The 3A boys soccer state semifinals were played at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman on Wednesday as No. 1 seed Ogden fell to No. 4 seed Morgan, while No. 2 seed Juan Diego fended off No. 3 seed Manti to advance to the championship.

Morgan 1, Ogden 1 (Morgan advances on PKs 6-5)

On April 11, 2008, Morgan boys soccer defeated Ogden 1-0, but little did the Trojans know that it would be the only win against the Tigers for more than 15 years.

The two teams matched up in the 3A semifinals Wednesday, where Morgan overcame its demons to earn a spot in the 3A championship game.  

Morgan knew heading into the 3A semifinal that it could get the win despite the history of the matchup.

The Trojans’ confidence was hit when Ogden’s Boston Rodriguez scored off a free kick from near center field, and it seemed history was repeating itself.

A small mistake for Morgan was potentially going to cost its season, as it trailed the Tigers 1-0 at the half.

“This team lives off our confidence, and for whatever reason Ogden has been in our head for years,” said Morgan head coach Seth Wallace.

“That Ogden goal was the same thing that’s happened to us in the other games. We made mistakes and Ogden capitalizes off them, so it felt like a repeat of our prior games.”

In addition, it was all Ogden in the opening 20 minutes of the second half. While the Tigers didn’t score, they were putting immense pressure on the Morgan defense.

Any time the Trojans defense cleared, Ogden was quick to recover and get back on the attack.

Finally, Trojans’ Jett Beckstrom broke through the Ogden defense and scored the equalizer goal with just 16 minutes remaining in regulation.

“(Logan Barnes) is a big dude, a really great player, and he was playing lock down in the back,” Beckstrom said. “I just found a way to get around him, had the shot and their keeper had a great save. I just followed the ball and finished it. It feels good, but it had to be fought for because Ogden is a great team.

“We were 0-2 against them this year. We knew what they were going to do and what to expect. I just think it came down to how badly we wanted it. Ogden could’ve easily taken that game, but at the end of the day we wanted it more and it carried us through.”

After the goal, Morgan seemed to gain confidence and held back all Ogden attacks through the remaining regulation and subsequent overtimes.

As the two teams lined up for penalty kicks, the anxiety was palpable. It went back and forth through the first set of kicks and the teams remained tied.

Morgan’s Sam Edwards gave the Trojans an upper hand, scoring his penalty kick to give Morgan a 6-5 lead.

With the game on the line, Ogden was unable to score and Morgan advanced to the 3A championship game.

“It took a little bit to overcome our mistakes, but the boys responded and fought hard to the end,” Wallace said. “We had the confidence to beat them, we put together a solid plan, but it just came down to our boys putting in the work and wanting to win that game.”

Juan Diego 2, Manti 0

Juan Diego will head to the 3A championship game after a convincing 2-0 victory over the Manti Templars in the other semifinal.

Juan Diego has been dominant in the postseason, outscoring opponents a combined 13-0.

On Wednesday, the attack started early for Juan Diego, and quickly the Soaring Eagle’s James Fitzpatrick scored off a cross ball from Jacob Alvarez.

“I wouldn’t have scored without the pass from Jacob. He provided me with a really good assist,” said Fitzpatrick. “We have a great team this year. Our defense is great locking up and they really put on the clamps today.

“It feels great. I’ve never been to a final before and I’m really excited. We were rooting for Morgan, and we’re excited to play.”

The Soaring Eagle was not finished, as soon after the first goal, Daniel Gutierrez scored off a nice shot from 20 yards out, securing a 2-0 lead to end the first half.

No one player for Juan Diego carried the team to victory, but it was the team effort that caused the Soaring Eagle to dominate, and head coach Joe Baca assures that’s by design.

“You know the fun part is the whole season, we’ve been working as a team. That’s the key focus,” said Baca.

“On the attack we try to surprise, and when we play a team that doesn’t know what’s coming, even video won’t give them everything because we have so many talented players. Our top goal scorer wasn’t playing today so we just made the adjustments and here we are heading to the championship because of it.”

Juan Diego was unable to score in the second half, but its defense shined and held back every Templar attack.

While the versatile and quick attack is certainly a strength of the Soaring Eagle roster, its defense is equally as important to their success.

Manti had multiple great chances at a goal, and each time the Juan Diego defense played scrappy and fended it off.

“You know what this is a team effort, and our defense has been solid.” said Baca. “The rest of the guys communicate well and talk to each other. Our subs rotate in and out and they understand what we’re trying to accomplish.”

Juan Diego will face Morgan in the 3A championship game on Friday at 4 p.m. at Real Salt Lake’s America First Field.