With a 6A semifinal spot on the line, No. 3 Fremont and No. 6 Skyridge went head-to-head in front of a jam-packed and raucous crowd Thursday afternoon.
While all eyes were on Fremont’s prolific offense — which came into the contest averaging more than four goals a game — it was Skyridge’s defense that shined the brightest as the Falcons shut down the Silverwolves’ offense and held on for a thrilling 3-1 road victory.
“Fremont is a really good team, and we knew it was going to be tough, but our guys were up for the challenge,” said Skyridge head coach Jerry Preisendorf. “Everyone stepped up but hats off to our keeper Troy Chamberlain who played lights out. He saved us today. Troy has been terrific for us all year, but today, he played lights out.”
The sophomore keeper made play after play right up until the last seconds ticked off the clock as Fremont had another terrific chance to score right in front of the net. But just as he did throughout the game, Troy made a fantastic save and snatched the ball away as he dove on the ground.
“I’m just happy that I could make some plays for my team,” said Chamberlain. “When we play our game, we’re tough to beat and we showed that today.”
“By the way he plays, you wouldn’t know that he’s just a sophomore,” added Preisendorf with a big smile on his face. “We’re glad we’ll have him for two more years as well.”
As the game started, Fremont showed why they came in as the fourth highest scoring team in the state and the Silverwolves dominated the opening minutes and created several great chances to score. Unfortunately, like what happened throughout the day, the ball simply didn’t bounce the Silverwolves’ way.
Blaike Wayment’s shot in the second minute was deflected by Chamberlain and Amir Odeh followed it up with a blast that just went over the bar. A few minutes later, Tyler Ware’s shot bounced off the crossbar and in what became a common theme for the Silverwolves.
“Sometimes the ball bounces your way and sometimes it doesn’t and unfortunately it didn’t go in our favor today,” said Fremont head coach Darren Erwin. “As tough as it is to know the season is over, I couldn’t be prouder of these boys and what they accomplished. Skyridge is a great team and it’s unfortunate that somebody had to lose today.”
After an onslaught of chances by Fremont and saves by Chamberlain, Skyridge found its groove midway through the first half as the Falcons started getting some opportunities of its own. After several great chances by Gavin Christenson and Joshua Guymon, the Falcons finally got on the board when Christenson was taken down in the box in the 23rd minute.
Skyridge midfielder Lucas White then stepped up and calmly blasted the penalty shot into the back of the net to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead.
In the second half, Christenson extended the lead as he took a free kick from just outside the box and knocked into the upper left corner to give Skyridge a 2-0 lead in the 53rd minute. The ball sailed over a wall of Fremont defenders and hit nothing but the back of the net as the Fremont keeper watched the ball zip through.
“Gavin’s free kick was perfect,” said Chamberlain. “The keeper had no chance on that one,”
“Gavin is one of the smartest and fastest kids that I’ve ever coached,” added Preisendorf. “Anytime he has the ball, he’s a threat to score.”
In the 68th minute, the Falcons scored another goal as Guymon headed home a beautiful corner kick to give Skyridge a comfortable 3-1 lead.
Fremont senior Garrett Bruce scored the lone goal for the Silverwolves in the 54th minute with a left-footed shot that landed in the bottom corner. Fremont had a bunch more chances in the second half, but unfortunately for Fremont, Chamberlain was there each time to make a save.
“Although our season is coming to an end, I’m proud of what this team was able to accomplish,” said Erwin. “I don’t have the record book in front of me, but I believe we had the most wins since 2015, and we scored the most goals (69) in a single season too.”
With the win, Skyridge moves on to the 6A semifinals, where it will face the winner of the other quarterfinal game between No. 2 Davis and No. 7 Pleasant Grove.