South Valley Boys Soccer Teams Closeout Seasons
Jun 15, 2016 09:33AM
● By Greg James
Silverwolves junior Micah Hammond led the team with eight goals this season. Photo courtesy of dsandersonpics.com
By Greg James | firstname.lastname@example.org
The state 5A boys soccer playoffs will not be short a team form the South Valley. Herriman is making its first appearance since 2012.
“We have had an up-and-down season,” Herriman head coach Ryan Mitchell said. “We have been playing a lot of underclassman, so they are smaller, but our kids have a high soccer IQ and have turned things around towards the end of this season.”
The Mustangs lost to Riverton 5-3 on April 8 and managed a 1-1 tie on the April 27. The loss and tie put the Mustangs in a must-win situation for its last game of the regular season against Westlake May 13. They came through with a 7-0 victory and secured a state playoff position.
“Our first loss to Riverton helped us turn things around,” Mitchell said. “They were up 3-2 at halftime just from our poor defense. After the game we were able to watch the game film and make adjustments in training. I think it changed our season around.”
The Mustangs won five of their last seven games, including a 1-0 loss to American Fork and the tie against the Silverwolves.
Sophomore Carter Johnson led the team with 11 goals.
“Carter is a fantastic player and an even better kid,” Mitchell said. “If I could clone him, we would have an incredible team. He has had a back injury, and we cannot drag him off the field. I have seen him play for several years since he was a little kid. He is a great athlete and incredibly tough.”
The Mustangs’ goalkeeper JD Myers has notched four shutouts.
“JD has been a standout,” Mitchell said “He is a sophomore and will continue to get better. Jaxson Ruff missed part of the season when he was playing with his club team, so I can see where this team will continue to get better.”.
The Mustangs were scheduled to face Davis in the first round of the state playoffs May 17 (after press deadline).
Riverton head coach Paul Moizer said his team has great kids and he was slightly disappointed in the results this season.
“It was certainly not what we had hoped for,” he said. “I thought we could be on the top end looking down. We just struggled to put the ball in the net. These are great kids. They work hard and battle. We just could not put it together on the field.”
The Silverwolves’ leading scorer was Micah Hammond with eight goals. He hurt his shoulder and sat out the final two games of the season. Ryan Christensen scored five goals, including two against Lehi in the final game of the year.
“We can do better. We just need to do better at communicating with each other,” Hammond said. “We have some really good players.”
The Silverwolves’ goalkeeper was Braeden Ashby, and senior Jake Cole helped anchor the defense.
“I moved the kids around quite a bit trying to find that right mix.” Moizer said. “I feel like we had a solid year.”
The Silverwolves missed the state playoffs for the first time since 2003. They were state champions in 2014.