SALT LAKE CITY — Waterford's lightning-quick and high-flying offensive attack has been extremely difficult to contain this season, especially as of late.
Just ask region rival Rowland Hall.
The Ravens, led by their trio of stars in Patrick Dowd, Tate Reynolds and Daniel Beesley, erupted for three first-half goals and continued to roll in the second half to run over the Winged Lion 4-0 Wednesday afternoon at Richard R. Steiner Field and pick up their fourth straight win.
“We felt like once we got over a few of our stumbles, we were able to push forward and play some diagonal balls that worked out really well for us today,” Waterford head coach George Shirley said. “The win means a lot to us because they’re a well-coached team with fantastic players and great touch. For us, we accomplished most of the things we wanted to do today and were lucky enough to put some in the back of the net.”
The visitors didn't waste any time to get rolling as they came out and immediately took it to the home team before Beesley took a pass from Dowd and buried it in the lower right-hand corner to give them an early 1-0 lead just over one minute into the game.
The early goal really gave Waterford the momentum as it continued to pound the ball into Rowland Hall's territory and looked to capitalize off its tremendous penetration.
And man, did it ever.
Dowd and Reynolds both pulled up and were able to beat the ’keeper in the first 25 minutes to give the Ravens a commanding 3-0 lead and all the momentum at the break.
“Those (goals) were huge for us. It totally set the pace of the game for us and our boys needed that shot of confidence early on today to let us know we can play with these guys. They’re always a quality squad, so it was great to get those in the first half,” said Shirley.
And Dowd was just getting warmed up.
The senior midfielder continued to take it to Rowland Hall's defense in the second half and created a couple of great looks before drawing, and finishing off, a free kick in the 60th minute — his second score of the game — to put his team up 4-0.
“Patrick is just a fantastic, unselfish player. He got himself into some great positions today, and when he does that, usually he’s going to finish well. And he did that for us today,” Shirley said.
Things became very chippy both on the field and in the stands as the Winged Lion locked down on both sides of the ball and looked to regroup.
The home team was able to get into more of an offensive rhythm in the second half and saw several great looks at the net, especially in the final 20 minutes.
However, junior goalkeeper Reese Law came up with several great saves and the Waterford defense refused to break to keep the home team out of the net en route to the dominant 4-0 shutout victory.
“I’m very proud of our back line and defense. Our sweeper played really well and our keeper kept everything clean, so I’m extremely proud of them. We’ve got to work on some things, but overall, I’m really pleased,” added Shirley.
Waterford has now won its last four games, outscoring its opponents 25-2.
Ryan Love is a full-time student and has been a part-time sportswriter for Deseret News since October 2012.
Follow him on Twitter @RLove7724