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T-Wolves roll after adjusting

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Timpanogos' Angela Dickson and American Fork's Jenn Packham battle for the ball.

Timpanogos’ Angela Dickson and American Fork’s Jenn Packham battle for the ball.

Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning News

AMERICAN FORK — Both American Fork and Timpanogos knew that the loser of their Wednesday game would be sitting behind the eight ball in the Region 4 girls soccer standings.

Timpanogos made some mid-game adjustments and fought to a 4-1 win that felt closer than the three-goal difference might suggest. The win keeps the T-Wolves' record clean after the second day of region play, while American Fork will be trying to make up for the early loss.

The momentum of the game swung when, trailing 1-0, Timpanogos tied the score on a penalty kick, then started exploiting a weakness in American Fork's defense. The T-Wolves noticed that too much pressure was being committed to the near post, leaving the back side open for late runs. Once Timpanogos started switching the field with late crosses, the goals came flying in.

"Their defense really pursued well to the one side or the other," said Timpanogos coach Jim Jaramillo. "We knew if we could get balls crossed, then we could put goals in. The first half we kept attacking the near post and it wasn't happening for us. We made that adjustment, and things fell into place."

It took long enough to make the tactical change that the T-Wolves were lucky not to be in a big hole going into the final 40 minutes. American Fork went ahead in the 19th minute when Kaycee Mansfield knocked in a Nikki Packham free kick.

Mansfield had just missed a header a few minutes earlier, and her team had a few other near misses in the early going.

Happy to be one goal down instead of two or three, Timpanogos took advantage of a penalty to tie the score just before halftime. Mallorie Jaramillo made the spot kick in the 40th minute. The T-Wolves then went ahead in the 43rd minute when Marissa Nimmer scored at the far post.

"I think the first half we were just a little frustrated," said Mallorie Jaramillo. "They came out much stronger than we did, and we weren't ready for it. The second half we knew we were dealing with a good team, so we came and were ready for it."

Noelle Sanders scored the insurance goal in the 62nd minute, taking a square pass and finding the target from the top of the box.

Freshman Marissa Unbedacht finished the scoring with her first goal of the season three minutes before full time.

"Once you get that first goal a lot of pressure is taken off," said Jim Jaramillo. "We started doing what we needed to do. We didn't panic. They scored on us first, and we just settled down and came back at them."