<strong>SMITHFIELD—</strong> After trailing for the entire second half, Sky View’s Jayson Duffin robbed Box Elder of a win as he scored in stoppage time off a set piece to even the score at 1-1 and send the game to overtime. With region play still just starting, the eventual draw was important for the Bobcats.
Duffin made the play of the game on a set piece five yards outside of the top of the box. With stoppage time winding down, the midfielder sent the free kick over the defensive wall and into the top left corner of the net to tie the game and force overtime.
“I was just trying to focus on not shanking it,” Duffin said. “I just wanted to put it on frame and give us a chance really. I noticed that their goalie was really close to that near post so I just tried to put it as close as I could to that far post and just hope for the best.”
Neither team took control of possession to start the game but in the 33rd minute, Duffin had an opportunity at the top of the box that went high. Box Elder immediately countered as Connor Olsen got on a breakaway with just one defender on him. A quick flip with the right foot sent the ball just outside of the goalkeeper’s outstretched fingers of SV goalkeeper Nelson Griffiths and into the back of the net.
“We have a week of spring break where we don’t really practice hard,” Sky View head coach Kelly Knowles said. “I can’t make things mandatory because kids go on vacation. We had lost our touch a little bit today. We were ragged and they were physical and aggressive. It took us a whole half before we started playing like they were, aggressive and physical.”
Sky View came out with more energy in the second half, pressuring the ball and creating more offensive chances. Despite the extra pressure moving forward, the Bobcats still were unable to finish the opportunities.
After playing defense for virtually all of the first 20 minutes of the second half, Box Elder switched the field on Sky View and created a scare for the Bobcat defense. A shot by Olsen went all the way across the front of the goal, but wasn’t tapped in by any Box Elder players.
In the 72nd minute, Sky View had an opportunity from a throw-in near the Box Elder goal. The ball bounced around several times and ended up in the back of the net after being deflected off the crossbar. However, a Sky View player was called offside and the goal was taken away.
Nearing stoppage time, Box Elder nearly sealed the game with a header after a throw-in, but Griffith made the save with a quick reaction before throwing the ball out to a sprinting Sky View side. After pressing forward in desperation, the Bobcats were awarded a free kick that led to Duffin’s goal.
Although the teams played an additional two overtime periods, neither could find the back of the net again.
“The region is tough,” Knowles said. “Anyone can beat anybody at any time. I’ll take the tie today because we came back.”
Sky View returns to action Friday as they travel to Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy to face Jordan and then play either Alta or Juan Diego in the Real Cup.