Apparently, no one on the Lone Peak girls soccer team skips leg day.
The Knights’ first three goals all came off of powerful shots from at least 25 yards away on Tuesday and the home team sprinted past Copper Hills 5-0 in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs.
“It was our movement off the ball and our execution in the attacking third,” said junior Nicole Ray, who scored two goals. “We’ve struggled with that lately but something clicked today. Our forwards and midfield were super-connected.”
Addy Symonds got the party started in the 15th minute, driving a free kick from outside the box into the net for a 1-0 lead. Three minutes later, Ray took the ball in the run of play and blasted a shot from about the same spot for a 2-0 advantage. In the 26th minute, Jocelyn Bybee bombed in a shot from straight on and the Knights led 3-0 at halftime.
“We’ve been stressing with our forwards to having patience on our attack,” Lone Peak coach Shantel Jolley said. “It was nice for the girls to find a couple today. We looked good. Those were further shots than we had all year. They were all long distance and that was great to see.”
The Knights best defense was its offense, which kept possession of the ball throughout the match. Ray scored again on a penalty kick in the 60th minute for a 4-0 lead. Freshman Camryn Jorgensen scored the final goal of the match when Copper Hills goalkeeper McCaslin Davis knocked away a shot by Symonds. Jorgensen gathered in the carom and punched the ball into the goal with five minutes to play.
Lone Peak (13-3-0) beat Copper Hills 6-0 to open the season on August 9 but Jolley made sure her team came in focused.
“When it comes to the playoffs, everyone’s record is the same,” Jolley said. “I told the girls to forget any game we played prior. In no way could we take Copper Hills lightly regardless of how the first game went. Luckily, we came out and took care of business.”
Northridge (11-7-1), the No. 4 seed from Region 1, upset Hillcrest 1-0 on Tuesday in the 6A first round, so Lone Peak will host Northridge on Thursday in the quarterfinals.
“I like that the girls are actually implementing what we’re focusing on in practice,” Jolley said. “Sometimes you stress so many things in practice they don’t transition over.”
“I feel like we’ve had a rough last couple of years,” added Ray, “so we’re just really coming in with our heads high. Our attitudes are different from last year and we’re preparing better than last year. I think this could be a good year for us.”