Timpanogos senior forward Samantha Brady has enjoyed a phenomenal career and tallied nearly 30 goals.
However, she had never been able to find the back of the net during the run of play when competing against the team her dad, Eric Brady, coaches: Timpview.
Apparently she was saving up for something dramatic.
With Thursday’s exciting nonregion game between the two soccer powerhouses in Orem tied at 2-2, the Timberwolves got an indirect kick after an injury break.
Timpanogos elected to kick the ball long — a move that paid big dividends. It slipped past the Thunderbird defenders and bounced right to where Samantha Brady was sprinting in.
The Timberwolf senior buried the one-on-one opportunity to give the home team a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Timpanogos held off every Timpview attack until the final whistle blew to get the 3-2 win.
“Right after the break, we were focused on the next 10 minutes,” Samantha Brady said. “It was really good to push really hard, to get a goal and then try to carry our momentum through.”
Eric Brady said that he, at some point, might be able to enjoy his daughter’s goal, but right after the contest he was focused on the Thunderbirds.
“You don’t give her a chance to finish,” Eric Brady said. “She’s phenomenal. Do I get to enjoy it? Not yet. I will sometime. There are two things that sting: No. 1, we lost the game, and No. 2, I’ve kind of teased her for four years that she’s never scored on me in the run of play. I knew she was hungry to get one.”
Although Timpanogos and Timpview are in different regions and thus don’t play league games against each other, there have been a number of showdowns between the two rival squads, including the 2017 5A semifinal that the Timberwolves won in penalty kicks.
“It’s always a crazy time,” Samantha Brady said. “It’s a fun week in our house because no one knows who to cheer for. They are always split on the sidelines. My mom always jokes that she is going to wear a half-and-half shirt. It’s always interesting because he has been my club coach too, so he is coaching against someone he coached. It’s a good time.”
The battle on the field on Thursday had the atmosphere and intensity of a playoff contest, although the execution was still at a preseason-level at times.
“It was definitely a lot of back and forth,” Samantha Brady said. “We’ve been working hard as a team to play hard for the first 10 minutes and then continue that pace. Preseason is always kind of up and down as you are figuring out where you are as a team.”
Timpview got on the board first when junior Lily Haskins crossed the ball to senior Abby King in the 13th minute, but Timpanogos answered with hustle in the box as freshman Sierra Pennock won the race to a bouncing ball and put it in.
The Thunderbirds came back with a second goal, this one off a phenomenal play by junior Mckenna Garry who flicked the ball on and then out-sprinted the Timberwolf defense to give her team the lead again.
Timpanogos came out with a lot of intensity after halftime and got the equalizer on a shot by senior Shaylie Weenig assisted by Itzel Mejia, setting the stage for Samantha Brady’s game winner.
“It was a huge fight between two great teams and players who know each other,” Samantha Brady said. “It was getting heated. Both teams really, really wanted it and were fighting really hard for it.”
Timpanogos assistant coach Kaiwi Chung-Hoon credited the T’Wolf midfield for taking over when they had to.
“We talked to our team and said the biggest thing we needed to do was control the middle of the field,” Chung-Hoon said. “We had difficulty with that in our last game but today we totally controlled the ball and you could see what a difference it made.”
Both squads were pleased with how they performed but both also have things they want to work on.
“We are working on team chemistry, getting used to each other and the players we have,” Samantha Brady said. “We have people in new places, so we are learning the movement and the team tactical things.”
Timpview is also trying to figure out it’s personnel as it prepares for region play.
“We are breaking in eight new starters,” Eric Brady said. “But we have the talent and had some really good stretches in that game.”