Sunday , July 08, 2018 - 5:30 AM
Standard-Examiner All Area soccer MVP Jaiden Marriott of Bonneville High School poses for a portrait Tuesday, June 26, 2018, at his home in Ogden.
BOYS SOCCER ALL-AREA
SOUTH OGDEN — Jaiden Marriott and his brothers love to play soccer in their backyard in South Ogden.
But they just kept breaking whatever goal they were shooting at, whether it was a lacrosse goal from their neighbor or a flimsy, pop-up mesh goal. Or, they would shoot at a tree where a missed shot would fly into a neighbor’s backyard.
His mother got tired of them breaking goals and, for Christmas 2017, bought the boys a sturdy goal, the kind one finds on actual soccer fields.
It’s the kind that’s seen as a solid investment if you have a bunch of children who like to play soccer in the backyard.
The timing is interesting.
In the 2018 soccer season, Marriott, this year’s Standard-Examiner All-Area Boys Soccer Most Valuable Player, scored 26 goals while leading Bonneville High to a Region 11 championship.
“That definitely came into my mind, like, ‘Wow my really good season just happened right after I got this goal in my backyard,’” Marriott said.
The big forward tore through opposing defenses seemingly every game. There were few stretches where it seemed as if he was going to shatter Utah’s single-season goals record of 40, set in 1990 by Springville’s Jon Bailey.
In mid-March in a driving rainstorm, the Lakers trailed at home to Stansbury 2-0 within the first 20 minutes in their region opener.
Then Marriott scored four goals and Bonneville won 5-2. A week later, he netted a hat-trick in a 5-2 win over Ogden.
As the regular season wound to its conclusion, Marriott picked up form again. He had four goals in a 5-2 win at Ben Lomond, two more in a 5-1 win over Tooele and all four goals in a 4-0 win over Park City where the Lakers clinched the outright region title.
That was on top of game-winners against Park City on March 30 and Ogden on April 13.
“I don’t think very many people expected what happened to happen, except (assistant coach Jared Anderson),” Marriott said.
Marriott says his season would’ve been different if not for fellow forward Joe Cloward, who scored 12 goals but importantly tallied a team-high 16 assists. That combination up top proved too much for just about every opposing team this season.
“It wouldn’t have been as good, not even close. He assisted like half of my goals, it was just awesome,” Marriott said about Cloward.
All this came after some struggles in front of net with his club team, La Roca Futbol Club. He missed a ton of chances — so many he says he got used to it, no matter how much it bothered him to not score when he thought he should have.
“I had a really hard time finishing, from the summer really last year to right before high school started I had a lot of trouble finishing and my coach was like, ‘We’re going to get it, we’re going to get it,’” Marriott said.
Last year he would’ve worried about it. This year he moved on, knowing there were going to be more chances to score. There were tons, and many of them ended up in the back of the net.