SANDY — Cedar’s magic ran out.
Logan, which moved down from 4A to 3A this year, knocked off the defending champions, 3-1, Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium to claim the 3A girls soccer championship.
“It feels so good,” Logan midfielder and University of Utah commit Demi Lopez said about winning her first state title. “Cedar kept us on our toes, but we played as a team and made the most of our opportunities.”
The work paid off for Logan.
“I’m so proud of the girls and all of the work they’ve put in,” Logan coach Sven Rasmussen said all choked up. “They played exceptional today and I couldn’t be prouder.”
Just like they did against Desert Hills on Friday, Logan got out to another fast start.
Kaycee Larsen drove a beautiful cross into the box and Veronica Sullivan did the rest as she headed home the opening goal to put Logan up 1-0 in the 10th minute. Incredibly, it was the Cedar’s first goal that it has given up in the playoffs this season.
The Grizzlies added another one just 15 minutes later as Kennedy Michel got free and unloaded a shot into the back of the net to put Logan up 2-0 in the 25th minute.
But the Lady Reds didn’t quit, cutting the deficit to 2-1, thanks to a strike from Morgan Myers in the 39th minute. Cedar’s leading scorer, Nicole Jenkins, crossed the ball from the right side to Myers who was all alone in the box. After settling the ball, Myers drilled it home.
“Finally,” Myers yelled after scoring the goal. “I’ve always wanted to score on this field and to get the momentum back heading into halftime was big for us.”
After Logan dominated for much of the first half, it was all Cedar in the second as the Lady Reds controlled the ball and set up good looks time and time again.
Cedar’s Makenna Clark just barely missed on what would have been a SportsCenter Top 10 highlight as she nearly scored from 40 yards out on a free kick in the 53rd minute. The ball was heading for the top left corner before Logan keeper Abby Craig pushed the ball over the bar for a Cedar corner kick.
Less than a minute later, Jenkins unloaded from the top of the box, but her shot bounced off the crossbar to keep Logan’s lead at 2-1.
“It’s really unfortunate. We had opportunities, but the ball didn’t bounce our way today,” Clark said. “Despite the loss, I’m proud of our team because we never gave up. These last four years have been unbelievable, and I wouldn’t have wanted to do it without these girls.”
After several more opportunities didn’t go the Lady Reds’ way, Logan put the dagger in the Cedar faithful when Demi Lopez got loose in the box in the 61st minute. Sullivan found Lopez in the box, who dribbled around Myers and then fired a rocket into the back of the net for the insurance goal.
While the loss certainly stung, Cedar players and coaches were just grateful for one more game.
“Our seniors have really set the bar high,” Cedar head coach Scott Kamachi said. “To play in the state title game two years in a row is a great accomplishment. This group of seniors is the most talented class that I’ve ever come across. The loss hurts, but it’s not a devastating loss. We had a great season and nobody can take that away from us.”
All nine seniors have helped turn Cedar into a soccer powerhouse as the Lady Reds went from the quarterfinals and semifinals to the championship game two years in a row.
“Most of us have been playing together since the third grade,” Jenkins said. “We’ve accomplished a lot in those four years and will never forget what we’ve been able to do.”
Follow Justin Giles on Twitter @Justingiles22.