Miners off to good start in region soccer race
May 03, 2019 08:51AM
● By Josh McFadden
Brayden Davis lines up for a shot in a game earlier this season for the Bingham boys soccer team. (Photo courtesy of Leo Gonzalez)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
It’s no secret that Region 4 has some of the most talented teams in the state when it comes to boys soccer. Bingham was right in the thick of things at the halfway point of the schedule.
After six league contests, Bingham was 3-1-2, good enough for 11 points. At this juncture, the Miners were two points in front of Pleasant Grove, which was 3-1-0. Head coach Leo Gonzalez is pleased with his team’s performance, particularly with how well his pupils prepare and play every game.
“The team is playing with consistency, which is one of the main factors why we are performing well so far,” he said. “Other reasons are experience, maturity level and executing our game plan, which is one of the main aspect of the game that we address with our players before and during our games.”
Bingham won its first two region games, 2-0 over American Fork on March 15 and 1-0 over Westlake on March 20. During the first six-game span, the team also tied Lone Peak 1-1 on March 22 and finished in a 2-2 deadlock with Westlake when the two squads got together on April 15 for a rematch. In the second meeting with American Fork on April 10, the Cavemen got the better of the Miners 1-0.
All of the team’s first six league games were decided by two or fewer goals, and only one was decided by more than a single goal. That two-goal margin was a 4-2 victory over Lone Peak on March 27. In this offensive showcase, the Miners scored three goals after halftime. Brayden Davis, Corbin Lowrance, Spencer Tate and Trey Nwidiabu each scored.
Coming into the season, Gonzalez knew he had to find a way to blend some newcomers with his veterans. He said the underclassmen have helped solidify the makeup of the team.
“We have a solid group of younger players that are adding value and experience to our team,” he said. “The transition has been positive, and they have helped with our experienced players naturally. The challenge has been giving enough minutes to those younger players; we have a deep team in every position. That’s a good problem to have as coaches.”
With a smaller region, the Miners play every league foe three times, giving the team some unique opportunities ahead. Gonzalez is confident in his players and what they can accomplish. At the halfway point of the region campaign, he praised his players for their dedication and camaraderie.
“I appreciate the deep understanding our players are having on what we are trying to accomplish this season,” he said. “They are committed and are working hard to reaching our goals. We are working hard to have a disciplined team working as one unit, one goal and united in all aspects—from consistency at practice, to execution during games. We have a good group of players and solid captains that are guiding the team in a positive way.”
Bingham concludes the regular season May 10 at home against Pleasant Grove. A top-four finish will grant the Miners a berth in the Class 6A state tournament.
But Bingham is shooting for more than simply getting to the playoffs. The players and coaches are aiming to stay atop the standings and enter the playoffs as the region’s No. 1 seed.
“Playing unselfish soccer, sticking to our game plan and better managing each game will be the keys for us,” Gonzalez said. “If we do that, we can play at the highest level. We need to pay united as one unit.”