Westminster College upset the Dixie State University men’s soccer team 1-0 in overtime in the final home game of the season Sunday.
An even match was played on both sides of the ball. Both teams’ defenses were prevalent as they kept the ball out of the goal for most of the game. Dixie, usually a second half team, couldn’t seem to connect with the goal this game.
Head coach Danny Ortiz said that situation may have cost them the game.
Senior midfielder Josh Cook was not allowed to play in the game for Dixie because he received a red card during last week’s game. Ortiz said you always miss somebody like Cook on the field because of his drive and athletic ability, but the Storm didn’t take advantage of the opportunities they had to win the game.
The Griffins scored a goal to win the game in the final minutes of overtime. The Red Storm dropped to 2-10-3 overall, and the Griffins improved to 8-10 overall.
The Storm also said goodbye to three men, Cook, goalkeeper Tyler Walters and defender David Potocki before the game. They were honored for their efforts to the team.
“These [seniors] are amazing guys,”Ortiz said. “They are amazing students and teammates, and they deserve better than what they got—and that’s probably what I’m most disappointed in this season.”
Ortiz said he couldn’t have asked for better men to help lead the team and represent Dixie State.
“Josh Cook is just one of those guys that in whatever he is going to do, he is going to give it his all,” Ortiz said. “He doesn’t know how to approach things any other way.”
Ortiz said Cook is an all-around great person; whether you are new to the team or have been around forever, he is always there for everyone.
“Walters has played more minutes than anybody else in this program, and he has played all of them with tons of heart,” Ortiz said. “He is another good leader to his team, and he doesn’t know anything else but to come here and work hard, and I am very proud of what he has done.”
He said Walters is an excellent student who will graduate early, and he is an excellent player on the field.
Ortiz also praised the leadership ability of Potocki.
“Potocki has been here three years,” Ortiz said. “He was a junior college transfer that has been an amazing leader on the field. He is a smart player. He is one of those guys, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a training session or a light run, (who) gives it 110 percent.”
Ortiz said he couldn’t ask for better leaders.
“They were great leaders and always pushed us super hard at practice as well as off the field,” said defender Alex Lawhun, a junior integrated studies major from Draper. “They made us feel like a family and kept us together when we weren’t doing too well.”
The Storm are now taking on California Baptist University Saturday at 4 p.m. in Riverside, Calif., for their final game of the season.