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"Cardiac Kids" Juan Diego Again Survive One-Goal Tilt vs. Herriman

Juan Diego v. Herriman

Soaring Eagle Stadium, set against the backdrop of the mighty Rocky Mountains, was the setting of a key ULA Div-I contest between front-runner Juan Diego and contenders the Herriman Mustangs. The game, heavy with playoff implications, did not disappoint.  With the game tied halfway through the fourth quarter, Herriman’s Chantz Roberts and Juan Diego’s Ryan Green made the game a two-man show, each scoring their team’s final three goals of the game. With 1:14 left on the clock, Herriman called a timeout down one, but their efforts would prove fruitless as Soaring Eagle keeper Brendan Roberts turned away two clean shots on goal, preserving the JD 14-13 victory and giving the Soaring Eagle the “W” in their fifth one-goal game of the season.
“We like to make ’em exciting,” laughed Juan Diego Head Coach John Holmes, “We were up, which was nice…then we let it slip away, but we came back and hung in there. We’ve still got some work to do.”
Juan Diego v. HerrimanThe game was intense from the first whistle, with each team scoring in the opening minute of play.  The Mustangs then ran off two quick scores when sophomore attackman Matthew Everton crept from X and caught and finished on the doorstep, followed by junior middie Taylor Brundage catching on the crease and pushing his shot low-to-low for the tally while being pushed from behind. But the Soaring Eagle stayed composed and responded with two of their own: junior attack Austin Roberts found himself uncovered on the high wing and took a step down rip for the score, and fellow attackman Alec Meyer got his defender hung up above the cage while at X, allowing him to simply pick a side and put the ball in the net. With 36 seconds remaining in the first, Meyer again dodged from X to put Juan Diego up one,4-3.
Herriman senior FOS Benjamin Richard was able to keep the Mustangs in the game, dominating at the faceoff-X and giving Herriman the first stab at most possessions.  The Mustangs used the first possession of the second quarter to their advantage, grabbing a quick goal and tying the game, but a Ryan Green split dodge to shoot off-hip and an Austin Roberts sweep to score gave the lead back to the Soaring Eagle.  After some physical play and a couple push penalties, Herriman looked poised to come back, but Brendan Roberts made a great save on the doorstep and pushed the ball forward to get Alec Meyer another goal in transition.  More physical play resulted in a slash and crosscheck on Juan Diego, and while the Mustangs had some trouble holding onto the ball early in the possession, they were finally able to capitalize when Brundage stepped down from the high wing and let it fly for the score, pulling Herriman within two at the break, 7-5.
The Mustangs came into the second half looking like they had just taken a swig of “Michael’s Secret Stuff,” and they rattled off three quick goals from Dykes, Braxton Thompson, and James Menendez.  The run gave Herriman a one-goal lead and it looked like they had grabbed the momentum away from Juan Diego as they forced a turnover and looked to clear, but a dropped pass allowed Soaring Eagle Meyer to net an easy one as it was just him versus the keeper.  Transition continued to be JD’s friend as middie Harrison Keeran was able to score off a quick restart, and attackman Reilly Dumas was able to finish off a textbook fast break, again giving the Soaring Eagle a two-goal advantage.  The final minutes of the quarter saw more physicality from both teams and a couple penalties, but the score remained 10-8 in JD’s favor going into the break.
The Mustangs again came out on fire, as Braxton Thompson was able to draw the defense’s attention and get two quick assists to open men on the crease to again tie the game.  After a couple minutes of failed transition, Chantz Roberts seemed determined to get the Mustangs a victory.  Finding himself isolated with the ball, he dodged down the alley and sent a rocket over the shoulder of the keeper to put Herriman up one.  Juan Diego would respond, however, when sophomore midfielder Tristan Courtney literally ran over his defender and sent a powerful shot home.
The game then became the Green vs. Roberts show.  Green scored a man-up goal for the Soaring Eagle after a Mustang unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.  He then stepped down and snagged a goal off the high wing, giving Juan Diego the two goal lead with 3:30 remaining.  But Chantz Roberts crept to crease and caught the feed from Thompson, threw a fake, and put it past the keeper to keep things tight.  But Juan Diego took the next faceoff, and with under two minutes to go and down a goal, the Herriman defense had to take chances which allowed Green to push from behind the cage and score.  Chantz Roberts again responded, catching and finishing on the crease, and the Mustangs grabbed the subsequent faceoff and called timeout with just over a minute left on the clock.  Herriman got a couple good looks on the cage, but saves from JD keeper Roberts would preserve the Soaring Eagle victory.
Things don’t get much easier for Herriman as they travel to Park City next Wednesday, April 16 to take on the Miners at 5:30 pm.  Juan Diego has a quick turnaround as they take on Nevada powerhouse Palo Verde on Friday, April 11 at 7:30 pm and then Nevada’s Cenennial on Saturday, April 12 at 1:00 pm.

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