Leader Sports Writer
The regular season has ended and the Bear River Bears girls’ soccer team is setting new goals after accomplishing their goal of hosting a first-round playoff game.
The Bears defeated Tooele 5-0 in the regular season finale to clinch second place in region play and will play host to Wasatch in the first round of the Utah 3A state soccer tournament at 4 p.m. this Wednesday. This is the second time in four years that Bear River and Wasatch have met in the playoffs as the Bears defeated the Wasps 2-1 in the 2009 quarterfinals.
Against Tooele the Bear River attack was relentless with sophomore Sadie Croney erupting for her second hat trick on the season. Sophomore Tara Christensen and senior captain Paige Roholt also scored in the 5-0 win. Fellow senior captain Josie Summers denied Tooele a goal for her third shutout of the season.
“We felt good about the finish,” coach Gene Wilcox said. “Tooele played us pretty tough and they always do, but it was great to see the girls finish it out strong.”
With the win the Bears enter the playoffs with a record of 10-6 and a Region 11 record of 9-3. Wasatch enters the state tournament with a 9-4-2 overall record, while also posting a 6-3-1 record in Region 10.
“It’s a tough draw out of the hole. Wasatch is a really good team but you have got to beat good teams in the state playoffs,” Wilcox said. “We’ve put up a lot of goals this season, but we’ve also given up a lot of goals. We need to crack down on defense. The girls believe in the system and we will have to see where this takes us.”
The junior varsity team squeaked out a nail-biter against Tooele last week to bring their season record to 11-4-1, a record Wilcox is sure is the best for quite some time. The ability to have the assurance of depth with a good junior varsity team is something Wilcox is grateful for, especially with the postseason on the doorstep.