Lone Peak girls soccer confirms top RPI ranking by rolling past PG
The Knights have an unblemished record and have faced plenty of solid opponents, proving themselves time and time again.
But how would Lone Peak do in their first official game in the top spot, hosting No. 6-ranked Pleasant Grove in a big Region 4 battle?
The Knights answered that question with an emphatic 4-0 victory over the Vikings, performing well in all areas of the game.
“That was possibly our most complete game since we got back from Idaho,” Lone Peak head coach Shantel Jolley said. “We played well in Boise but our region is always tough. It’s taken us a couple of contests to put a full game together.”
She said the rankings don’t mean a whole lot with so much soccer left to be played but she’s pleased that her team keeps finding ways to win.
“It’s the last one where we want to be on top,” Jolley said.
Leading the way offensively for the Knights on Thursday was freshman midfielder Bella Devey, who knocked in a pair of goals.
“We are very, very fortunate to have some good young freshmen like Devey,” Jolley said. “I told the seniors that they were lucky to have them because they filled some of the holes we had. I’m definitely excited to have them for four years.”
Devey got her first score to get the Knights on the board midway through the first half. Freshman Kate Denney combined with Devey as they drove into the box, touching the ball to where Devey got kick it in.
“Kate got the deflection that the ball to Bella, then they passed it back and forth and Bella put it in,” Jolley said.
Pleasant Grove’s best chance came late in the first half, when a shot that would’ve tied the game ricocheted off the post and went wide.
If that one had gone in, it might have been the spark that got the Vikings back on course. The young Pleasant Grove squad is trying to find a way to end a multi-game losing streak and confidence might have made a big difference.
Instead, it was the Knights who seized control right after half time.
The dangerous Lone Peak duo of senior forwards Camryn Jorgensen and Sayler Schlosser were just too good as Jorgensen took the ball to the end line and crossed it back for Schlosser to redirect into the back of the net.
That opened the floodgates as the Knights repeatedly attacked the Pleasant Grove goal. It only took 10 minutes for Lone Peak to score again as Devey tacked on her second goal.
The Knight freshman got the ball at the top of the box, faked right and went left, then lofted an excellent shot that nestled into the top-left corner of the goal.
Lone Peak’s final goal was similar to the second one, with Denney getting her second assist. She crossed the ball from deep in Viking territory and senior Sophie Merrifield finished it to cap the scoring in the contest.
Other than that one good opportunity, the Knight defense did a great job at limiting the Pleasant Grove scoring opportunities.
“Pleasant Grove looked better than their recent record showed,” Jolley said. “They were tough and physical. It took us a little bit to match their intensity but luckily we have some high-class forwards who finished shots.”
Even though Lone Peak may have the top spot in the rankings, Jolley is focused more on where they are at as a team.
“I feel better after this game,” Jolley said. “We’ve started slow in a few games, including falling behind 3-0 to Westlake. We’ve started to get better at that. The challenge every season is to not peak too soon but we know we can get better. We’re not there yet.”
Jolley wants to see her job put together 80 minutes of high-level soccer more consistently and also do better at winning balls out of the air.
“We can’t rely on just talent,” Jolley said. “The effort has to be there.”
Lone Peak (9-0, 4-0) will face another test when it plays at No. 5-ranked Skyridge on Sept. 9, while Pleasant Grove (7-4, 0-4) will play at Corner Canyon the same day.
Both games are scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.