OGDEN -- It's been a while since the Tigers were truly tested, but they passed this exam with flying colors.
With a stout defensive effort and just enough timely offense, the Ogden High School boy's soccer team ran its unbeaten streak out to 14 straight matches, dispatching Judge Memorial 2-0 in the opening round of the state 3-A tournament at Mount Ogden Park on Thursday afternoon.
"We tried to use our strengths and focus on winning the ball," said central defender Alejandro Garcia as he helped the Tigers lock down their fourth consecutive shutout.
"It's exciting to keep playing and keep going. We just need to keep playing hard."
The undefeated Region 11 champion Tigers (14-1-1) will take on Pine View (10-5-1) in Saturday's 1 p.m. quarterfinal round game at Mount Ogden Park.
Ogden was the only one of five Region 11 teams to earn a first-round win.
Ogden controlled much of the first half, using a short-range, crisp passing attack to force the tempo of the match and put continued pressure on Judge goalkeeper Andrew Matthews. Matthews made several leaping saves during the opening half of the match that kept the Tigers out of the net.
With the first half clock in stoppage time, Ogden final broke through when senior forward Roque Ceja -- the Tigers' leading scorer -- smashed a grounding ball from distance.
Matthews looked to be in position to make at least a deflection, but misjudged the pacing on the ball across the hard, speedy surface and Ceja's shot sped into the back of the net to make it 1-0 at the break.
"This was a good test for us in a lot of ways," Ogden coach Sterling Castle said. "It wasn't just a tough test on the field, but was a tough emotional test. We had a couple of stretches, about 10 minutes or so in the first half, and then longer than I would have liked in the second half, where we lost our intensity a little bit. That's something we'll talk about tomorrow as we get ready for our next game."
For as creative and controlled as the Tigers were in the first half, Ogden spent several significant swaths of the second frame struggling to keep calmness and composure with the ball.
It wasn't until the 77th minute, when Ogden senior forward Dario Robles beat Matthews with a 12-yard right-to-left shot that snaked just inside the far post, that the Tigers were able to gain a measure of relaxation and full control of the match.
"We wanted to win the ball in the air and contest every shot, and find feet (when we're passing)," said Ogden goalkeeper Auggie Garcia, who led the Tigers to their 11th shutout of the year in the net. "We just need to make sure that we keep playing for each other."
* JUAN DIEGO 4, BEAR RIVER 1: At Draper, the Bears trailed 1-0 at halftime, but the Soaring Eagle broke through with three scores after the break.
Bear River ends the season with a 9-7-0 record.
* PARK CITY 3, BEN LOMOND 2 (OT): At Ogden, the Miners were one of the few road teams to advance on Thursday, and unfortunately, it came at the Scots' expense.
Victor Galindo scored in the first half, but it was matched by Park City's Brad Muick. Both teams scored in the scond half, and the Miners found the golden goal in the first OT.
The Scots finished 9-8-0 on the season.
* DESERT HILLS 2, MORGAN 0: At Cedar, the Trojans (5-11-1) took a scoreless match into the second half, but Justin Brinkerhoff and Tanner Browning gave Desert Hills the edge they needed.