In the match against Richfield in Moab on Sept. 25, Grand County High School senior Amanda Sheets was first to score, putting the ball into the corner of the net 14 minutes into the game, and again shortly before halftime. The two teams continued to play a tight game, and neither scored again for the remainder of the half, leaving the Devils ahead 2-0 at halftime.
In the second half, the Lady Devils played tough offense and defense. Richfield managed to score once, but Grand’s Madie Camps responded with another point for the Lady Devils to give Grand the 3-1 victory.
“Richfield was a good game,” said head coach Mike Camps. “We played really well. It was just one of those games where everything was clicking for us. We had some opportunities to put the ball into the back of the net that we did a really good job of cashing in on.”
The Lady Devils’ game fell apart later in the week when they played against the Manti Lady Templars in Grand’s homecoming match on Thursday, Sept. 27. The Lady Templars were the only team to have beaten Grand earlier in the season, and while the Lady Devils had high hopes for redemption, they were shut down 3-0 by Manti.
In an almost eerie mirroring of their earlier match against the Lady Templars, Grand held Manti off for most of the first half. But with nine minutes left until halftime, the Lady Templars darted down the field past Grand’s goalkeeper to score with a kick into the corner of the net, putting Manti up 1-0. The Lady Templars quickly repeated the feat, maneuvering past Grand’s shaken defenders with three minutes to go in the first half and scoring on a long shot to the opposite corner of the goal, leaving Manti up 2-0 at halftime.
After Grand’s seniors and their parents were honored during halftime, a discouraged Lady Devil team returned to the field. But the Lady Templars came on strong and Grand could not manage to stop Manti’s offense from another score. Fourteen minutes into the half, Manti scored again on a clear run to the end of the field, putting the Templars up 3-0. The Lady Devils defense shut down Manti for the remainder of the game, but Grand’s offense was unable to score despite numerous shots on the goal.
“I think the girls were a little bit distracted by all the homecoming stuff,” said Camps. “But maybe they were just nervous because it was Manti… I don’t really know. But either way, we played a bit apprehensive. We had opportunities to put the ball in the net, but we just didn’t capitalize on them. We couldn’t get there.”
Despite the loss, the Lady Devils’ 6-2 region record has earned them a spot in the state playoffs, so Grand still has chance to compete at state. Camps said he believes the team can make it to the state championship, starting with the Lady Devils’ first playoff game, which will take place in Moab on Wednesday, Oct. 10. The opposing team has yet to be determined.
“We can do this if we stay confident,” Camps said. “We just have to be strong and play our game.”