ROY — A senior and a freshman teamed up for a last-minute goal to carry the Roy Royals past the Morgan Trojans 2-1 in preseason girls soccer action Tuesday afternoon.
Roy freshman Monica Garcia finished off a dead-ball direct kick off the foot of senior Teya Trujillo from just outside the 18 in the last minute of a back-and-forth game.
Roy head coach Alyssa Foutz was happy to get the win after two narrow losses in their previous two preseason games.
"We've been talking about the lessons we've been learning in those close losses. I think it really paid off for us, especially how to close out a game and get the win. Morgan played a really tough and hard-fought game and were never out of it. What I like about my Roy girls is that they fight, and they fight no matter if we've been on the winning side or the losing side, we just haven't been rewarded until today."
Even though all three goals scored during the game came from free kicks after dead-ball fouls, both teams had their chances during the run of play to add to the score line. But some near goals were thwarted by good individual defensive plays and goalkeeping on each side.
Roy started its scoring in the first half on a free kick by Weber State signee senior Taylor Scadlock after a foul was called on the Trojans. Scadlock sent a laser into the upper left-hand corner of the goal from 35 yards out to give the Royals the early 1–0 lead. It was Scadlock's fifth goal in four games this year.
In the second half, the Trojans countered with their own direct kick after a foul when freshman center back Karly Kotter hit a shot from just a few steps inside the midfield line. The ball took one big hop over the head and off the hand of the Royals goalkeeper and into the net to tie things up midway through the second half.
"I just tried to pass it to an open teammate, and it just went in," Kotter said. "It's a faster-paced game than club ball, I'm just trying to get used to it. Right now I think we are playing really good as a team."
Both teams played mostly even throughout the second half. However, both teams had their chances to take the lead, with the Trojans' best chance coming off the foot of junior Rylee Freeman, who received the ball near the top of the 18, controlled the ball with her chest, and in one motion turned sharply to her right and volleyed a shot with her left foot, which hit the upper corner of crossbar on the left. In the next minute, the Royals had two shots cleared off the goal line by Morgan defenders to keep things even.
The score remained tied until a late foul was called on the Trojan defense just outside the 18 on the right side of the pitch. That's when Trujillo sent in a cross that Garcia was able to sneak past Trojan keeper Taylor Condie for the game-winning goal.
Morgan coach Bryan Searle was happy with his team's play so far in preseason. Missing two starters for this game allowed Searle to give some of his younger players a chance to show what they can do at the varsity level.
"I thought on the defensive side of the ball we stood out tonight. We had opportunities offensively, but defensively our first players got on the ball very quickly, better than we've seen all year long. It disrupts the ball and makes them make a bad pass, and we jumped on it. I thought we made a few mistakes, but less mistakes than the first couple of games. And those are things we are just learning game by game. We've got five more games to learn, and we are slowly progressing towards that."
Searle said how impressed he was with Kotter's goal. "Karly played great. She's a freshman stepping into a big roll at center back on the varsity level. But she's so calm and collected. … I'm not sure she made any errors today."
The Royals return to action Thursday, playing at Ogden High, while the Trojans play Wednesday at Northridge.
Bill Bateman is a husband and father of seven daughters. He spends most of his time at McKay-Dee Hospital in nuclear medicine. He also writes articles for the home-town Morgan County News.
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