These guys (Waterford) are probably the No. 1 team in the state right now, I think. And we’re playing at that level. It just gives these young guys confidence that they can do it. —Summit Academy coach Troy Stroud
SANDY — On Friday morning, the Waterford boys soccer team was perfect.
Eight matches, eight wins.
Summit Academy, on the other hand, already had eight losses in region play alone.
But Friday afternoon, the underdog Bears handed the Ravens their first loss of the season — and did so on their own field — with a 2-1 victory in 2A North play.
“These guys (Waterford) are probably the No. 1 team in the state right now, I think,” Summit Academy coach Troy Stroud said. “And we're playing at that level. It just gives these young guys confidence that they can do it.”
Going into Friday’s match, the Ravens had not been forced to rally from a deficit all season. In fact, Waterford had allowed just one goal up to that point, shutting out their other seven opponents.
However, the Bears, now 3-10 overall and 3-8 in the 2A North region, never trailed in the contest, scoring a goal midway through each half to maintain control.
“They played to the potential they’ve had all season,” said Stroud. “Games haven’t gone our way and they’re settling in. I’ve got young, young freshmen out there that need some time and now they’re getting experience.”
Summit Academy scored the only goal of the first half when junior Zach Stanford found the net with a set piece in the 26th minute. Austin Farr then buried a penalty kick, which was earned with a foul that drew harsh criticism from the Waterford sideline, in the 59th minute.
“It went both ways,” Stroud said of on-field frustrations that were voiced throughout the contest.
“I think the ref called a fair game on both sides,” he said. “Made some calls both coaches probably didn’t like and made some we both liked.”
The Ravens got on the scoreboard with 14 minutes remaining when junior Jesse Sindelar scored on a contested possession. From there, the Summit Academy defense clamped down, holding on for the upset victory.
“Belief in ourselves, just settling down and playing our game” was the difference, Stroud said. “These young guys getting the opportunity to have some experience and grow.”
The loss puts Waterford at 8-1 overall and 7-1 in league play, but the team is still alone at the top of the 2A North standings with one home game and four road trips remaining.
Meanwhile, Summit Academy, which is currently sitting in the region's fourth and final playoff spot, will wait for its one final regular-season game that is three weeks away.
Sarah Thomas earned a degree in Mathematics from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MBA at Westminster College. She has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008.