MURRAY — Before Thursday afternoon’s 5A quarterfinal playoff game, Murray head coach Brady Smith had a simple message for his team.

“I think our message was that we didn’t play our best soccer in the first round and that we were going to show up and deliver it today,” Smith said.

Murray did exactly that, delivering a dominating 5-1 win over the Roy Royals to advance to the semifinals.

One of the points of emphasis in the Spartans’ game plan was to be in attack mode at all three levels (forwards, midfield, defense) and to score right off the bat.

Murray came out of the gates aggressive, and it took all of three minutes for the Spartans to net the first goal of the game, on a direct free kick outside of the penalty box from senior Abbi Graham.

“Abbi Graham, our senior goal scorer, came out and got two goals, and that’s the way a senior step up and makes sure that we’re headed to the semifinals,” Smith said.

After that first goal from Graham, the floodgates opened for the Spartans as Murray scored two more goals in the first eight minutes of the game to take an early 3-0 lead.

In the sixth minute, sophomore Ella Mckenna threaded a through ball to senior Kylee Thomson, who knocked it in for a score. Just two minutes later, Graham secured a brace after beating her defender and chipping it over the goalkeeper.

“I think you have early success and it’s easier to play downhill and that’s what happened the rest of that half,” Smith said.

Roy responded with a goal off of a free kick, scored by junior Dylan Dingman, to make it 3-1.

Murray scored its fourth goal of the half, in the 25th minute, on a goal from the right side by junior Sydney Wilcken, who capped off …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

      

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