Deja-Zhu for LHS: Parker, Michel send Grizz back to 3A final
By Garrett Faylor sports writer
SANDY â There is just something about the semifinals.
For the second year in a row, Logan defender Zhu Parker found the back of the net in the 3A state semifinal game at Jordan High.
Last yearâs score was a pile-on goal; the goal Parker put in Friday broke through a scoreless tie and helped propel Logan to a 2-0 win over Ridgeline.
âThis one feels better, way better,â Parker said. âLast year, we were already up, but this year, we really needed that. Iâm really glad it happened.â
Parkerâs goal came in the 50th minute. Prior to the goal, the two teams played things very close.
The first half was back and forth â âlike ping pong,â Logan head coach Sven Rasmussen said â except for the Grizzlies finding more real scoring chances.
Both goalkeepers carried clean sheets into the second half â Sam Aguilar held hers the entire game.
Logan (14-3-1) came out of the break and applied even more offensive pressure. The Grizzlies fired off four shots before Parker found herself at the 30-yard line with the ball at her feet and a clear path to goal. Parker struck a left-footed shot up and over Ridgelineâs Makaylee Tenhoeve and into the net.
âI donât know where that came from. Iâm just really glad it worked,â Parker said.
âAs soon as we started controlling the ball, thatâs what weâre capable of,â Rasmussen said. âWe definitely talked about shots from the outside (at halftime), and Zhu definitely took that to heart. Clinical. She loves scoring here.â
Ten minutes later, Zoe Clark sent a corner kick toward the goal. Kennedy Michel got a foot on it and put it into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead.
âWe knew that they possessed super well, but we just kind of looked to maybe put a ball in and counter and go, and it worked a couple times, but they obviously scored a couple goals on us and dropped our heads,â Ridgeline head coach Darin Christensen said. âIt was rough there at the end of the game.â
Tenhoeve and the Riverhawks (7-9-2) had shut out opponents in their last five games, dating back to Sept. 27, the last time the two teams met.
âWhat basically happened with the run, these players just grew up,â Christensen said of his teamâs strong finish to the season. âThey had to get used to playing against bigger girls. Youâve got a bunch of freshmen playing against seniors. Theyâre just not used to being outweighed by 30-40 pounds, and once they figured out how to play, we were able to be a little more successful throughout the postseason and the end of our season.â
With the win, the Grizzlies beat the Riverhawks for a third time this season (2-1, 2-1, 2-0). Logan will also face its championship game opponent Juan Diego for a third time, after Juan Diego defeated Snow Canyon, 5-1, Friday. The Grizzlies and the Soaring Eagle split the season series 1-1, with both sides prevailing on the road.
Kickoff at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.