BOUNTIFUL – Alex Simpson and Aaron Tobar each netted a goal for the Bountiful Braves soccer team Friday afternoon.
Their pair of goals, combined with some stellar play at the net by Cole Palmer, gave the Braves the 2-0 victory over rival Woods Cross, and earned Bountiful enough points to stay in second place with the second half of the region schedule yet to be played.
“I wish this win was a little prettier,” said Braves coach Lou Plank. “We just got to go get East (High School) now. We’re playing it one game at a time and that’s how we’re trying to approach it. A win is a win though; we’ll take it.”
Bountiful’s first goal, scored by Simpson, was scored in the 15th minute of the first half and gave the Braves the only goal they needed in the match. Simpson’s goal was his 13th of the season.
Tobar’s goal was scored in the 57th minute after he claimed possession from a throw-in by Bountiful. After getting away from his defender, Tobar fired his shot past a diving Taylor Kennard for the 2-0 lead.
“I thought we played well because we were a healthy team overall,” Plank said. “We had a couple of kids who were sick and during spring break I just gave them the week off to get healthy and back into playing shape. It helped quite a bit.”
With a two-goal advantage and its goal keeper playing well at the net, Bountiful used its lead in order to control the tempo of the game. Defensively the Braves forced Woods Cross into bad shooting positions, while on offense they were able to repeatedly push the ball forward deep into Woods Cross territory before either getting a shot on goal or giving the ball back to the Wildcats.
It wasn’t exactly what Plank had planned, but it worked nonetheless.
“We possessed it better than Woods Cross did, but we digressed a little bit at times,” he said. “I’m proud of them for trying to get into our own groove rather than trying to play to their style of soccer.”
Cole Palmer picked up his third shutout of the season at the net. The win for the Braves was their third in a row. The loss for Woods Cross was its first since dropping to East on March 25.
Bountiful will face Judge Memorial Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. at Judge Memorial High School. Woods Cross will travel to Kearns to face the Cougars next Friday.