LOGAN — When the Logan High girls soccer team visited defending champion Bonneville three weeks ago, goals were a dime a dozen.
When the teams met in Logan on Tuesday to start the second round of Region 5 play, there was a distinct change of pace. In a defensive slugfest, the Grizzlies edged Bonneville 1-0 to maintain their top spot in the league standings.
“Both teams tuned up,” Logan coach Mitch Peterson said about the difference between Tuesday’s game and his team's 7-6 double-overtime victory on Aug. 22.
“The score sheet last time was weird; it was an anomaly,” he said. “It doesn’t happen. Bonneville allows eight goals in a season and we got seven in a game. It was unheard of. Nobody does this.”
On Tuesday, the Grizzlies’ coach had a feeling his team would be in control.
“I felt like this game was ours. From the get-go this game was ours. Wind or no wind, this game was ours,” he said. “The energy of the field, the girls’ focus and attitudes — they weren’t coming out of here anything other than a win, with anything other than their best.”
To get the win, Logan relied on the leadership of two freshmen. Forward Demi Lopez scored the lone goal in the 65th minute and goalkeeper Samantha Aguilar earned the shutout.
“We are asking and demanding a lot of them,” Peterson said of the two underclassmen. “Not many freshmen can do it. Not many freshmen can come in here on a varsity level at where we are and contribute — let alone play a bunch of minutes.”
Aguilar has now recorded 2 1/2 shutouts and Lopez is the team’s leading scorer with 13 goals. The Grizzlies, with 18 points, are comfortably atop Region 5.
“(Aguilar) is brilliant; she’s fearless; she is just going to do what she does,” Peterson said. “She’s been thrown in, and we’ve told her that. She’s been thrown in as a freshman to a high-stakes, high-level that she never asked for. She’s risen every single time.”
Peterson added that the entire team, which includes 16 freshmen, has come together this season to find success on the field.
“We talk about it a lot: Make sure they recognize the challenging position they’re in, and the reality of the position they’re in,” Peterson said. “This group of girls has decided they are going to be much different than other groups of girls. They are very committed every day to making sure everyone is included, welcome, happy, contributing. They’re very, very committed to that.”
Meanwhile, the Lakers are also led this season by a freshman in the net. Kyra McDowel has recorded three shutouts so far this year and blocked a penalty kick midway through the second half against Logan.
Sarah Thomas earned a degree in Mathematics from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MBA at Westminster College. She has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008.