Lone Peak girls soccer displays prowess in blowing out Olympus
For its first 18 games in the 2022 season, the Lone Peak girls soccer team was unstoppable as the Knights went undefeated.
Their 1-0 semifinal loss to Farmington still stings a little bit, even 10 months later.
“That was a really sad way to end last season,” Lone Peak senior captain Brin Beck said Friday. “I think the returning players know that feeling and we are ready to work towards making it farther. It’s motivated us and we definitely work super-hard.”
If the season-opening game against Olympus in Highland was any indication, this Knight squad is on a mission.
Lone Peak was brilliant in the attack and stout in defense, demonstrating just how impressive it can be as the Knights crushed the visiting Titans, 5-0.
“There really aren’t too many complaints,” Lone Peak head coach Shantel Jolley said. “Obviously the first game there’s always some jitters to get out and you never know who might show up and step up. But they did great for Game No. 1.”
The Knights tallied a pair of nice goals in the first half. The first was put in by junior Brooke Hendricks after she showed her foot skills in the box to create an opening, while Beck got the second to go in on a corner kick after senior Naia Tanuvasa headed the ball beautifully back across the goal to where Beck was waiting.
The home team then exploded for a trio of goals in a six-minute span after the break.
A dangerous ball played into the Olympus box forced a handball by a defender, and junior Bella Devey calmly slotted it in for the third Knight goal.
That was followed by a second corner-kick header goal from Beck and finally a marvelous bending shot from the top of the box by junior Samantha Sellers.
“We work a lot on set pieces, so it was fun to be able to finish them today,” Beck said. “I was just in the right place at the right time.”
Jolley said it’s a great perk for a coach to have so many excellent finishers.
“We’re definitely lucky, especially with the three we have up front” Jolley said. “They are all juniors and a sophomore, so we’ll be dangerous this year and even next year. It’s fun to have that firepower up top.”
The goals didn’t overshadow the impressive defensive effort by the Lone Peak backline, which kept the dangerous Titan offense from ever seriously threatening.
“It was great to see our backline play the way they did,” Jolley said. “We technically lost two starters back there and so the girls had to step up this year. They didn’t miss a beat from what we had.”
Beck said she was pleased with the job done by the Knight defenders and felt like it was a good sign for the future.
“We’ve been working on staying together and making sure our pressure-cover balance is good,” Beck said. “I think we did well at that today.”
She sees a team that has tremendous potential but has to keep working to become the best they can be.
“It was an exciting way to start the season,” Beck said. “We know we have talent but it was great to see us play like a team like that. We need to keep up our intensity throughout the entire game and play fast. There were moments where we were a little too individual but if we play as a team, I think we’ll do well this season.”
Jolley doesn’t play up avenging the disappointing finish from the 2022 6A tournament because every team is different, although she said she does sense a little more hunger from the veterans.
She wants to see her squad continue to improve its continuity as the season progresses.
“We just need to learn to play together again,” Jolley said. “It will be about getting the ball off their feet a little quicker, have a few more connections and maybe not quite so much looking for their own shots. But there really wasn’t much to complain about.”
Lone Peak (1-0) next hosts Cedar Valley in Highland on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.