possible outcome," Castillo said.

He was quick to give credit to his teammates for his scoring success.

"All of us play our best at every position," he said. "That's why we're doing so great."

Junior keeper Martin Kelly had a shutout in his pocket when he left the field in the 78th minute. Logan's only score came on a late penalty kick against his replacement.

Junior central defender Mark Martinez said coach Scott Platz has taught the defense to never make a short mistake.

"He says we can make a 60-yard mistake but not a 6-yard one," Martinez said.

The defensive players have spent a lot of extra practice and social time together, which has helped them with their communication.

"We know each other really well," Martinez said. "That helps us to work together successfully. Also, everybody on the team is treated as an equal. We know we have many great players at every position." —

Juan Diego 3, Logan 1

R Juan Diego handles the elements and Logan to earn a chance to defend its state title.

• Jonathan Ayala scores on a penalty kick for the Grizzlies in the 79th minute.

• The Soaring Eagle (15-3-0) will meet Region 11 foe Ridgeline (14-2-0). The teams split during the regular season.

Class 3A state title game

Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium

1:45 p.m. • Ridgeline vs. Juan Diego

 

 

 

 

 

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