SMITHFIELD — The scouting report Sky View head girls soccer coach Doyle Geddes received on Timpview was “spot on.”
Geddes and company knew the Thunderbirds played a very direct brand of soccer and scored a lot of their goals off set pieces. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, they still didn’t defend those set pieces well enough.
Timpview scored off a free kick and corner kick, and it was enough in a 2-1 victory over Sky View in the first round of the 4A State Championships on Tuesday afternoon at Hansen Field.
“We didn’t come out as strong as we would have hoped, but yeah, as you said, they were good in the air,” SV senior McKenley Hellstern said. “We had our moments and they had theirs, but I still think it was a close game and we played the best we could.”
The Bobcats (6-9-2) outpossessed the T-birds (10-4-3) for much of the match and, for the most part, were the more technical side. However, Timpview displayed its athleticism on 50-50 balls in the air, and was very organized defensively.
Sky View had its spurts of stringing several passes together in the second half. However, those successive passes were pieced together in the middle third of the pitch and not the attacking third.
Midfielder Kaylee Young tested Timpview goalkeeper Nisha Bindraban on a pair of free kicks, but other than that the Bobcats struggled in the attacking third after halftime.
“We did everything that we were told we would be able to do, and that was we’d be able to move the ball on them,” SV head coach Doyle Geddes said. “And we did, but the reality was we never really did get the ball in (dangerous spots after halftime). They just held ground and we just couldn’t find a way to crack that backline.”
The Bobcats did have a handful of dangerous scoring opportunities in the first half, and Tierra Shaffer capitalized on one of them in the 35th minute. Bindraban punched away a dangerous Sky View corner kick, but it went right to Shaffer, who headed it just barely over the goal line.
The goal was made possible because Bindraban, a two-time first-team all-state selection, had to punch a long-distance shot by Hellstern across the end line, setting up the corner kick. Sky View’s Madie Siddoway also just missed scoring on a shot from outside the 18-yard box in the first half.
Unfortunately for the Bobcats, it was only an equalizing goal, thanks to an own goal in the 10th minute. Timpview’s Alissa Moffet served in an excellent cross, and a Sky View defender headed it into the goal.
The T-birds retook the lead less than three minutes into the second half when Ashlyn Matthews powerfully headed in a Moffet corner kick.
Sky View also struggled to contend with Timpview’s flip throw-ins. Bobcat keeper Kaley Brooksby had to make a diving save on a second-half header by Moffet off a flip throw.
Brooksby and Kylee Hellstern split halves in goal for the Bobcats, who still had a relatively successful season despite losing arguably Region 5’s top midfielder in Jessica Brooksby to an ACL tear in their season opener.
“Losing Brooksby was really hard for our team,” McKenley Hellstern said. “As you could tell, our next couple games, we were kind of lost I guess out there. But we did get it together toward the end, and I thought we had a great season. Second (in region) is an awesome place to be, and I’m proud of my team for coming together and playing good.”
Losing the Utah State-bound Jessica Brooksby wasn’t the only setback the injury-prone Bobcats were forced to overcome, though. Impact players Rianna Loosli, KarLee Hamby, Jordyn Brown, Jordyn Young, Jessica Smith, Lesli Blau and Hailey Nield each missed at least one match with various injuries for Sky View.
“I’ll just say I’m proud of my team overall,” Geddes said. “I mean, I think we’ve had a season of overachieving and if you can have that, if you can have girls that will stretch the limits and exceed their grasp, you can live with it. ... This team has done a good job of overcoming adversity, injuries ... and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”