Still, GCHS head coach Mick Dunlavey said he was pleased with his team’s efforts, calling the game the Red Devils’ best performance of the season.
“We played an excellent game against Manti,” Dunlavey said. “We stunned the undefeated league leaders by taking a 1-0 lead in the first half and playing a disciplined and aggressive defensive formation.”
“Our boys gave 100 percent and demonstrated that we could bounce back from last week’s 8-0 defeat against the same team,” Dunlavey added. “Quite frankly, Manti didn’t know what hit them, as they came in assuming they could steamroll us again.”
Sophomore Joseph Shumway scored Grand’s only goal of the match, finding the net about midway through the first half. He also received “Man of the Match” honors, according to the coach.
“Our main goal this season has been to improve with every match and never give up, and we did just that,” Dunlavey said. “The team’s confidence continues to grow and our technical and tactical skills also keep improving.”
The loss to Manti dropped Grand’s record to 4-4, putting them in fourth place in the 2A Central division with two division games remaining: against Gunnison at Moab on April 22 and at Wasatch Academy on April 26. Gunnison is in third place in the division with a 5-2 record, while Wasatch Academy is in first place with a 7-0 region record. Manti is currently in second place with a 6-0 region record, but the top two teams have yet to play each other (Manti and Wasatch Academy are scheduled to play each other on April 17 and again on April 24).
Meanwhile, Grand is still hoping to move up in the standings as the regular season winds to a close.
“At 4-4, it is critical that we continue to perform at a high level against our two remaining opponents- Wasatch Academy and Gunnison,” Dunlavey said. “I have no doubt that if we play against them like we did against Manti, we will come out with positive performances.”