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Westlake boys soccer comes up short in overtime in 6A first round

By Jared Lloyd - | May 13, 2022

Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald

Westlake boys soccer players walk off the field after losing the 6A first round game against Herriman in Saratoga Springs on Friday, May 13, 2022.

Sometimes an excellent player who makes a fantastic play deserves credit from an opponent — even if that play is the game-winner in overtime and ends the season.

Westlake head boys soccer coach Don Bastian found himself in that position after Friday’s 6A first round game against Herriman in Saratoga Springs.

The Thunder and Mustangs had battled to a 1-1 tie in regulation but both teams had changes to score the golden goal to end the contest in the first extra period.

Westlake had been on the attack but a quick counter by Herriman got the ball to Mustang junior forward Trevor Walk in a dangerous spot in the Thunder penalty box. But the defenders closed quickly.

“When he (Walk) was isolated one-on-one, our guy broke down really well,” Bastian said. “The second defender came in and we felt like we should be okay. But he snuck it in. It was a great shot.”

Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald

Westlake and Herriman players battle for the ball during the 6A first round game in Saratoga Springs on Friday, May 13, 2022.

Walk pivoted multiple times before pulling the ball to his right foot and blasting it inside the near post to give Herriman the 2-1 overtime victory and end Westlake’s season.

“The boys played it a lot of heart,” Bastian said. “We had one of our center backs go out early in the in the game but we attacked. We had a lull at the beginning of the second half. Even after they scored, we were still threatening overtime. We missed our opportunities and they made theirs. That’s kind of the game.”

The Thunder got on the board first in the 12th minute when senior Alex Glover slipped past the Mustang back line and slotted the ball in perfectly.

That lead would hold up for 53 minutes but Westlake knew Herriman was a team that played well in the second half and the Mustangs proved it once again on the field.

After some close calls, the visitors finally got the equalizer off a corner kick, which senior Kasen Bagshaw dropped beautifully into the box.

Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald

Westlake players congratulate Alex Grover (second from left) after he scored a goal during the 6A first round game against Herriman in Saratoga Springs on Friday, May 13, 2022.

The ball ricocheted around, including having Thunder junior keeper Mathias Del Lago block one shot off the line. He couldn’t control the rebound and Herriman junior Alejandro Bedoya got to it, booting into the back of the net.

“We started pressing harder at that point,” Bastian said. “That’s why at the end of the second half, we had three attempts on goal. I thought we responded really well. I thought they bounced back and just kept going.”

Although both teams had shots that had to be saved and heart-stopping moments, that would be all the scoring until Walk’s game-winner.

Bastian took a moment to reflect on a season that had plenty of highs and lows, which was why Westlake ended up with a losing record (8-10) and ended up as the No. 15 seed in the state playoffs.

“The season was interesting for us because we’ve never had at Westlake such a large midseason lull,” Bastian said. “We dropped six games in a row. Fighting through that required a lot of character development and team building, and working hard together to get back to winning. We wanted to win. We won our last three games, up until this game.”

Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald

Westlake and Herriman players battle for the ball during the 6A first round game in Saratoga Springs on Friday, May 13, 2022.

He noted that once again he will be graduating a large senior class, with 12 players. He said this was a group that came from different clubs but had grown up together.

“It was fun watching them start to play together,” Bastian said. “They did come together as a group because when they were young, they all did play together. Then as they got older, they all broke off and were going to different clubs. High school brought them back together, which I think was fun for them.”

Now it will fall to the next group of Thunder players to take over the Westlake boys soccer tradition.

“We’ll be bringing up kids from the junior varsity, which is much younger this year,” Bastian said. “Next year will be a younger varsity group that will have more than one year. What we hope they get from this is that just you have to have heart, you have to have have grit and you just keep playing no matter what.”

Herriman advances to face No. 2 seed Corner Canyon in the second round of the 6A playoffs, which will take place on May 17.

Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald

Westlake head coach Don Bastian talks to his players during the 6A first round game against Herriman in Saratoga Springs on Friday, May 13, 2022.

Westlake keeper Mathias Del Lago (left) makes a save during the 6A first round game against Herriman in Saratoga Springs on Friday, May 13, 2022.

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