High school girls soccer: Dixie tops Ben Lomond in the opening round of the 4A state tournament
The Flyers defeated the Scots 1-0, behind the scoring of Addi Snow, as well as the stout defensive play of goalkeeper Katie Mills and center back Macee McAllister
OGDEN — Goal scoring has not been the forte of the Dixie Flyers this season.
Not by a long shot.
While certain schools in the 4A classification scored 82 total goals (Ogden), or 67 (Ridgeline), or 53 (Cedar City and Cedar Valley), the Flyers finished the regular season with only 15 goals scored, the second lowest total in the classification, ahead of only the Crimson Cliffs Mustangs (14).
The lack of goal scoring didn’t change abruptly Saturday afternoon at the Spence Eccles Ogden Community Sports Complex, either, when the Flyers took on the Ben Lomond Scots in the first round of the 4A state tournament.
“We told them this was a game we could absolutely win and move on.” — Dixie coach Crystal Soderquist
Dixie netted only a single goal in the game, off the foot of Addi Snow.
That one goal proved enough, though.
Dixie defeated Ben Lomond 1-0 Saturday, to earn a berth in the second round of the state tournament.
Goalkeeper Katie Mills kept a clean sheet and with the help of defensive backs Macee McAllister and McKell Williams, among others, shut out the Scots.
“We told them this was a game we could absolutely win and move on,” Dixie coach Crystal Soderquist said.
Despite only scoring once, the Flyers had their fair share of chances, which was a step in the right direction.
Snow had five shots on frame herself, as her speed made her an almost impossible cover on the wing.
“She is fast,” Soderquist said with a laugh. “We told her at the beginning (of the game) to push their back line. She actually wanted to move out (on the wing) so she could get a little space. That worked out for her.
“She was offsides a few times, so we made that adjustment. We moved her and gave her five more yards to run onto it and it worked. She had several chances.”
In addition to Snow, Ellie Wittwer, Lacee Durrant and Kamryn Stott each had shots of their own, almost all on frame.
The Flyers even scored a second goal in the game, only to have it called back for a personal foul in the box.
“We had a lot of opportunities that we didn’t finish. We are going to try to build on that,” Soderquist said. “There are definitely things we need to clean up. Our first touch was not pretty today and that actually hurt us.”
Defensively, the Flyers were anything but hurt, and that was in large part due to the play of McAllister.
The senior defensive back came through time and again, particularly in one-on-one situations with Ben Lomond’s chief attackers, Sam Diaz and Allison Jenson.
“She is our anchor,” said Soderquist.
While traditionally a center back, McAllister spent much of the season forward, as part of the Flyers’ attack. Towards the end of the season, injuries necessitated she make the move back to defense and the results were eye-opening.
Prior to her shift back to center back, Dixie gave up five or more goals on four separate occasions. After McAllister made her home on the backline, the Flyers never gave up more than two goals in a single game, playing against many of the same opponents.
“We had a ton of defenders coming into the season and not a whole lot of offensive players, so I asked her and Lacee, who were both center backs, to step up and play more offense,” Soderquist said. “We had a couple of injuries with concussions and Macee was moved to the back, as a tactical decision. She’s earned that spot back and now she has to stay there.”
With the win, the Flyers will face the No. 2 overall seed in the state tournament, the Ridgeline Riverhawks.
Ridgeline finished the regular season 12-3-1 overall, 8-1-1 in Region 11, the latter record enough to give the Riverhawks the region title.
The Flyers are accustomed to playing top teams, though.
“That was one of the things we told them before today,” Soderquist said. “Our region is tough and we hung with top teams that are ranked well above us. We had good moments against them, we just weren’t able to put the ball in the back of the net. Now we get to prepare for the next game and hopefully get a few more in the back of the net.”