Thursday , October 12, 2017 - 9:07 PM
SYRACUSE — Syracuse freshman Caroline Stringfellow scored bookend goals in the first half and the Titans turned the final 40 minutes over to the capable mitts of senior goalkeeper Gabby Segura.
Stringfellow scored just 29 seconds into the game and sandwiched a penalty kick by Pleasant Grove with a second goal in the closing moments of stoppage time, while Segura kept the Vikings off the board in the second stanza.
The net result was a 2-1 Syracuse victory over Pleasant Grove and a semifinal berth in the 6-A state soccer tournament.
A petite ninth-grader sporting a new set of braces, the goal-scoring phenom Stringfellow came up huge on the playoff stage.
“I’ve been in big games before and I know how to handle the pressure,” she said. “We just knew we had to come out and play our best and I was pretty happy that I scored the two goals.”
Her initial goal came when she raced in from the right side before most fans had an opportunity to get comfortable on the grassy knoll running along the opposite side of the field.
“Our team passed the ball and possessed it really well and I was able to find a gap, and Ashlyn (Hall) set up a perfect ball and I found a shot in the corner,” Stringfellow said.
Pleasant Grove (10-6-1) tied the game in the 27th minute when Bry Carson converted a penalty kick, knocking it past Caroline’s sister Brooklyn, who came in to try and stop the kick from close range.
Then, as time ticked down, Caroline scored what turned out to be the game-winner on another pass from Hall just before the half ended.
“Ashlyn again found me on a perfect through ball and I just touched it around the keeper and shot it,” Stringfellow said. “I knew I had to get that second goal in because of the PK.”
From there, Segura took over, turning away a furious effort by the Vikings to tie the game as the two teams battled to a scoreless second half.
“She’s a stud. She’s a senior that has gotten better every year,” Syracuse coach Taylor Allen said of the Titan keeper. “The leap she has made from junior year to senior year is outstanding and I’m thrilled.”
Allen said a tough Region 1 schedule got his girls ready for a tight, pressure-packed state tournament game, but he was glad they don’t have to play Davis (which lost to Bingham) a third time.
“Playing a team three times is hard. I’m thrilled to see a team we haven’t seen before,” he said. “(The girls) are ready. I feel like region prepped us ... We played some really, really tough games leading up to this one.
“I’m proud of our girls for keeping their composure when it got pretty heated,” Allen added.
Syracuse (16-2) plays Bingham at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, at Juan Diego High School in the first semifinal match. Allen hopes for another quick start.
“It’s a great start, the momentum is outstanding. Ash and Caroline, they’ve got some real chemistry going. They don’t play club together, so getting them to combine in the middle is something we’ve been working on all year,” Allen said.
Stringfellow says she’s not an avid reader, but after a game like this, she has a fairy tale story she can put up on the mantle between her bookends.
6-A Tournament - Quarterfinals
LAYTON 1, LONE PEAK 0 (OT)
LAYTON — After two halves of scoreless soccer, Layton’s Atley Thompson notched a golden goal in extra time to carry the Lancers to victory over Lone Peak and into the 6-A semifinals.
Thompson scored the game-winner on a free kick from the left side after a Lone Peak foul.
Meg Edwards earned the shutout.
Layton will face Region 4 champion American Fork at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17 at Juan Diego Catholic High School.
BINGHAM 3, DAVIS 2
SOUTH JORDAN — Zoe Jacobs scored twice for Davis, but it wasn’t enough as Bingham won at home to end the Darts’ three-year reign as state champions.
Bingham led 2-1 at the half.
Davis ends the year 9-6-2.
AMERICAN FORK 2, NORTHRIDGE 0
AMERICAN FORK — American Fork scored two first-half goals to eliminate Northridge from the state tournament.
Northridge’s season comes to an end with a 11-6-2 record.
5-A Tournament - Quarterfinals
TIMPANOGOS 1, VIEWMONT 0
OREM — Timpanogos scored the only goal of the game in the second half to eliminate Viewmont from the 5-A tournament.
Viewmont ends the season at 10-5-2.
WATERFORD 7, ST. JOSEPH 1
OGDEN — Waterford took a 4-1 halftime lead on the way to the region win at St. Joseph.
Angie Perez-Lopez scored in the first half for St. Joseph, who falls to 5-10 overall, 5-7 in 2-A North play.
MORGAN 3, SUMMIT ACADEMY 0
MORGAN — Morgan swept Summit Academy to clinch the Region 13 title. Set scores were 25-8, 25-2, 25-8.
Morgan posted 24 service aces. Hannah Farr collected 33 service points on 14 aces and had 15 digs. Marcie Stapley added 14 kills and one ace, while Baylee Loertscher added six kills and two aces.
STANSBURY 3, BONNEVILLE 0
STANSBURY PARK — Stansbury beat Bonneville in straight sets by scores of 25-18, 26-24, 25-18 in the Region 11 contest.
Jade Flitton had seven kills, one ace and 19 digs for Bonneville. Julianne Frome added five kills while Avery Best tallied 19 digs.
BOUNTIFUL 3, ROY 0
ROY — Bountiful swep Roy in Region 5 play by set scores of 25-20, 25-10, 25-6
GREEN CANYON 3, BEAR RIVER 0
GARLAND — Green Canyon won a Region 12 match at Bear River in straight sets by scores of 25-15, 25-15, 25-15.
PARK CITY 3, OGDEN 0
PARK CITY — Park City swept Ogden by set scores of 25-15, 25-13, 25-9 to capture a victory in Region 11.
Makin Clarke, Kamryn Geddes, Stella Brower and Alayna Brown each had one kill for Ogden. Lexy Nestel and Brower each had two blocks, while libero Mollie Bushell added eight digs.
WOODS CROSS 3, VIEWMONT 1
BOUNTIFUL — Woods Cross netted a Region 5 road win at Viewmont in four sets by scores of 25-23, 14-25, 25-23, 25-15.
Cassie Howard led Woods Cross with four aces and 12 digs. Whitney McEwan had 16 kills and Lauren Olsen added nine for the Wildcats.
Justin Johnson contributed to score reports.
Sign up for e-mail news updates.