Boys Varsity Soccer · Dons Capitalize on Chances Against Improved Payson Squad

1 Payson High School
2 Spanish Fork High School
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Payson High School vs Spanish Fork High School
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The Payson Lions showed up at Dons Field in new jerseys and with new and improved skills and determination. At the conclusion of 80 minutes however, the Spanish Fork Dons were too much for the visitors. Fighting through lackluster play in the first 20 minutes, the home team Dons finally discovered their game music and turned up the volume resulting in a solid goal from Junior Enoch Pendleton when the Lion’s keeper bobbled a rolling ball and Pendleton was there to strike it in.
With a first half score favoring the Dons, Spanish Fork used the 10 minute rest to regroup and to address some small issues. The self correction was clearly evident as the second period began. The give and take that seemed to be the mark of the first half, swung heavily to the Spanish Fork side with the Dons giving huge pressure, and taking advantage of small breakdowns in the Lion’s defense and midfield. Senior defender Andrew Radford said, “We weren’t aggressive in challenging for 50/50 balls in the first half, but at halftime we discussed how to change that. I think we won almost every ball we challenged in the second half. It made a big difference to our momentum and gave us the opportunity for our second goal.”
The Dons’ second goal would have to wait however as the Lions found the equalizing goal at the 60 minute mark, in a wickedly curving free kick that began it’s arc directly on the end line and just outside the box. “Wow! Just, wow!,” was how Coach Shane Ferrin characterized the Payson goal. The ball found side net untouched by anyone and the Payson squad celebrated the equalizer.
The second Spanish Fork goal came about 31 minutes into the second half and was just as magnificent. Junior Davis Paxton played a floating corner kick just inside the front corner of the box as Junior midfielder, Mason Halliday raced in from ten yards outside. Halliday timed the cross perfectly and crushed the ball with a precision header that went wide-left of the diving Payson keeper. The Dons held off last minute pressure from the visitors to win their first match in Region 8 play.
The Dons schedule shows upcoming matches with cross-town rivals, Maple Mountain and Salem Hills, but an email from the UHSAA and distributed while the match was in progress cancelled all Spring Sports match-ups for a period of two weeks. The hiatus won’t faze the Dons as they intend to continue practices and return from the scheduled suspension ready to do battle.