SV soccer drops 2-1 heartbreaker in state playoffs, Mustangs fall on the road

<strong>SMITHFIELD—</strong> The Sky View girl’s soccer team had an up-and-down campaign 2012 campaign that included injury struggles and early season losses. The Bobcats rebounded to finish the regular season as the No. 2 team in Region 5, and host a first round state playoff game.

The up-and-down continued Tuesday as the Bobcats hosted Timpview, but despite a courageous effort, Sky View fell to the Thunderbirds in the first round of the 4A State Playoffs, 2-1.

“We didn’t come out as strong as we would have hoped. It was a close game and we played the best we could, so we gave it our all,” senior McKenley Hellstern said.

Sky View was able to control the ball in the middle third of the field for the majority of the game, but Timpview made the most of its set plays and was able to keep the Bobcats out of the attacking third for the majority of the second half.

Despite the Bobcats having more shots on goal in the first half, it was the Thunderbirds who struck first – albeit on a mistake by Sky View. On a corner kick by Timpview in the 10th minute, three Bobcat players attempted to clear the ball from in front of their net. With a Thunderbird player in the mix, Tierra Shaffer headed the ball and it careened into the net.

Following the goal, Sky View responded with an aggressive assault on Timpview goalkeeper Nisha Bindraban. Both McKenley Hellstern and Kylee Villanueva had a chance to knot things up in the 15th minute, but Bindraban – the two-time first team All-Stater – turned the shots away. It wasn’t until the 34th minute that the Bobcats were able to score the equalizer.

With the first half winding down, Sky View had a corner kick. Bindraban deflected the initial attempt, but Shaffer was there for cleanup as she rocketed a header into the net to tie things up and send the game into the half with a 1-1 tie.

“I’m really happy for Tierra, I didn’t want her to walk of this field with that own goal. She earned it back, and I’m really glad she had that opportunity,” SV head coach Doyle Geddes said. 

Despite controlling the possession for the majority of the first half, and carrying the momentum into the intermission, that momentum didn’t last long. Just three minutes into the second half, the Thunderbirds took the lead again when they took advantage of a corner kick of their own.

Ashlyn Matthews took the kick from Alissa Moffat and was able to head it right past keeper Kaley Brooksby to take the 2-1 lead.

For the remainder of the second half, Timpview was able to do a good job in keeping Sky View out of the attacking third. The Bobcats seemed to mostly control the ball, but weren’t able to generate great scoring opportunities. Sky View did have a chance with a couple of free kicks from about 30 yards out, but wasn’t able to capitalize.

“They just held ground, and we just couldn’t find a way to crack that back line,” Geddes said. “I knew we were in trouble, even down to the end, we just were not getting … I don’t think we had a shot in the second half.”

With time running out, Brenna Porter had one last shot from the side, but she wasn’t able to get the angle and there were no other SV players in front of the goal to clean up the rebound. Seconds later, time ran out and the Thunderbirds stormed the field.

Despite the loss, even making to the playoffs was a win for Sky View after a season that was filled with bumps along the road. The Bobcats lost their leader – and the best player in the valley – in their first game, and suffered eight injuries to key players during the season.

“Losing Brooksby was really hard for our team, as you could tell. Our next couple of games we were kind of lost, but we did get it together towards the end, and I thought we had a great season,” Hellstern said. “Second is an awesome place to be, and I’m proud of my team coming together and playing good.”

Geddes was equally pleased with his team’s performance on the season.

“I’m proud of my team overall. I think we’ve had a season of overachieving, and if you can have that, if you can have girls that will stretch the limits and exceed their grasp, you can live with it,” Geddes said. “It was a season of overcoming adversity, injuries, and other things. I couldn’t be prouder of them. They got themselves here, the state tournament, and that was huge.”

<strong>TIMBERWOLVES 3, MUSTANGS 0</strong>

For the third straight game the Mountain Crest girl’s soccer team failed to score a goal, and this one proved to be their last of the season as they fell to Timpanogos, 3-0, in the first round of the 4A State Playoffs.

The Timberwolves were the second place team from Region 8, but it was still a close game after the first 40 minutes as the home team only led 1-0. Timpanogos added two goals in the second half though, and MC never got anything going offensively.

The loss completed a late season slide for the Mustangs that saw them lose six of their final nine games, while winning only two and tie in another. 

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