Rock Canyon girls soccer coach Mat Henbest was pleased despite the close score.
The Jaguars, ranked second in the March 28 CHSAANow.com state 5A soccer poll, beat Ponderosa, 2-1, in a March 31 Continental League game at Halftime Help Stadium.
“In the end it would have been fantastic to score four or five goals but facing a little bit of adversity is also a good challenge,” said Henbest. “Every game you are working different parts of the mental game. I’m pleased with the win but the close games are good. Hopefully that kind of experience willbe good for us down the road.”
Sophomore Grace Rossner scored for Rock Canyon 15 minutes into the contest but Ponderosa’s Fallon Anderson scored on a 48-yard shot to tie the game five minutes later.
Senior Josie Manning got the game-winning goal for Rock Canyon with 15:53 left in the first half.
“I was really happy with the way we played,” said Henbest. “The other team stayed really compact and tried to make it difficult for us to break it down. We still have some great opportunities but their keeper played well.
Henbest said Rock Canyon had some players that were in newer positions.
Ava Todd, who was played mid, did a nice job, Henbest said, adding that the entire back line was especially good.
Abby Schecter came out of the back line and the girls that scored certainly came through, Henbest saied.
Henbest said Josie just came off the bench and, “stepped up right away.”
The win improved Rock Canyon’s record to 3-0.
“We hope we can be there near the end,” said Henbest. “This is a good group and a good team. We hope to have good luck continue to go our way and be in the conversation at the end.”
Ponderosa dropped to 1-3 for the season but coach Jim Engels is encouraged.
“We played really well against Rock Canyon,” he said. “I have six seniors, one junior, six sophomores, and eight freshman on varsity. I am really proud of my team. The fact my team competes with these much bigger 5A Continental League teams is pretty impressive. Our game plan was to defend and win 1-0 on a set piece. It almost worked.”