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Miners snag third seed in Region 4 boys soccer race

May 21, 2018 02:41PM ● Published by Josh McFadden

The Bingham boys soccer team placed third in the competitive Region 4. The Miners went 5-4-3 and played at Weber in the first round of the Class 6A state tournament. (Photo by Sydney Davis)

By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com

In a region as fiercely competitive as Region 4, qualifying for the Class 6A boys soccer state tournament is no easy feat. Thanks largely to some late-season success, Bingham picked up third place in the league standings, comfortably making into the playoffs.

The Miners got off to a slow start during region play, losing their first three games. However, the team regrouped and went 4-2-2 the rest of the way. Bingham finished with a 5-4-3 mark, well ahead of fourth-place American Fork and just two points behind second-place Westlake.

Head coach Leo Gonzalez said his team had loftier aspirations this season, but he was still pleased with the effort he saw on the field, especially toward the end of the season.

“Our goal was to secure one of the top two spots in our region,” he said. “Even though we fell short of our goal, we feel that as the season went on, our team performed more consistent and made important improvements in all areas. A few adjustments have taken place by having new coaches and losing seniors last season. Overall, we are pleased with the improvements made by our team half way through the season up to the last game.”

Bingham’s turnaround didn’t happen by chance. Gonzalez said his players had to learn to deal with adversity and make in-game tactical changes to overcome their challenges.

“We have a resilient group of young men that like to compete and are quick to adjust to game situations,” Gonzalez said. “These players don’t quit regardless of the challenges presented during games; that is a hard concept to teach, and I’m happy to say that our group has it implanted in their DNA. The other areas that helped us get those results are being consistent, showing discipline with our team strategies and players taking ownership for the minutes they play and the way they performed.”

Gonzalez is happy with the efforts of everyone on the squad, but he highlighted the play of Taylor Davis, Maverick Badillo, Ronaldo Roesner, Brayden Davis, Spencer Tate, Kolin Neilson and goalkeeper Zach Rothey. The Miners have also bought into Gonzalez’s team concept, something not every school is able to do late in the season when the pressure is on.

“Let’s transfer this experience learned to state competition,” Gonzalez said.

Speaking of state, the Miners matched up with Weber in their first-round game in a difficult matchup with the second-place team from Region 1. Even though the stakes are higher in the postseason, Gonzalez said he and his players take the same approach they do throughout the entire year. He prepared for the playoffs by watching film and trying to figure out his opponent’s game plan.

“State brings everyone to their highest level,” he said. “We have to be ready to match the other team’s intensity. We’ll take one game at a time. We had the chance the play in a tough region, so we should be better prepared for the playoffs. We must play full games regarding our effort and game strategy. We must be quick to make game adjustments. If we can do these things, we’ll give ourselves the opportunity to compete.”

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