On to the semis: Lone Peak girls soccer avenges 2022 playoff loss, rolls past Farmington
“Not this year!”
That was the relieved exclamation said by one of the celebrating Lone Peak girls soccer players after the No. 2-seed Knights beat No. 10-seed Farmington, 3-0, in Highland in Thursday’s 6A quarterfinals.
“We want to win state but our biggest motivation for this was a revenge game from last year,” Lone Peak junior forward/midfielder Kate Denney said. “Last year was really hard and unexpected. But we brought it back today. It was a revenge game for sure.”
While it was clear that the Knights hadn’t forgotten the 1-0 upset defeati in the 6A semifinals in 2022, Lone Peak head coach Shantel Jolley pointed out that these are two very different teams.
“Every team is different every year,” Jolley said. “We graduated a handful of seniors but I feel like we brought back our core. I feel like we are actually a better team this year than we were last and so I was expecting a different result this time around.”
It didn’t take long for the Knights to improve on last year’s scoreless showing and send a message.
Less than five minutes into the game, Lone Peak junior Brooke Hendricks took the ball down the right side then laced a gorgeous cross into the middle of the Phoenix penalty box.
“It was an easy tap-in for me,” Denney said. “It’s so nice when it is that easy.”
Jolley said that going in front right from the start gave her team a big edge.
“I’m super proud for getting a quick goal,” Jolley said. “That’s what we harp on every game to get on them quick.”
Lone Peak got another great connection from Hendricks to senior forward Brooklyn Dowdle for a goal in the 65th minute, then got a ricochet off a blocked hard shot by junior Bella Devey that went to junior Samantha Sellers that set up another in the 71st minute.
Only one would’ve done the job, however, since the Knight defense was locked in and prevented Farmington from getting any good opportunities.
“Our backline was just a rock today,” Jolley said. “They’ve been that way all season but especially today they were absolutely solid. I think that was a big difference.”
Denney said the defense deserved a lot of credit for the way they performed.
“Oh my goodness, our backline is so good,” Denney said. “They didn’t get good looks and that’s the way we want it. Our backline talked and was strong. They killed it today.”
When the final whistle blew, the Knights could turn their attention to the semifinals.
“It feels so good,” Denney said. “I’m so excited. We’re all so happy. It’s a big relief off our shoulders and now you just focus on the next game.”
Jolley said that Lone Peak has had some trouble in the quarterfinals before and this Farmington squad was dangerous, so it was rewarding to make it through.
“Quarterfinals are always tough,” Jolley said. “I think Farmington they’re much better team that I think their record shows when we knew that.
“We always have the same goal and that’s to win a state championship. It’s just what we expect out of our program. But in the couple years I’ve had here, the quarterfinals have been kind of a hump for us.”
She said she was glad to see her girls win their last home game and now move on to the last week of the playoffs.
“We’re definitely excited to go,” Jolley said.
The Knights will now face No. 6-seed Layton in the 6A semifinals at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The Lancers upset No. 3-seed Copper Hills, 2-1.
State girls soccer playoff scoreboard
No. 10 Maple Mountain 1, No. 2 Clearfield 0
No. 8 Brighton 2, No. 16 Spanish Fork 0
No. 6 Olympus 0, No. 3 Wasatch 0 (Oly won in PKs)
No. 4 Springville vs. No. 5 Bountiful (late)
No. 2 Stansbury 2, No. 7 Mountain View 0
No. 4 Ridgeline 2, No. 5 Timpanogos 1
No. 2 Lone Peak 3, No. 10 Farmington 0
No. 8 Skyridge 1, No. 1 Davis 0
No. 5 American Fork 2, Mountain Ridge 1