Skyline, Olympus get off to good starts in region boys soccer
May 09, 2018 02:11PM
● By Josh McFadden
Junior midfielder Adam Naylor lunges to play a through ball against West in region action. (Travis Barton/City Journals)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
By the time the regular season ends, two boys soccer teams in Region 6 will have to stay home and watch the other four squads extend their seasons in the Class 5A state tournament.
Skyline and Olympus want to be part of the party and delay their offseason.
The Eagles and Titans — longtime rivals — both had early success in region play and could end up neck and neck in the race for the league championship.
Heading into its April 20 game against East, the Eagles were perched atop Region 6 with a 3-0 record. Skyline got the best of West, Olympus and Murray to begin region play.
Against West on April 6, the Eagles had to go to two overtimes to outlast the Panthers 3-2. Ellis Spikner, Grant Balls and Jake Jensen found the back of the net.
Perhaps the biggest victory of the season up to that point was a 2-1 win over Olympus on April 10. Once again, Skyline played a two-overtime marathon before getting the winning goal in the second extra session. Spikner scored the winning goal and also added a game-tying goal in the second half. He had five goals in the first nine games of the season.
Jensen has been prolific all season. In the first nine contests, he scored seven goals and was sixth-leading scorer in Class 5A up to that point.
The Eagles were 7-1-1 as team in their first nine games. During that span, the defense allowed a total of just five goals. Goalie Tommy Jensen and his fellow defenders have also performed well season as they’ve limited opponents’ opportunities on the offensive end.
Skyline plays each region opponent twice and will wrap up the regular season May 8 at East.
Only its loss to Skyline kept the Titans from occupying the top spot in league play through their first four region matches. Olympus started the season 7-1-2 overall and 3-1 in Region 6 games.
Offense hasn’t been a problem in many of the Titans’ games. They blasted Highland 7-0 on April 6, as Tony Fougler and Josh Gubler each scored twice. Adam Naylor, Alec Fougler and James Dansie also added goals. Olympus also scored four goals in a shutout win over Cyprus on March 9 and tallied five goals in a 5-3 victory over Cottonwood on March 22.
Defensively, behind the efforts of goalkeeper Ian Jones and other defensive teammates, Olympus posted four shutouts heading into its April 20 game against West.
Both Naylor and Din Huremovic have been tough to handle for opposing defenses. Naylor had eight goals in his first 10 outings, while Huremovic had six during that time frame.
Olympus plays at West on May 8 in the regular season finale. The 5A state tournament begins May 16. If the Eagles and Titans finish first or second in the region standings, they will get a first-round home game in the tournament.