Skip to main content

South Valley Riverton Journal

Riverton boys soccer starts strong, looking for region title

Apr 09, 2024 01:55PM ● By Josh McFadden

The Riverton boys soccer team started the season 3-1 and is working toward competing for a region championship. (Photo courtesy Paul Moizer)

With the Riverton High School soccer team, head coach Paul Moizer keeps things pretty simple when it comes to objectives and expectations. 

“The goal is always the same at the start of the season: to contend for the region title and build toward the state playoffs, finishing high enough in the RPI to get a first-round bye,” he said. “The team needs to continue to work hard and to never stop improving.” 

Moizer has been at Riverton since 2001, two years after the school opened. In his 23 seasons, he has amassed 178 wins. He’s been around long enough to know that achieving a region title is never a given, and it’s not an easy task. This season, the Silverwolves compete in Region 2 alongside some talented squads: Bingham, Coppers Hills, Mountain Ridge, Salt Lake Academy, Herriman and Corner Canyon.

Along with facing a tough slate of opponents, which the Silverwolves will compete against twice apiece, Moizer said staying away from injuries is critical. 

“Staying healthy is always a challenge,” he said. “If we can avoid big injuries and keep working hard and keep the right mentality, we have the opportunity to be a very good team.”

The Silverwolves got off on the right track this season through the first four games. The team started 3-1 overall and 2-0 in league play. Riverton defeated Cyprus 5-1 to open the season March 5 and then won its opening two league contests, 5-1 at Bingham on March 15 and 3-1 at home against Copper Hills on March 22. The only loss during this stretch was in game two at Pleasant Grove in a close 1-0 setback. 

Moizer likes the senior leadership he has on the team. He is impressed with his players’ attitudes and work ethic. At every position, the Silverwolves have quality players. To get the varsity team ready for action, Moizer enlists the help of Riverton’s good JV squad, which he said “pushes the varsity in scrimmage.”

Improvements Moizer wants to see include faster ball movement, more flexibility and better team defense. However, in the first five games, the team allowed just four goals. Six players tallied goals in games one through five, with senior forward Aiden Gatherum and junior forward Lincoln Payne leading the way with four goals each. Gatherum also had a team-high four assists during this stretch. 

“[Gatherum] is unrelenting in his movement—fast, great skill and great vision,” Moizer said. “He can play multiple positions.”

Quinn Bailey, Peyton Cole and Porter McInnes, the team’s goalie, are also among the team’s top players and leaders. 

“[Bailey] is our anchor on defense,” Moizer said. “He wins everything in the air, has great passing range and has really nice touch. [Cole] is a great leader and defender but gets up and plays offense where he gives the attack a different dimension. [McInnes] is improving every day. He’s a hard worker and makes big saves at big moments in games.”

Riverton hosts Salt Lake Academy May 3 in the regular-season finale. The Class 6A state tournament begins May 10. With a high enough RPI, Riverton could secure a first-round bye and get a second-round home game. Last season, the Silverwolves went 8-8 overall and lost in the first round of the 6A playoffs. Riverton was 6-4 in Region 3, tied for second a game back of Mountain Ridge. 

Moizer, the veteran coach, has seen a lot of players come through the program and has guided many teams. With this group, he is grateful that the players both enjoy the game and work hard at getting better. 

“They love to play and talk about the game,” he said. “They are a fun-loving but hard-working group. They are dedicated and working toward a common goal.” λ