Girls remain undefeated with big second half performances
Box Elder’s Brianna Powell leaves a defender and the goal keeper in her wake as she makes a move on the net. Powell tested the Logan defense with her speed, which resulted in numerous shots, but no goals.
By Sean Hales
The Box Elder High School girls’ soccer team continued their trend of dominating second-half performances in wins last week over Roy and Logan.
The Bees scored five goals in the two games—all in the second half—to notch a 2-0 win over the Royals and a 3-1 win over Logan.
While Box Elder scored all their goals in the second half, they actually got the fast start coach Ryan Stevens has been looking for in the game against Logan. In the Bees first three games, it seemed like it took the first half to get warmed up.
“You can’t start that slow,” Stevens said.
Against Logan, however, even though the Bees didn’t score, and carried a one-point deficit into the intermission, Stevens said he had no complaints about the start. Fueled by the Bees blazing speed, most notably Brianna Powell and Paige Stevens, Box Elder put six shots on frame in the half, and several other shots that were quality chances, but wide of the mark.
“She [Powell] is one of the fastest girls in the state,” coach Stevens said. “We’ve got one of the fastest teams in the state.” He continued that several members of this year’s team were members of highly-successful track and field teams the last couple of years.
Stevens added that he knew his team would have a speed advantage over Logan’s defense, and put Powell in position to take advantage of it. Powell had several chances, but was unable to finish any of them.
Logan struggled to get the ball out of their defensive half, and when they did, it was quickly turned in the other direction. In fact, Stevens said, Logan’s only goal of the game was scored against the run of play about half-way through the first half.
“Even when they scored, I wasn’t nervous,” coach Stevens said. “It was a great learning experience for us, to have to fight back from being behind.”
The team’s seniors came out in the second half and established even greater control leading to goals by Sydney Uyematsu and Sadie Munns about midway through the half, and one by Paige Stevens with about 10 minutes left to play.
“I actually think the second half was more dominant than the first,” coach Stevens said.
In the contest against Roy, the Bees started the first half slow, but, true to form, came to life in the second half, where Kendra Craynor scored two “beautiful” goals, according to Ryan Stevens, who added that the Bees had many more opportunities and the Bees were close to putting up four or five goals in the game.
So far this season, five different girls have scored goals for the Bees, and coach Stevens said others have shown “a nose for the goal.”
“The reality is, I could put [midfielder] Josie Ball up there and she would score too,” Stevens said. “We can score goals when we want to. It’s a coach’s dream.” He did note that all the goals have come from forward positions, and he would like to see some production from others, such as outside backs Emilie Davies and McKayla Barnes.
Defensively, coach Stevens said his team has been solid. An opinion supported by the Bees’ two shutouts from keeper Markell Freeman, and a total of three goals allowed in four games.
“I’m really pleased with my defense,” Stevens said.
With last week’s games, the Bees’ have officially put the start of season behind them. Region play starts this week with a home game against Ogden on Thursday.
Stevens said he expects a battle from the fundamentally-sound Tigers, who are 3-0 so far this season including a 5-0 win over Ben Lomond (Box Elder also beat the Scots by the same score) and 2-1 wins over 5A Clearfield and Northridge. Last year, the Bees and Tigers split games, with each team winning on the road.
Following Ogden, the Bees travel to Bonneville next Tuesday and will host Woods Cross on Thursday.
Failed kick leads to 37-38 overtime loss
By Jeremy Jones
One mishandled snap on an extra-point attempt was all it took for Logan to secure a season-opening win at home last Friday agains Box Elder.
In double overtime, after scoring a touchdown that set the stage for a third extra period, the Bees were unable to convert the extra point and lost the contest, 37-38.
“It was a pre-season game,” said head coach Robbie Gunter. “We made some mistakes and they made some mistakes. We just made one more than they did.”
Both teams committed numerous penalties in the game. Six Box Elder penalties resulted in first downs for the Grizzlies, including several pass interference calls on a fourth-quarter drive that allowed Logan to tie the game. Also, Box Elder allowed Logan to convert on 6-of-8 fourth down attempts, three of which resulted in points for the Grizzlies.
“We have got to play better, obviously, but we have got to not hurt ourselves,” Gunter said. “I felt we outplayed them, we just let them stay in it. We held them...we just didn’t get the defense off the field.”
Logan had nearly double the number of offensive plays as Box Elder, largely due to the Bees struggles on third and fourth down.
The Bees opened the game with a confident first possession where they moved the ball down the field. The drive was highlighted by a 33-yard scamper from Bryant Tingey, but stalled in the red zone and kicker Steven Thompson put the Bees ahead 3-0 with a 24-yard field goal.
The Grizzlies responded immediately with their first possession as Horsley picked the Bees apart with both his arm and his legs en route to finding Spencer Corbett streaking down the seam for a five yard touchdown pass, which gave the Grizzlies the lead at 7-3.
Box Elder’s defense grabbed the lead back on Logan’s next possession when Briar Bunderson jumped in front of an errant pass from Horsley and raced down the sideline for a 45-yard pick-six, giving the Bees a 10-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Box Elder’s defense forced the Grizzlies into a tough situation on their next possession, holding them to 4th-and-7 from the 34. But Horsley avoided the pass rush on the play and again found Corbett open deep down field for his second touchdown catch of the game. Corbett lead the Grizzlies receiving corps with seven receptions for 104 yards and three touchdowns.