One of the characteristics that defines big-time players is the ability to rise to the occasion.

Timpview senior forward Lily Haskins has done that so many times throughout her career that she just expects that of herself.

“I woke up this morning feeling that I was going to get a hat trick today,” she said. “We had such a good practice last night where we worked on our first touches and our communication. That helped so much today. I knew I needed to step up and that my team was counting on me.”

Haskins led her team once again as the Thunderbirds went to Timpanogos for the Region 7 opener Tuesday afternoon, exploding for an impressive three goals as Timpview rolled to the 4-2 win.

“Our finishing was there and our defense was there,” Thunderbird head coach Eric Brady said. “That was the game. If you win in the boxes, you win. It was a great performance but really the difference was Lily Haskins. She was special today.”

Haskins didn’t take long to get going.

She started the scoring in the sixth minute as she timed a run perfectly and the Thunderbirds sent it over the Timpanogos defense to her. She easily finished the one-on-one opportunity to give Timpview the 1-0 lead.

That lead was short-lived, however, as the Timberwolves needed only seven minutes to equalize.

Timpanogos got a great entry pass and sophomore forward Lataya Brost redirected it into the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1.

But Haskins had another moment of first-half brilliance in her.

In the 20th minute, Thunderbird junior Tanya Rivera tipped the ball away from a T’Wolf player and right to the Timpview star. She turned from 25 yards out, saw an opening and blasted the ball into the net to give the Thunderbirds the lead again.

“Lily’s got it all,” Brady said. “She’s going to go to college and step in as a freshman because she’s learned everything and is smart. She just keeps getting better and that was in full display today.”

Timpview would extend its lead when freshman forward Sarah Shumway stole a pass from Timpanogos and put it right in the goal to make it 3-1 at halftime.

Haskins then completed the hat trick in the 48th minute when junior forward Savannah Rencher crossed the ball into the middle and the Thunderbird senior sealed her defender beautifully, then got the toe poke to get the ball across the line.

“It was great scoring three goals,” Haskins said. “1-vs.1s are my specialty. I was afraid I hit the post but it went in for the first one. Then on the shot, I saw in my peripheral vision that it was open and just went for it. On the last one, I just didn’t give up. You have to go after everything.”

That lead proved to be plenty as the Timpview defense proved to be impenetrable until the very last second, when Timpanogos senior Valeria Hernandez scored for the home team.

“They have one of the top offenses in the state,” Brady said. “They just come in waves at you from different angles. To only give them a couple of clean looks was really good for us. I proud of the girls. This was a big win for us.”

Even though she was proud of her scoring, Haskins was most pleased with getting the win against a good opponent to start league play.

“We were coming off of two losses, so this was a big win for us,” Haskins said. “We are so focused. We want to get a good seed and then go win state.”

Timpanogos head coach Natalyn Lewis said her team has to do a better job at limiting its mistakes and being mentally tough.

“We basically passed the ball to them in the middle of the field four times,” Lewis said. “Mistakes happen but what I was most disappointed in was how we reacted emotionally. We gave up and this team is better than that. Today Timpview deserved to win and we didn’t.”

Timpview (3-2-0, 1-0-0) next hosts Orem on Thursday at 7 p.m. while Timpanogos (1-2-1, 0-1-0) plays at Alta on the same day at 3:30 p.m.

Daily Herald sports reporter Jared Lloyd can be reached at 801-344-2555 or Twitter:

@JaredrLloyd. Instagram: