SANDY — Less than five minutes into the 4A semifinal match, a one-timer strike was sent past Stansbury keeper Devun Collins.
It was a nightmare start, but he had a heroic finish.
Over 100 minutes of game time later, Collins ran down the field with a fist raised as his team ran to meet him. Collins stopped two penalty kicks and watched a third hit the crossbar as the Stallions advanced to the 4A title game with a 3-2 shootout victory over Sky View Monday at Jordan High.
No. 8 Stansbury (13-4) will play No. 11 Ridgeline for the title at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Collins was the hero of the shootout, but his elite performance started well before that. The fifth-seed Sky View (13-5) peppered Collins with shots all game; and by the end of the two overtime sessions, Sky View had outshot Stansbury 29-9 and had a 12-3 edge in shots on goal.
After the early goal from Sky View's Cole Thedell, Collins was close to flawless.
In the decisive shootout, he had two diving saves and was in position to make another save on Sky View's fifth penalty that could have continued the shootout, but the attempt was high and hit off the crossbar sending the Stallions through to the title game.
As good as Collins was, Sky View keeper Cordell Ludlow was nearly his equal. Ludlow only needed to make three saves during regulation, but two of them came when Stansbury broke free into the box. On those one-on-one opportunities, Ludlow came away victorious, sending shots harmlessly away. His only blemish outside of the penalty kicks was allowing an equalizer to Dante Sylvestri near the end of the first half.
Ludlow also made two diving saves during the shootout and nearly made a third.
On Stansbury's final kick of the shootout, Jace Toland sent a strike to Ludlow's right. He got to it and deflected it, but the ball had just enough to get over the goal line.
That proved to be the goal that sent the Stallions into the title game.
Ridgeline 1, Mountain Crest 0
For 73 minutes, there wasn't anything to separate Ridgeline and Mountain Crest. That's when Gabe Watson made his run.
The Ridgeline sophomore flew down the wing and finished top shelf to give the Riverhawks a 1-0 victory over Mountain Crest in the 4A semifinal match Monday at Jordan High.
Even with the late score, the Riverhawks (12-7) had to survive some scares in the final minutes. Nearly immediately after Watson's strike, Mountain Crest (12-7) sent a long flying ball that surprisingly hit off the crossbar. In the game's final two minutes, the Mustangs had a free kick in a threatening part of the pitch and a throw-in that was tossed into the penalty area.
That throw led to the ball trickling through the box, but it harmlessly rolled out of bounds.
It was Ridgeline's second straight shutout of the tournament; the No. 11 Riverhawks have only allowed one goal through three tournament games.
Ridgeline will play Stansbury Tuesday at Rio Tinto Stadium for the 4A championship. The match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.