Sometimes an early break can give a young team the confidence it needs to pull off an upset.
That’s just what happened on Thursday in Lehi, where No. 10 seed Timpanogos knocked off the No. 7 seed Pioneers 3-1 in the second round of the Class 5A girls soccer tournament.
Timpanogos lost twice to Lehi during Region 7 play but has won six matches in a row and jumped out on top early in this one.
In the game’s 12th minute, the Pioneers were guilty of an illegal touch by the goalkeeper, which gave Timpanogos an indirect kick opportunity in front of the Pioneers goal. After a quick pass, Sierra Pennock drilled a shot to the back of the net for a 1-0 Timberwolves lead.
“That helped a lot,” Timpanogos junior Lataya Brost said. “It really keeps us going and keeps us in the game. I think what really made the difference was that we knew we could take these guys. We had two rough goes against them the first two games. I think that’s where we struggled during the first half of the season was confidence. The last few games of the season have been our strongest games. I thought we took the momentum from those games and brought it here.”
In the 34th minute, Timpanogos struck again. Brost chipped a great lead pass to sophomore forward Summer Christensen, who found herself one-on-one with the Lehi goalkeeper and scored the team’s second goal. The T-Wolves took a 2-0 lead into the halftime break.
Lehi (13-5-0) got on the board in the 50th minute when leading scorer Kennedi Schmidt launched a long shot from the left corner that found the back of the net and the home team grabbed the momentum, trailing 2-1 with plenty of time remaining for the tying goal.
The Pioneers dominated possession for the next ten minutes and had some good scoring opportunities, but Timpanogos turned them away each time. In the 61st minute, Brost dribbled through a host of Lehi defenders and was fouled in the scoring area. She put away the penalty kick for a 3-1 lead that would hold up.
“We knew they (Lehi) had a lot of speed up top, good players in middle and a defense that is really well organized,” Timpanogos coach Robyn Bretzing said. “So we had to play to our strength which is speed up top. We decided to play more of a direct style of soccer and it worked for us today. Sometimes you have to change up your game a little bit. I like pretty soccer, but today we had to go more direct at their defense.
“We just got a couple of lucky breaks. They had some chances to score but sometimes in sports you get a little luck. We knew this was going to be a tough game but I think these girls really showed their potential when it came time to fight and playing to the end of the game.”
Timpanogos (12-5-0) will move on to Thursday’s quarterfinals and will travel to No. 2 seed Bonneville (15-2-0), which defeated No. 15 Salem Hills 4-0 in the second round.