Bulldogs earn first victory in soccer

Ben Lasseter / Messenger Photo
Gunnison Valley sophomore Jon Willden meets a Diamond Ranch defender after getting past two others in a soccer match in Gunnison last Thursday.

In three games last week, Gunnison Valley soccer notched its first win and played its fourth game of the year, matching the number it played in the shortened season of 2020.

On Tuesday, the Bulldogs struck first, but Millard prevailed, winning 4-2. Two days later, the Bulldogs defeated Diamond Ranch Academy at home, 9-5. On Friday, the Bulldogs lost an away match at Richfield, 5-3.
“It was a bit of a learning curve,” said Coach Chandler Christenson about the games, specifically the win against Diamond Ranch. “They all played really well. They communicated really well.”
It was the first time “in some time” that Gunnison Valley scored first against Millard, the coach said. After Millard quickly rallied back, the team lost some of the edge it had early when players “got a little too frustrated with themselves,” he added.
Spectators at the high school enjoying a sunny Thursday afternoon saw a frenzy of goal-scoring — 14 in total. Senior Connor Monroe, junior Carson Tucker and sophomores Jon Willden and Bryson Sorensen each scored two goals. Freshman Pearson Judy scored one.
“My attackers did really well on doing the drills that I taught them and putting that into play,” the coach said. “They played their butts off.”
The defense allowed five goals because, in part due to the players’ inexperience, they “struggled with being where they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be there.”
Before Friday’s game against Richfield, Christenson said he hoped some players could bounce back from minor back problems, having already played two games in the week.
But Sorensen’s two goals and Monroe’s one were not enough to outdo the Wildcats’ five.
This week, the Bulldogs face Parowan today and will go against Beaver Thursday, both away.

Gunnison Valley junior Carson Tucker (far right in blue uniform) shoots and scores past two Diamond Ranch defenders in white and the Diamondback goalkeeper. Sophomore Bryson Sorensen, number 11, watches as the ball finds the bottom-left pocket of the goal.