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High school boys soccer: Stansbury, Ridgeline continue unlikely playoff run with 4A semifinal victories

Ridgeline celebrates winning the 4A boys soccer semifinals against Mountain Crest at Jordan High School in Sandy on Monday, May 17, 2021. Ridgeline won 1-0.
Ridgeline celebrates winning the 4A boys soccer semifinals against Mountain Crest at Jordan High School in Sandy on Monday, May 17, 2021. Ridgeline won 1-0.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

There didn’t seem to be much difference between the 4A boys soccer semifinalists.

Good fortune and the occasional great play reigned supreme Monday at Jordan High School as Stansbury and Ridgeline advanced to the tournament championship at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Stansbury 1, Sky View 1 (SO)

In order to play Tuesday at the home of Utah’s professional soccer team, Stansbury goalkeeper Devun Collins stopped three of five shots in the penalty shootout, and that enabled the Stallions to edge Sky View.

After 100 minutes of action, the Stallions and Bobcats couldn’t determine a winner, and after four penalty kicks each, the match was still tied. But Jace Toland got a break when his shot bounced off the hands of Sky View keeper Cordell Ludlow, who grimaced in frustration as the ball reached the net behind him.

A couple of minutes later, Sky View’s Caden Penrose attempted to keep his team’s season alive, but his shot hit the top of the goal and caromed backward, sending Collins running downfield to chase the ball and hug his teammates, who were rapidly running toward him.

“It pays to be lucky sometimes,” said Stansbury coach Jacob Jones.

Jones said his team, which defeated top-seeded Juan Diego last week, left its entire effort on the Jordan High School field. The Stallions came into the game missing five players due to injuries and then played with just nine players on the field after an obviously frustrated Archer Loertcher received a red card and was disciplined.

However, the Stallions’ passing and defense limited Sky View to the game’s first goal and nothing afterward, and then made enough shots to advance to the title match as the eighth seed.

“We knew all of those Cache Valley teams were good … it doesn’t matter which one you play. This was the best team ball we’ve played all season,” Jones said.

Sky View coach Jorge Cruz said his team had several chances in the game’s first 15 minutes but could not maintain the momentum after Cole Thedell’s score. Daion Leng and Kason Erickson reached the net during the shootout. However, their scores and smiles disintegrated with the outcome.

Ridgeline 1, Mountain Crest 0

The Riverhawks and Mustangs split their two regular-season matches so it was no surprise this Cache Valley rivalry took a while to be decided. Ridgeline’s Gabe Watson scored with seven minutes left in the second half to break a scoreless tie and prevent another extra-long match.

When Watson’s shot got past Mountain Crest goalkeeper Isaac Britt, it ended an impressive night for the senior as Ridgeline blanked the Mustangs for the second time in three meetings this season and gave the 11th-seeeded Riverhawks a chance to fulfill their dreams at Rio Tinto Stadium.