DRAPER — Gabby Carlson will remember the number 31 for awhile.
That’s how many seconds showed on the clock when the Bonneville soccer sophomore tapped in Summer Diamond’s cross for the game-winning goal for the Lakers on Tuesday night, sending them to Friday’s 5A state championship game after a 2-1 extra time win over Maple Mountain at Juan Diego High School.
“I’ve never had more emotions in my life. That was probably the most intense game I’ve ever played in my life,” said Carlson, who was mobbed by Bonneville’s student section shortly after she was done speaking with reporters.
Golden-goal extra time is a delicate situation where if you score, you win, and vice versa. Lakers coach Gavin Garside wasn’t worried about the precarious nature of the game at all.
“The momentum was going our way at the end of regulation and you ride that freakin’ wave. That’s what really carries you. If you’re playing on your heels at the end of regulation ... it’s kind of a scary situation,” Garside said.
Both teams played each other back on Aug. 6 to open the season, a game that ended in a 2-1 win for Maple Mountain.
At that time, Bonneville was truly breaking in its lineup of nine new starters — five sophomores and two freshmen — and hadn’t quite figured out who was going to play where.
“(Garside) always says go watch film, go watch film, and we went and watched film and we didn’t even recognize we were that team,” Carlson said.
Back in August against Maple Mountain, Carlson was playing outside defender. A handful of other players were also playing out of position.
Fast forward to Tuesday’s late-October showdown, played with the alpenglow illuminating snow-dusted mountains in the background, and things had predictably changed a lot the past two-and-a-half months.
The Lakers have won 16 games and lost four heading into Friday’s 5A state championship game against Skyline (1:30 p.m. Friday at Rio Tinto Stadium). Their leading scorer is Summer Diamond, a freshman, with 12 goals.
Tuesday, Carlson was playing in the midfield, high enough up the field to make a run into the penalty box when Diamond hit a cross from the left side.
“Summer always plays really good crosses right into the 6 (yard box), right onto the PK spot, so that’s where I made my run and she had a perfect ball. That was like a set-up, I didn’t have to do anything, I barely tapped my foot,” Carlson said.
Bonneville had the perfect start to the game with a goal in the sixth minute.
A long kick forward by senior defender Hailey Price was cleared away by a Maple defender, but only as far as a wide-open Rylee Lopaz on the right wing, whose cross was volleyed in for a goal by Elle Burton from close range.
MM’s response took four minutes through leading scorer Allie Fryer, who upped her insane goal tally from 34 to 35 with a well-placed shot in the 10th minute.
Fryer had several other runs through the Bonneville midfield, a few of which ended with long-range shots saved by Abree Beardall, and others which ended by defenders’ intervention.
“Going into this game, I didn’t even tell the girls about (Fryer), because the second you do that, it’s a head game for the girls. Just go play your game like you do against anyone else,” Garside said.
With less than a minute left in the first overtime period, Diamond got the ball on the left side and sent a cross in. Carlson, who was wide open, met it and easily scored, ending the game then and there.
In the ensuing celebration in front of the goal, Carlson’s teammates couldn’t stop exclaiming “31 seconds!” for the amount of time left in the first overtime period when she scored.
The scoreboard stayed on for several minutes afterward, long enough for many other people to take pictures and not forget the number 31 as well.