OREM — The Region 7 soccer picture just got a little bit clearer.
Pleasant Grove's 4-0 win over mistake-prone Timpanogos on Tuesday put the Vikings in the thick of the race for first place. Timpanogos was knocked into an early hole and will have to fight hard to get back in the hunt.
"Every game is important," Pleasant Grove coach Erik Bayles said. "You can't relax for one game. This was a game we had to win to control our state destiny."
Pleasant Grove now stands at 2-1 in region play, tied for second place with Mountain View, and just one game behind undefeated Lone Peak. Timpanogos has fallen to 1-2, a single game out of last place.
The game was played under mostly overcast skies and on a muddy field. Players from both teams had trouble with footing and ball control, but the Vikings never seemed phased, taking a quick lead.
In the game's first minute, Pleasant Grove put together a quick attack and Brett Waters drove an open shot into the right side of the net from 15-yards out for a 1-0 lead.
Both teams struggled to find scoring opportunities, but the momentum-shifting goal came in the 29th minute when the Vikings' Ty Gibb hit a line drive corner kick close to the net that ricocheted off a Timpanogos defender and in to make the score 2-0.
"The early goal doesn't usually bother us," T-Wolves coach Steve Bowler said. "These guys are usually a second-half team anyway. It was the own goal that kind of put them down."
Timpanogos' miscues and the Pleasant Grove defense then became the story of the game. The T-Wolves managed only a handful of good shots, missing a lot of opportunities and having a hard time getting past the Viking defenders.
"We did a good job shutting them down," Bayles said. "Our defense is playing well right now. The last three games the only goals they've given up have been penalty kicks."
In the 64th minute Bruno Ferreira recovered a defensive tip and fired the ball in from 20-yards out to make the score 3-0. The final goal came in the 73rd minute when Jay Helquist broke away from the defense and had a clear one-on-one shot that he easily tapped behind the goalkeeper.
"I was worried about the field. It was really wet with all the rain we've had," Bayles said. "But we came out and played well."
The Vikings face Mountain View on Thursday in a battle for second place.
In other boys soccer games Tuesday:
WEST JORDAN 7, RIVERTON 2:Sean Rogers scored four for West Jordan in a decisive victory over Riverton. Sean Vince notched three assists for West Jordan.
BRIGHTON 3, HILLCREST 0: Brighton remained unbeaten, getting goals from Leo Sagebin, Mitch Peterson and Tyler Moss. Mitch Peterson and Dallas Stephen each had assists for the Bengals. Goalies Ashton Zubal and Jaddon Rogers split time in goal for the shutout.
BINGHAM 1, ALTA 0: Scoreless for the first 75 minutes, the Miners finally broke through with just a few minutes to play to defeat the Hawks 1-0. Nick Shields scored the game-winner on an assist from Jarron Woolley. A.J. Morris was perfect at keeper to get the shutout.
KEARNS 5, GRANGER 0: Kearns earned its first victory of the year with a shutout against Granger. Kevin Young and Kyle Help scored two and three goals, respectively, while Tony Wolf and Christian Gonzalas split time as goalkeeper in the shutout.
SKYLINE 5, TAYLORSVILLE 3: Skyline's Justin Braun finished with a hat trick and one assist as Skyline defeated Taylorsville to remain perfect in Region 3.
HUNTER 4, COTTONWOOD 0:Dorotwe Aburto scored the first three goals of the game to give Hunter a lead it would never come close to relinquishing in its win over host Cottonwood. Josh Staten also scored for the Wolverines.
ROY 4, BOX ELDER 3 (OT):Tyler Britt scored 20 seconds into overtime as the Royals held off Box Elder. Roy outshot the Bees 31-9. Two of Box Elder's three goals were free kicks.
BONNEVILLE 1, MOUNTAIN CREST 0:Charlie Belliston scored the lone goal of the game on a penalty kick in the 60th minute to drop Mountain Crest. Scott Klema earned the shutout in goal.
OLYMPUS 5, WEST 0:David Castillo earned the shutout in goal for Olympus, getting two goals from Brent Jensen and one each from Andrew Radcliffe, Thomas DcDermott and Travis Reed.
EAST 4, MURRAY 1:John Pearson scored two goals as visiting East defeated Murray 4-1. Preston Langeland and Cameron Pinegar also got into the act by scoring single goals. Robbie Irion notched one goal for the Spartans
WOODS CROSS 3, CYPRUS 1: Fullback Kenny Romney pushed the offense of Woods Cross, scoring a goal and getting an assist. Jeff Ferguson and Dave Gates also added goals for Woods Cross. Parker Howell scored for Cyprus on a penalty kick.
BOUNTIFUL 6, HIGHLAND 1: Bountiful's Sam Berg scored four goals and Doug McOrmie added two more as the Braves improved to 6-1-2 in region play. Peter Awan scored for Highland.
TIMPVIEW 3, AMERICAN FORK 1:Jared Davis found the back of the net twice for Timpview in a Region 6 battle with American Fork.
SPRINGVILLE 1, PROVO 0 (OT):Joe Wilkinson scored in the 10th minute of overtime against the Bulldogs. Casey Cropper earned the shutout as goalkeeper for Springville.
LONE PEAK 1, OREM 0:Kaleb Thompson's second-half penalty kick was the difference as Lone Peak remains undefeated in region play. Goalie Taylor Payne earned the shutout for Lone Peak.
PAYSON 11, MILLARD 0: Payson received goals from seven different players to get the team win over Millard. Pelmo Torres led the Lion attack, scoring a hat trick, while goalie Ryan Peck earned the shutout.