Grand traveled to Gunnison Sept. 18 to play the Lady Bulldogs for the second time this season. The Lady Devils had defeated Gunnison by a single-point margin in the season opener, but this time Grand routed the Bulldogs, 6-2.
While Gunnison scored twice in the first half of the game, Grand one-upped the Lady Bulldogs and put the ball in the net four times before the half. The Lady Devils also shut Gunnison down in the second half while Grand scored twice more to handily win the match.
GCHS senior Amanda Sheets continued to be one of Grand’s most valuable players, netting four of Grand’s six goals for the game. Fellow seniors Katy Miner and Morgan Dalton added the additional two shots.
“Gunnison... is sort of the game that everyone is talking about,” said Miner. “We really played that like an actual game of soccer. It was kind of like a puzzle and we just finally fit everything together for the perfect game. I think it sets an example for all our future games because it really clicked for us – our passing, defense, our offense came together, and we really started playing like a team. Now, we just keep saying ‘let’s play this game like we played at Gunnison,’ and I think it’s going to really help us as we finish the season.”
That approach evidently worked, as Grand had an even stronger win over South Sevier at home later in the week. On Thursday, Sept. 20, the Lady Devils trampled the Lady Rams, 6-0, as Grand’s goalkeeper, senior Donna Snow, recorded her first shutout of the season.
Grand got off to a bit of a slow start early in the game, scoring only a single goal in the first half. After halftime, the Lady Devils picked up the pace and put five more points on the scoreboard to secure the win.
Five of Grand’s players scored in the match. Freshman Shaylee Dalton, sophomore Caitlin Pfnister, and seniors Morgan Dalton, Madie Camps, and Sheets all put points on the board. Sheets topped off the game with a pair of goals just before the final whistle blew.
Head coach Mike Camps said he is very happy with how much the girls have improved.
“I absolutely think that that loss to Manti has improved these girls’ playing,” coach Camps said. “They really want it more now, they know how poorly they played that time and they know what they need to do now to win. The girls are playing really good, and are really playing well as a team. They’re working hard to be successful, and this team is really coming together.”
The Lady Devils have two more games to go before heading into the region playoffs. On Tuesday, Sept. 25, the team was scheduled to play the Richfield Wildcats at home. Then, on Thursday, Sept. 27, the Lady Devils will play their homecoming match and the last game of the regular season against the Manti Lady Templars.
The loss to Manti earlier this season has the Lady Devils itching to even the score, some players said. And defeating Manti at Grand’s homecoming game would make the win even sweeter.
“I think this week will be pretty close,” said coach Camps, “But I think that if we play the way we have been, we should play pretty good and hopefully we’ll have two wins at home for homecoming [week]. I think the way we’re going we can hopefully head away with a first place in region.”
During the Sept. 27 homecoming game, Grand’s multiple senior athletes will be honored, along with their parents, at halftime. Kickoff time for both contests is 4 p.m., while the junior varsity soccer team will play immediately after.