Three games into the season, the Wasatch Wasps look like they’re ready to defend their crown as 5A state champions. 

With a 2-1 victory on the road against Viewmont on Tuesday, the Wasps jumped to a 3-0 record to start the 2022 campaign. The start has been ideal for a Wasatch group that’s looking to replicate the success of last season’s senior-heavy squad. 

Wasatch head coach Jared Hendry said that he knew at the end of last season that the new look varsity group would have what it takes to play the way that they have. 

“In order to have a really good varsity team, your JV team has got to push them,” Hendry said. “We had a really good JV team (last year) and we knew that these kids would be ready to go. Everyone came up to me after we won (the title) last year and said, ‘So what’re you going to do now? Reload?’”

“And I would say, ‘No, we’re good.’ It’s up to these seniors to take it like our seniors did last year.”

Though this year’s senior class for Wasatch appears to be taking the reins admirably, they certainly were tested Tuesday afternoon against the Vikings.

Though the Wasps had a chance bang off the post in the sixth minute, the teams were fairly evenly matched through most of the first half, as both sides struggled to generate meaningful touches in the final third. 

But, in the 35th minute, Wasatch senior Bryce Frogley ran by a slipping Viewmont defender to drive home the game’s opening goal from the right side of the box.

Hendry said the goal — which seized momentum for the Wasps heading into the halftime break — was special to his boys for a couple different reasons. 

“That goal was a big pump-up for our team because all the boys really like Bryce,” Hendry said. “He’s such a hard worker and he does such a great job for us, so when he put (the goal) in you could see how excited and confident he felt, and that just kind of brought the confidence back into our team.”

The opening minutes of the second half were much more eventful than most of the first half.

Just six minutes into the second half, senior Carter Davis put a shot on frame, which was touched by the keeper, but found its way into the back of the net to double the advantage for Wasatch. 

But the Vikings were quick to respond, as Cole Halterman delivered an impressive free kick goal from nearly 40 feet outside the 18-yard box just a minute after Wasatch’s second goal. 

Suddenly Viewmont, which appeared to be out of the contest just mere seconds before, was injected with a new energy and began looking more threatening on the attack. 

With just under 33 minutes still to play, the Wasatch backline — which played well all game — managed to withstand the surge from the Vikings and maintain the 2-1 scoreline. 

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“Our two centerbacks (Soren Nielson and Luke Lundberg) are just so cool and calm, and when they play their game it just sort of calms down the rest of the team,” Hendry said. “Their performance helped us weather that storm.”

According to Hendry, the win came down to Wastach’s ability to not only defend, but also its ability to match and counter the intensity of a group of talented Viewmont midfielders. 

Though the Wasps managed to see out their third win of the season (the other two wins came against Timpview and Olympus), their toughest test of the early season will come later this week with games against Bingham and Skyridge — two of the top teams in the 6A classification. 

“We’re excited, we really wanted to play some quality teams (in nonregion), like Viewmont and Olympus, because 5A is tough and it’s going to take some really good work to come out on top again,” Hendry said. “We feel like we’re one of those teams that can be up there with the best in the state, and these seniors are going to take us there.”

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