Miners use strong postseason run to reach state girls soccer semifinals
Nov 03, 2017 11:44AM
● By Josh McFadden
The 2017 Bingham girls soccer team placed third in Region 4 and advanced to the state semifinals.
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Playing in one of the most competitive, challenging girls soccer regions in the state has its drawbacks and benefits. Just ask the Bingham High School players and coaches.
The Miners had their ups and downs during the regular season, placing in a tie with Lone Peak for third in Region 4 with a 5-7 record. Despite a three-game losing streak from Sept. 12 to Sept. 19, and another stretch in which they went 1-5, the Miners did just enough to secure the third seed from the region. Because it defeated Lone Peak in two of its three regular season meetings, Bingham won a tie-breaker with the Knights, who grabbed the fourth and final playoff spot.
Head coach Tennille Vance acknowledged that her team faced some adversity and had some struggles. She said when the players were focused, they performed at their best.
“Our season has been a bit of a roller coaster,” she said. “We are a young team, and our region was tough. Every game we played this season we had to mentally and physically be on our A game. There were times we just didn’t play a full 80-minute game, and it got taken out from underneath us. When we are ready to play, and play the full game, we are very competitive. I feel that there were a couple games this season that just boosted the girls, and we left with more confidence that has helped us in state. The girls are rising as a team with confidence and that fight to win at the right time.”
The Miners certainly have won when it has mattered most. The brutal region slate appears to have served the girls well. Bingham played well in its first two 6A state tournament games and advanced to the semifinals.
In the first round on Oct. 10, Bingham played on the road at Hunter, the second-place team from Region 2. Despite playing on their opponent’s home field, the Miners dominated the game, routing Hunter 5-0. Baylie Saunders and Adeline Jensen each scored two goals for Bingham, and Danielle Orr and Hope Ramirez combined to get the shutout as the winning goalkeepers.
Two days later, Bingham edged three-time defending state champion Davis 3-2 in the quarterfinals. Once again, Saunders scored a goal, as did Bella Pirami and Megan Beckman. With the big win, the Miners advanced to play Syracuse, the first-place team from Region 1, on Oct. 17 at neutral site Juan Diego High School where they lost 1-4.
Vance has loved coaching this group and said the team has several positive attributes and strengths.
“Our defense is solid,” she said. “We have a lot of speed and talent. Our keeper is one of the best, if not the best in the state. We have some great leaders on our team that have a lot of passion and heart and come to practice each day ready to work hard and push their teammates. They are a lot of fun, and we are like one big family. There are so many funny, loving, energetic and strong girls on our team this year. They are very coachable and want to better their game every day. We know how to have fun but have a productive and hard practice.”
The Miners don’t necessarily have any all-stars on their team but have built their team with solid contributors who work hard and know their role. Vance highlights the play and leadership of Orr, who she said is the “leader and core of the team.” She has also been excited about the play of Saunders, senior defender Sarah Duncan and junior midfielder Emily Song.
“[Saunders] is so quick with the ball and can shoot the ball anywhere on the field and find the back of the net,” Vance said. “She creates so much for our offense and is a leader on the field. [Duncan] is such a strong and positive defender. She has come up huge for us. [Song] is amazing with her head and can win anything out of the air. She is a phenomenal distributor out of the middle and has amazing foot skills.”
Vance also gushed about Pirami, defender Sarah Reddish and junior forward Addy Anderson.
Things look good for the future, too. The Miners only lose six players to graduation from this year’s squad, so keep an eye on them next season.