Lone Peak girls soccer continues hot start by beating Bingham
The Lone Peak girls soccer team faced scorching temperatures in the mid-90s when it took the field on Thursday for its non-region game against Bingham.
When it comes to bringing the heat, though, the Knights are giving Mother Nature a run for her money.
Lone Peak has been virtually unstoppable in the first three weeks of the season, winning all of their games by at least three goals.
The visiting Miners were the latest to attempt to slow down the Knights but a couple of late goals gave Lone Peak the 3-0 win and a perfect 6-0 record on the season.
“It was a good challenge,” Knight head coach Shantel Jolley said. “We knew Bingham was going to be coming in pretty confident after their last-second goal against Pleasant Grove. And you know any 6A team is going to be tough regardless, so it’s always good to see them before because odds are we could see them again in the playoffs. It was a good test for us today.”
Lone Peak senior defender Abby Houston said she felt like her team took care of business.
“I think we did well,” Houston said. “I think it’s always hard play in this heat and on the turf but we always find a way to push through and find energy, make a comeback and play through the whole game.”
The foundation of the Knight success is on the backline, with Houston and her teammates making things tough on opponents.
“There is obviously a lot of pressure on the defense in every game to block goals and settle down the team,” Houston said. “For us to stay composed and keep everyone settled down and working toward our goals is a big part of the game.”
While the Lone Peak offense took some time to actually break through, the Knight defense kept Bingham from getting any good scoring opportunities.
Jolley said her backline is mostly veterans and it shows on the field.
“Going into this year, we knew that was going to be where we are a lot more experienced,” Jolley said. “We graduated all of our forwards last year but we’ve got three of our four starters back from last year on the backline. They have been solid for us all year as we’ve been incorporating our other center back in. They’ve been playing really well together, which is good to see.”
The Knights took the lead for good when a shot from sophomore Bella Devey got away from the Bingham keeper and sophomore Kate Denney pounced on it to knock it home in the 38th minute.
Although Lone Peak got a number of chances, Bingham managed to keep the Knights from increasing the lead for most of the second half and thus kept their slim hopes of stealing an equalizer alive.
“I think we started to get a little too selfish,” Jolley said. “Honestly, I think the girls were doing a little too much on their own as opposed to working together. I think that resulted in us playing obviously not as good as we could up top.”
The home team did manage to finally get the teamwork combo it needed to virtually secure the victory as Lone Peak senior Elle Young drove hard to the end line, then cut it back to the middle of the field where senior Michelle Cave was open to hammer the ball into the back of the net.
The Knights added one more insurance goal from senior Solena Sellers in the final minute to get the three-goal tally.
As always, Lone Peak has big goals this season but knows there will be tough games ahead.
“it’s obviously a whole other story when we get into region,” Jolley said. “It’s going to be a good challenge to see if we can handle tighter, tougher games going into region. It’s also not getting too high. Despite being undefeated at this point, it doesn’t mean anything anymore.”
Houston said the team emphasizes not paying attention to the wins and losses but on focusing on each game.
“The coaches say we are always going against the best team in the state,” the Knight senior said. “That’s the mindset we have to have. We come out in each game with a fresh start and put past games behind us. Each one is a new game.”
She believes that the key for the Knights to be the best they can be is to be united.
“We have to just keep working together and playing as a team,” Houston said. “We obviously have a lot of individual talent, but we have to keep working together and working towards the same objectives. If we do that, I’m sure we’ll reach a lot of the things we set as our goals for this season.”
Lone Peak (6-0) will be tested when it heads to Corner Canyon to start Region 4 play on August 23. That game is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.