GUNNISON—The Gunnison Valley soccer team notched two regional wins last week with help from a change in the defensive lineup before suffering a loss Monday.
On Tuesday, April 6, they defeated North Sevier 5-1 as the baseball team was simultaneously routing the Wolves just a few hundred feet away. Two days later, Millard came to Gunnison for a game the Bulldogs won 3-1. On Monday, they lost 8-0 in Mt. Pleasant at North Sanpete.
“They played their hearts out. They wanted it,” Coach Chandler Christenson said about the wins last week. “They played better than they had played all year. I was very impressed with their ball movement and control.”
In games prior to facing North Sevier, the defense had averaged over five goals allowed per game. But by switching his center-midfielder out with the goalie, the coach said the team gained a defensive edge.
“I was very pleased with the defense. The defense held their own, and it changed the whole game,” Christenson said about both games last week.
It was senior Levi Reber and sophomore Brogan Christensen who switched roles. Reber was the goalie, but he moved into the field to give defenders support, and Christensen took over in goal.
“I think that’s what made all the difference,” Christenson said.
Against North Sevier, junior Carson Tucker scored a hat trick of three goals. Sophomore Jon Willden and freshman Andres Valencia each contributed a goal, too.
Freshman Pearson Judy scored two goals on Thursday against Millard, and Willden also scored another in that game.
“All of them produced very well,” the coach said. “They moved the ball together. Whoever I put out there, they played smart, effective, and they were where they needed to be.”
He also highlighted improvements made by sophomore Tono Jaime as support to the improved defense.
“Tono has made huge improvements in his game and playing ability, playing calm, cool and collected and playing strong,” Christenson said.
The loss against Monday came due to facing a stronger team with more scorers. North Sanpete is in the 3A UHSAA classification.
“We learned a lot,” Christenson said.
Yesterday, the Bulldogs travelled to Hurricane to face Diamond Ranch Academy, and tomorrow Gunnison Valley will face Parowan. Coach Christenson is optimistic about the remainder of the season.