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High school boys soccer: Wasatch beats Provo

For the first time this season, the Provo Bulldogs went down scoreless, losing to the Wasatch Wasps 3-0.

It was a hard fought battle between the two Region 9 foes, and with five yellow cards being assessed between the teams it was clear that emotions were high.

The Wasatch attack started early, however it was unable to get the timing quite right, which resulted in multiple early offside calls for the Wasps offense.

The Bulldogs retaliated with drives of their own, but each one was shut down quickly by the Wasatch defense.

Finally, it seemed Provo had found its opportunity. The Bulldogs were able to score, but while the home crowd cheered the sideline referee called it back on an offsides call.

Within the next 30 seconds the Wasatch offense also seemingly broke through with a goal. But, once again the referee waived their flag, signaling an offsides call.

For a bit neither team gained any significant ground over the other. Further into the half the Wasps seemed more comfortable in their timing and avoided offsides calls.

Finally the unrelenting pressure was rewarded when Wasatch’s Cole Simpson scored off a ball that was deflected by a Provo defender.

“Our boys play together,” said Wasatch head coach Jared Hardy. “We talk a lot about transitioning and getting the ball up. We talk a lot about movement, the boys move off each other and try to get into open spaces. Provo had a little trouble in the beginning because they were high up and then our boy’s kind of figured it out.”

“We started making those runs into spaces that were still dangerous but not making it easy for them to defend.”

As the time reached zero in the first half, Wasatch maintained its 1-0 lead.

Provo came into the second half immediately wanting to even up the score. However, Wasatch keeper Jackson Medina was determined to keep that from happening.

“Our back four line are all strong defensively and strong generally, they’re all big,” said Cosper. “We’ve all been with each other since we were 10 years old so we have a lot of chemistry. It’s just a strong back line. I mean I didn’t even have a shot on goal because they did their job today. Of course, I’m the voice but they’re out there doing the movements.”

Thanks to the outstanding Wasatch defense, Provo ended the game without a goal for the first time this season.

“We have a phenomenal defense,” said Hardy. “These boys have played together for years and years. They pride themselves on not letting people get shots on them. Our goalie (Jackson Cosper) is phenomenal. He’s very good and keeps the defense organized. (Cannon Downey) and (Caleb Smith) in our back did a really good job of talking and moving. (Hunter Cosper) drops back and helps play that defense.”

“Our athletes get up and back and they just run their guts out. They just pride themselves and make sure the other team doesn’t get dangerous situations.”

The great defensive performance from Wasatch allowed its offense to shine. The Wasps’ Cannon Downey scored off a penalty kick and Bode Heelis kicked in a ball that ricocheted off a nearby defender.

With the win the Wasps have solidified themselves as a threat in Region 9 while also improving their overall record to 6-1.

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