Sabercats suffer upset loss during second round


Dylan Heinrich

Sophomore Abby Ballek attempting to fight off a Rock Canyon defender.

Dylan Heinrich, Sports Editor

For every upset, there are the winners and the losers. While the winners are largely revered and celebrated, the losers tend to be forgotten. The Fossil Ridge girls soccer team found themselves on the wrong side of this event, falling in the second round to No. 17 Rock Canyon 3-2 in overtime, despite entering the tournament as the number one team.

The biggest factor in this game was the high powered winds. The gusts were moving north-to-south, giving a massive advantage to the team moving southbound.

The Sabercats felt that advantage in the first half, as the Ballek sisters connected on the first goal. Kylie kicked the corner kick over to Abby, who headered it in to give Fossil the early advantage.

Abby Ballek celebrating after scoring the game opening goal. (Dylan Heinrich)

But Fossil was unable to bury another goal before halftime with the wind, as they held the narrowest margin after 40 minutes of action. 

This narrow lead proved to be fragile when Rock Canyon scored two goals in the second half with the gusts now in their favor. Down one goal with ten minutes left, the Sabercats needed to battle uphill to tie the match.

Fossil didn’t waiver, as Amy Smith tacked on yet another goal to tie the game with only four minutes remaining. With no goals any later, the two teams were ready to go past the allotted 80 minutes. 

But it didn’t take long, as Rock Canyon scored on their first rush, only 27 seconds into the overtime period. 

This came as a massive shock to the number one team in the state, who were ready to make a potential run towards the state championship. But all good things must come to an end, as they will finish the season with a 15-2 record.

Yet it’s not all doom and gloom, as only one of their starting 11 players was a senior, meaning they will return next season. You best believe that these Sabercats will be back with a vengeance during the 2023-24 year.

Fossil players dejected after the stinging upset defeat. (Dylan Heinrich)