<strong>HYRUM—</strong> After dropping its first two games of the season, the Mountain Crest girls soccer team won for the second consecutive game, defeating West High 3-0 at home Thursday.
“I thought we played very well,” MC head coach Dennis Giles said. “At least 65 or 70 minutes of it was, we broke down in a couple of spots, but it’s early in the season. I’m encouraged. I like it.”
It didn’t take long for the Mustangs to jump in front, taking a 1-0 lead less than two minutes into the match.
A nice touch pass through the Panthers backline put the ball at the feet of Lexi Vance with just the goalkeeper to beat. The junior had no trouble putting the finishing touch on the play to put Mountain Crest ahead.
“We did a lot better connecting passes than we did in previous games,” Vance said. “(Scoring early) settled us down a bit so we don’t panic. We settled down and played the game we know how to.”
Eight minutes later sophomore Chantel Crosbie doubled the lead off of Mountain Crest corner kick.
After the ball ricocheted off of several Panther defenders, Crosbie fought off the defenders inside the 6-yard box and poked the ball between the goalie and two defenders and into the net.
It was all Mountain Crest throughout the first half, as the Mustangs earned three corner kicks to the Panthers one, and forced four saves on seven shots. Micheala Larson nearly made it 3-0 in the 24th minute, putting the ball in the back of the net on a cross, but Larson was whistled for being in an offside position and the goal was waved off.
“We’re moving the ball, we’re getting it across,” Giles said. “Last year we couldn’t get it across. This year we’re getting it there. Our kids our kicking it better, moving it better and we’re getting the ball at the kids’ feet. We’re not running after it.”
Mountain Crest continued its dominance in the second half, outshooting West 9-3 and forcing the Panthers goalkeeper to come out and stop the long passes over the backline.
Strong ball control and precision passing made quick work of the Panthers defense, and the Mustangs consistently outhustled the opposition to the ball. In the 48th minute, junior Lacy Van Yperren made a great effort to keep the ball in play, and nearly scored before the ball sailed just wide into the side netting.
West finally broke through the Mountain Crest defense in the 52nd minute with a counter-attack, but a diving stop by Kylee McKee thwarted the attack. The Panthers came right back after stealing the ball in the attacking third on the clearance attempt, but McKee would not crack, denying the shot with a second consecutive diving save.
“McKee is doing a great job with our keepers,” Giles said. “They’re learning real fast. He’s had them for three years now, and he works with them every day. They’re improving every day. I’m excited about that, we’ve got four great keepers.”
Mountain Crest improved to 2-2-0 overall with the win, while West dropped to 0-4-0. The Mustangs have a quick turnaround, as the host Hurricane Friday at 3 p.m.