JOHN DAY - Taylor Myers' three-goal hat trick and a strong defensive effort on a wet field at the Seventh Street Athletic Complex led the Grant Union boys soccer team to a 5-0 victory over Horizon Christian on Tuesday, Oct. 26.
The win earned the Prospectors the second seed from the Mountain West Conference into the Class 1A/2A state playoffs.
Under gray skies and a steady, chilling rain, the Prospectors scored two quick goals to open the match and then put on a defensive clinic against the Hawks to advance to state playoff competition for the third straight year.
"I've got the kids that can play with them and it was nice getting some early goals. After that, we were able to concentrate on defense," Grant Union coach Ken Purnell said.
In previous games against the Hawks, the Prospectors were 2-0 winners on Oct. 2 and played to a 0-0 tie on Oct. 20.
Myers, a sophomore midfield/striker, put the first goal of the match in the net at the 3:44 mark of the first half off an assist from senior Kerry Ashmead, and Ashmead made the score 2-0 on a penalty kick less than three minutes later.
"We did good today," Myers said. "We got the lead and then played really good defense."
Solid defensive efforts by seniors Josh Arnall and Justin Coats allowed Horizon Christian just six shots on goal in the first 40 minutes of the match, despite pressure by the Hawks in the Grant Union half of the field late in the first half.
Coats made the score 3-0 off an assist from Caleb Sturgill at the 19:09 mark, and Myers put a header in the net off an Ashmead assist to put a cap on the first-half scoring.
The weather improved somewhat in the second half with the rain ceasing to fall, and Grant Union's defense continued to dominate.
Horizon Christian was held to only four shots at Prospectors' goal keeper Cody Boyer in the final 40 minutes and when Myers hit his third goal at the 57-minute mark, the match was all but over.
Grant Union out-shot Horizon Christian 28-10.
The Prospectors will be on the road to face the first-place team from District No. 2 in the opening round of the state playoffs.
The match is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 9, with the time, opponent and site to be determined.