The Skyridge girls soccer team loves to move the ball around, to find angles and holes to attack.
To counter that in Tuesday’s season-opener in Lehi, Timpview had to not let themselves get drawn out of position.
Led by senior defender Anna Pinegar, the Thunderbird backline stood tall in the face of every Falcon onslaught and earned the 2-0 shutout to start the year with a victory.
“A big part was our communication,” Pinegar said. “We were talking a ton out there. When we possessed the ball out of the back, we were able to get it up the field. We knew this was going to be tough competition, so we gave it all we had and played for each other.”
Timpview head coach Eric Brady lauded the way Pinegar and her teammates did what they had to do.
“You’ve got to be so disciplined against Skyridge,” Brady said. “Our defensive discipline was great to not give up a goal. It’s defense that wins championships.”
While there was no doubt it was a team effort, Pinegar’s abilities certainly made a huge difference.
“She wasn’t feeling well this week but she’s a pro,” Brady said. “She’s going to play Division I soccer somewhere. I’ve coached a lot of good players but she is one of the best.”
The visitors also had the psychological advantage of playing from in front for almost the entire game.
The Thunderbirds got on the board in the seventh minute of play when a ball from junior midfielder Tanya Rivera slipped through the hands of the Skyridge keeper and into the goal.
The Falcons rallied later in the first half and started controlling the game but couldn’t finish.
“We needed to place the ball better,” Skyridge head coach Jerry Preisendorf said. “We have to bounce it around. We started pressing a little too much in the attack. We need to be patient.”
The best Falcon scoring opportunity came in the 39th minute when senior defender Grace Beeston launched a gorgeous long shot that appeared to be perfectly placed. The Timpview keeper, however, started with the ball and managed to just tip it over the crossbar.
It was Pinegar who would be the only other player to score as she came up from the back to take a 30-yard free kick in the 80th minute and dropped it in beautifully for the goal that sealed the win.
“That was the best feeling ever,” Pinegar said. “When you are on defense, you don’t get to score often. I had a feeling that one was going in.”
Both teams saw moments where their potential was clear and others where they struggled. Each lauded the other side for its level of play.
“Skyridge is so tough but we gutted it out,” Brady said. “They played great at the end of the first half but we were able to hold on. This was a good way to start the year for us. There really is no preseason, so all games count. This was a great win and we’re super-happy to get it against a quality opponent.”
Timpview (1-0) next hosts Springville on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. while Skyridge plays at the Orem tournament starting on Thursday.