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Herriman vs Hillcrest: The Underdogs

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For the first time after a four year playoff drought, Hillcrest High Schools Men’s Soccer team made it into the state playoffs. They were awarded fourth place in their region, so they received fourth seed. In the first round, they would play the number one team in the state of Utah: Herriman High School.

Herriman won all 12 of their region games, and every preseason games. They were 16-0 from preseason and the season, so they are the team to beat in this tournament. They are nationally ranked in the top 10, according to USA coaches and Max Preps as of May 6. The Mustangs were given home field advantage, so Hillcrest traveled to play them on Tuesday, May 15 at 4:00 PM.

Cole Paradis was also not eligible to play because of a red card from the previous game. Rule states that a red card kicks you out for the game, making your team have to play down a player, and said player is also not able to play for the following game.

As the game started, Hillcrest had a rough start knowing the strategies of the opponent. After Herriman scored, the Huskies did everything in their power to battle back. For the rest of the half, Hillcrest held possession for well over the majority of the time. Giovanny Cisneros scored a goal 15 minutes into the game to tie it up at 1 goal a piece.

At halftime, the Huskies were up 2-1 after a free kick from Zack Dewitt 30 minutes into the game. From there, Hillcrest just needed to hold off Herriman for 40 more minutes, but alas, the ranked best team in the state countered back.

Twelve minutes into the half, the Mustangs scored a counter-attacking goal after Hillcrest lost their composure on the offensive end. It was now 2-2 and the game went down to the wire. Josy Garcia was given a second yellow card after sliding somebody from behind. He had to leave the game for that after suffering a red card. The Huskies would be playing with 10 players, instead of the original 11, for the remaining ten minutes.

The game ended the regulation time in a tie. The Huskies were going into overtime for the fourth time in the last 5 games. It was obvious that the ref was making one-sided calls.

Going into the game, Hillcrest had 2-1 record in overtime; this meant they had won 2 games and lost 1. They were 2-0 when they were the away team.

Hillcrest battled very well and challenged cleanly. They had possession for just over 50% for the time played in overtime. Herriman’s roaring crowd must have encouraged the Mustangs however, because they charged down the throats of the Huskies and scored a goal. The game was over, and Herriman was advances to the second round of the state playoffs.

“Extremely proud of the progress & accomplishments of Hillcrest Boys Soccer this season,” wrote head coach Brett Davis. “[They] took the #1 team in the state to OT, including over 20 minutes with only 10 men, held the lead for ½ the match, battled to the end & had chances to win it. You came to play and made me proud!”

Until next year. As Sophomore Nate Burri says, “We are just getting started.”

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