The Lady Templars started the game off hot, scoring a mere 10 minutes into the game. The Lady Devils tightened their play and succeeded in blocking Manti for the rest of the first half to head into halftime down 1-0.
Grand played a strong, tough game through most of the second period, but with only five minutes left on the clock, Manti blasted past the Lady Devils to score twice, shutting out the Lady Devils, 3-0, and handing them their first loss of the season.
“We came out strong, but about 10 minutes in, Manti scored. We had a few chances in there but we just didn’t score,” said head coach Mike Camps. “After that, we played really strong until there were about five minutes left and then the girls let Manti get two goals in.”
GCHS senior, Morgan Dalton, who is also captain of the Lady Devils’ soccer team, said Grand’s play was off during the Manti match.
“It was just one of those games where we weren’t living up to our potential,” Dalton said. “We kind of sat back and watched the ball instead of attacking it.”
Dalton said the loss has inspired the Lady Devils to work harder than ever during the rest of the season.
“That was something we really addressed at practice the next day,” she said. “We really worked on attacking and having everyone be first to the ball. And the coaches talked with us to and told us that this will make or break us; that we need to pick up the season right now. I think that really refocused us to what we need to do. Yeah, it is just one game out of the season, but we know what we need to do if we want to be competitive from here on out. And we know that we can’t sit back and play like that any more, because we kind of just handed [the win] to them.”
Katy Miner, a senior forward for the Lady Devils, said the fact that both teams were undefeated heading into the Manti match may have affected Grand’s performance.
“We got too busy thinking about the fact that we were both undefeated teams, and so we got too focused on the fact that we needed to win instead of focusing on how to get to the point where we could win,” Miner said.” We really battled it out the first half, but we kind of lost hope the second half.”
The Lady Devils will have a chance for redemption on Thursday, Sept. 27, when the Lady Templars travel to Moab to face off with the Lady Devils during Grand’s homecoming game.
Miner said the Lady Devils are looking forward to playing Manti again.
“I would say that it’s not that Manti is the better team, it’s that they played the better game,” Miner said. “I think that we absolutely deserve that second shot, and when Manti comes down to Moab we are going to go out there and take it back, because I think we are absolutely the better team.”
First, though, the Lady Devils have three more games scheduled. Grand was set to play Gunnison at Gunnison on Tuesday, Sept. 18 before playing three games at home. On Thursday, Sept. 20, the Lady Devils are scheduled to play South Sevier and on Sept. 25 they will face off against Richfield. The Sept. 27 game against Manti is Grand’s last game of the regular season. Kick-off for each contest will begin at 4 p.m., and junior varsity play will commence after.