Henderson lifts Warriors to first soccer state title

SANDY– Some players just have knack for delivering in clutch situations.

Snow Canyon’s Sarah Henderson made her mark as one those players Saturday, pounding in the game-winning goal for the Warriors on a free kick for the second time in three games. But this time Henderson’s late-game heroics not only propelled Snow Canyon past Park City, but also earned the Warriors their first girls soccer state championship in school history.

“I can’t really take the credit for myself,” Henderson said. “I guess my name goes on the record for the goal, but [soccer] is such a team sport. Everybody was giving 100 percent and giving every little ounce they had inside of them.”

With the game deadlocked in a scoreless tie, Henderson blasted a 72nd minute free kick past Park City keeper Skye Mooney to give Snow Canyon a 1-0 lead. The Warrior defense then held the lead for the final eight minutes and the celebration ensued.

“It feels like all of our hard work has paid off,” said defender Jadyn Losee. “We’ve been working so hard for this. This is what we’ve wanted since the beginning. We’ve been playing with each other ever since we started playing soccer.”

Grace Walton recorded another brilliant performance between the posts for the Warriors and made big stops in both halves, including a game-saver in a one-on-one situation late in the game.

“I trust Grace Walton with my life,” Losee said. “She is an amazing goalkeeper and she will do anything to stop the ball.”

And while Walton kept the Warriors in the game, Coach Ken Kunde was sure to credit his entire defense for pitching another shutout.

“I hate losing all four of those senior (defenders),” Kunde said. “Jadyn Losee played a tremendously good game today and Autumn Shipp was solid again. The two fullbacks on the side did a really good job. Lauren Smith stepped in quite a bit today and helped out on the back line. With the five of them of them together, it was a really solid game.”

The Miners controlled possession for much of the first half, but ultimately could not break down the Warriors defense. Park City had perhaps its best chance to score in the second half, but came away empty-handed as two consecutive shots hit the post.

The Warriors finish the season with a 17-2 overall record and bring the girls soccer state championship back to Region 9 for the first time since Dixie won the title in 2006.

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Twitter: @k_seeg

Copyright St. George News, 2012, all rights reserved.

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