Wednesday , May 09, 2018 - 10:55 PM
LAYTON — Marc Barcelo-Tomás kicked the soccer ball to a teammate, who in turn tried to volley it into ... a wide-open storage shed.
Another one tried and missed, nearly hitting a teammate who was drinking water from a nearby spigot. A few players laughed.
The Layton Christian soccer team didn’t appear tense or nervous Wednesday as the Eagles prepare for their 2A state semifinal on Friday against Waterford at Juan Diego High School.
“You cannot stress these kids out. Everything to these guys is laughing and joking, they take the game serious, but if they’re not laughing, I’m doing something wrong,” co-head coach Steve Elswick said.
LCA’s record and goalscoring differential are hardly laughing matters. The Eagles have a 17-0 record and have outscored their foes by a whopping 146-10 margin this year.
Barcelo-Tomás (21 goals) and Kolby Olsen (17) lead six LCA players who’ve scored 10-plus goals. They’ve won games 6-0, 8-0, 9-0, 10-0 and 13-0 and shattered the previous state record for team goals in a season, set by Springville in 1990 with 122.
“We play well together, we just try to show it in the game and that’s what we do,” the Spanish-born Barcelo-Tomás said.
Part of that has to do with realignment. LCA used to be in the same region as traditional powers Rowland Hall and Waterford, but this year they played Utah Military Academy (in its first year fielding a boys soccer team), North Summit and Wendover.
The team’s roster reads like an elite European club, a product of LCA’s heavily international student body.
There are players from China, Rwanda, Spain, Brazil, Venezuela and — of course — Davis County on the team. Meshing different cultures, languages and styles of soccer is difficult at the beginning of the year, Elswick said, but the Eagles have done it with aplomb so far.
“Coming from so many different countries in which we play different kinds of soccer, the mixture of all the types of soccer gives a good result,” said Spanish goalkeeper Pello Bahon Villanueva, whose defense has recorded nine shutouts to date.
They’ve breezed through their first two playoff games by a combined score of 16-1 but will need to be at their best to knock off a Waterford team that has outscored its foes 96-12 this year.
Morgan preps for 3A soccer semis
Second-seeded Morgan plays American Leadership Academy at 6:15 p.m. Friday at Alta High School in the 3A state soccer semifinals.
Inigo Polo Lopez leads the Trojans with 12 goals and Carson Flitton has 10. Morgan beat Carbon 1-0 in the quarterfinals last week.
4A tennis tourney begins Thursday
Bonneville’s boys tennis team and two Ogden tennis players begin first-round play at the 4A state tournament Thursday at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City.
For the Lakers, No. 1 singles player Caden Heaton faces Cedar High’s Britton Hoskins in the first round, No. 2 singles player Brecken Benard takes on Mountain View’s Landon Kunz and No. 3 singles player Andrew McCall meets Sky View’s Ethan Combs.
In doubles for Bonneville, the No. 1 team of Gavin Kofford and Hudson Iverson face Josh James and Noah Thompson from Desert Hills, while Sam Hendrickson and Rhett Kelton play against Kaiden Shelley and Andrew Thomson from Salem Hills at No. 2 doubles.
Ogden’s Cooper Jones takes on Salem Hills’ Jason Cheney at second singles, while Tigers teammate Luke Davis meets Green Canyon’s Calvin Felt at No. 3 singles. Tournament play concludes Saturday.
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