×
×
homepage logo

Flip the script: Timpanogos girls soccer fights to huge win at Alta

By Jared Lloyd - | Sep 22, 2022
1 / 10
Timpanogos junior keeper Emma McIff (right) and junior defender Adele Faller do backflips after the Region 8 game against Alta in Sandy on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022.
2 / 10
Timpanogos junior Adele Faller (6) celebrates with freshman Raeley Searle after Faller scored a goal during the Region 8 game against Alta in Sandy on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022.
3 / 10
Timpanogos junior Mary Roberts heads the ball during the Region 8 game against Alta in Sandy on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022.
4 / 10
Timpanogos senior Summer Christensen battles for the ball during the Region 8 game against Alta in Sandy on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022.
5 / 10
Timpanogos junior keeper Emma McIff kicks the ball during the Region 8 game against Alta in Sandy on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022.
6 / 10
Timpanogos sophomore Eleanor Haslem heads the ball during the Region 8 game against Alta in Sandy on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022.
7 / 10
Timpanogos sophomore Allie Strong kicks the ball upfield during the Region 8 game against Alta in Sandy on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022.
8 / 10
Timpanogos junior keeper Emma McIff (left) and junior defender Adele Faller celebrate after Faller scored a goal during the Region 8 game against Alta in Sandy on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022.
9 / 10
Timpanogos junior keeper Emma McIff (left) celebrates with teammates (from left) senior Summer Christensen, junior Adele Faller and senior Sariah Brady after the Region 8 game against Alta in Sandy on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022.
10 / 10
Timpanogos junior keeper Emma McIff does a backflip after the Region 8 game against Alta in Sandy on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022.

Timpanogos junior keeper Emma McIff and junior defender Adele Faller took a moment after Thursday’s Region 8 game at Alta to do a choreographed tumbling routine capped by both doing nearly simultaneous backflips.

It was certainly fitting.

That duo had been flying all over the field during the game, propelling the Timberwolves to a huge 1-0 upset win over the Hawks.

“I think it came down solely to just having each other’s backs and trusting in each other,” McIff said. “Without the trust and communication, it would have been different out there than it was today. This game meant a lot to all of us.”

While McIff certainly needed the rest of the team to play well, she was the star of the game for Timpanogos. During a critical stretch at the end of the first half, she made multiple jaw-dropping, diving saves to keep Alta from scoring.

None were bigger than the play McIff made in the final 30 seconds before the break.

The Hawks had earned a free kick from about 25 yards out and Alta senior midfielder Bella Woods came charging in to strike it before time ran out.

Her blast was a beauty, streaking hard and high right under the bar — until somehow McIff was able to get just enough of a glove on it to push it up off the front of the metalwork and out. The Hawks did get to the rebound but the shot went just wide.

“I’d do anything for my team,” McIff said. “That save was super-big, especially because we lost to them last time. Getting that stop gave us a boost of confidence going into the second half.”

Timberwolf head coach Robyn Bretzing was even more definitive when she described what that save meant for her team.

“That save was the game,” she said. “She got just enough of it to put it off the pole. It didn’t go in. She kept us in the game.”

The heroics between the pipes and a determined effort by the defense kept the game scoreless until Timpanogos finally broke through with a long free kick of their own.

That was when Faller stepped up from 45 yards out and lofted the ball high toward the Alta goal. The Hawk keeper couldn’t prevent it from dropping in and putting the visitors in front.

“Adele has had a really hard time with free kicks lately, trying to decide whether to chip it or hit it on goal,” Bretzing said. “We don’t tell her what to do. We just let her decide. In that moment, I think she was just like, I’m going to hit this one and see what happens. Sometimes you make that decision and it works. I was proud of her.”

McIff said seeing that goal go in was a big moment for the entire team.

“That showed that we can stand up as a team and we can beat the No. 1 team, as long as we work hard and try our best,” the junior keeper said. “Again, it comes down to trust in each other and knowing each other well.”

Alta tried desperately to find a way to answer but the Timberwolf defense didn’t give them the opening the Hawks needed and Timpanogos got the big win.

“It was all we could do to just to hold them off,” Bretzing said. “They are big, talented girls who fight hard. It always had been that way. They are really physical and well disciplined. We just had to gut this one out.”

That victory puts the Timberwolves a game in front of Alta in the Region 8 race and avenged an earlier 3-1 home loss to the Hawks.

Both Bretzing and McIff said the performance showed just how far Timpanogos has come during the 2022 season.

“Honestly, it’s incredible,” McIff said. “It blows my mind when I think of where we came from. We only have two seniors but everyone is stepping up and playing really well together. I think that will be good for us at state.”

Bretzing said: “We had 10 new girls on our roster, so at the beginning of the season we didn’t know where everyone was even going to play. We’ve kept finding players to step up in certain positions and that’s helped us find that group that mesh and play well together. I’m proud of how each one of them has worked individually on their own and then come together at practice. They’ve really put together a great team.”

Timpanogos (10-4, 9-1) will play the first of its two final games of the regular season when it hosts Orem in a crosstown rivalry contest on Sept. 29. That game is scheduled to kickoff at 7 p.m.

Newsletter

Join thousands already receiving our daily newsletter.

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)