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High school soccer: Tim Arauzo does his best impression of a brick wall as Copper Hills picks up win over Woods Cross

The Copper Hills Grizzlies have had a revelation in goal this season, and his name is Tim Arauzo.

SHARE High school soccer: Tim Arauzo does his best impression of a brick wall as Copper Hills picks up win over Woods Cross

The Copper Hills Grizzlies have had a revelation in goal this season, and his name is Tim Arauzo.

The senior goalkeeper, who was an unknown commodity to Grizzlies head coach Sean Terry and his staff before tryouts, led his team to a 2-0, nonregion victory over Woods Cross Tuesday afternoon. 

“That kid has been a godsend,” said head coach Sean Terry of Arauzo’s performance against Woods Cross as well as throughout the season. 

Arauzo played his freshman and sophomore years with Taylorsville before transferring to Copper Hills his junior year, but was unable to play that junior year due to UHSAA transfer rules. Terry — who’s in his first year as a head coach but has been around the Copper Hills program for five years — said they had no clue who Arauzo was before tryouts came along.

“A week before tryouts we had no idea who this kid even was. But he’s really solidified that back line and saved us a bunch of times,” Terry said.

Arauzo’s first opportunity to save his team against the Wildcats came within the first 90 seconds of the game when an impressive turn by Wood Cross’ Aidan Burke saw him one-on-one with Arauzo, but Arauzo charged off his line and came up with the stop. Less than 30 seconds later, after Arauzo quickly played the ball up the field, Enoc Figueroa assisted Cole Spencer for Copper Hills’ first goal of the game.

The save by Arauzo and the impressive counter-attack provided a two-goal swing in favor of Copper Hills.

In a first half that was virtually even in all aspects of the game for both teams, the goal would be the only thing that separated the Grizzlies from the Wildcats. Arauzo, who made a few more impressive saves in the half, was a big reason for the one-goal advantage.

“This was a totally different game because of him,” Terry said. “We easily could’ve been down 3-1 in that first half if not for his performance.”

Another impressive assist from Figueroa on a goal scored by Isaac Rollins in the second half, coupled with a few more impressive saves by Arauzo, paved the way for Copper Hills to secure the nonregion victory over a Woods Cross team that had only lost one of its first six games. 

Terry, who was a goalkeeper himself during his playing days, said that Arauzo has been one of the more impressive keepers he’s ever coached.

“You look at him and you don’t think he’s athletic, but this kid is one of the most athletic kids I’ve ever trained, ” Terry said of Arauzo. “When you combine his athleticism with how he reads the game, you couldn’t ask for a better keeper. We’ve been very surprised and happy with him.”

The closest chance that Woods Cross had to get on the board came late in the second half when sophomore Ryan Wray saw Arauzo off his line and tried chipping the ball over his head from about 10 yards outside of the penalty area. The shot traveled beyond Arauzo’s reach, but rattled off the crossbar, drawing a gut-wrenching gasp from the Wildcat supporters and a sigh of relief from Copper Hills’ fan section. 

The win does a lot mentally for a Copper Hills team that suffered an agonizing overtime loss 11 days prior against its region rival Herriman. The Grizzlies played a large portion of the second half and all of overtime with nine players after the two Grizzlies players were shown controversial red cards against Herriman.

Terry said that having spring break after the loss was a big help for his team’s ability to bounce back and play what he thought was one of their best games from beginning to end. Rather than starting strong and tailing off, like the Grizzlies have in their losses this season, Terry felt they got stronger as the game went on. 

“All of our training session yesterday and before the game today we talked about playing 80 minutes,” Terry said. “We’ve played great soccer this whole season, our three losses wouldn’t show that, but in all three of those games I feel like we were the stronger team, and for one reason or another things hadn’t really clicked yet. We had not played a full 80 minutes, but today was the closest we’ve played to an 80 minute game.”