OREM — Up to this point in the season, the Lehi boys soccer team has managed to compile an impressive record while flying under the radar.
On Thursday the Pioneers took down Timpanogos 1-0 in double overtime, and cruising along unnoticed is going to be a lot more difficult for the rest of the year. But the team says its ready to start getting some attention pointed its way and prove that its record is legitimate..
"These guys really want to be noticed," said Lehi coach Steve McMurdie. "We've been under the radar long enough. Today was to go out there for pride and get noticed."
Against a talented Timpanogos team, the game played out to a scoreless stalemate for more than 90 minutes before the Pioneers found the stroke of magic they needed to get the winning goal.
The score came via sophomore midfielder Ben Preisendorf.
In the 94th minute, Spencer Gray made a cutting run through the back line and went down under pressure just outside the penalty box. The referee blew his whistle and awarded a free kick.
Preisendorf lined the shot up and sent the ball high inside the far post for the golden goal.
"I knew the keeper was lined up on the far post," said Preisendorf. "I knew he was going to slide to the near post so I went to the post he was on. It felt good. I knew it was in right when I hit it."
In the first overtime period, Timpanogos had won a free kick in almost the exact same spot. The T-Wolves' shooter hit the near post with his shot, however, and the ball was cleared before an attacker could get a foot on it.
Timpanogos had another good chance later in extra time when Trevor Henderson got behind the defense, but his shot was saved by goalkeeper Riley Anderson, preserving Lehi's fifth shutout of the year.
"Our defense is strong," said McMurdie. "They had a couple of good opportunities. We had many good opportunities, too. I think it was a defensive battle."
The scattered chances in overtime marked the most either team was able to create the whole game. Both teams were content to stick with a deliberate, possession-oriented attack that mainly resulted in lots of buildup and a few half chances on goal.
Fatigue finally opened up some cracks as the game wore on.
"Going to the second overtime legs are spent, people are running out of fuel," said McMurdie. "Both teams really tried to put the nail in the coffin. We were fortunate enough to be the ones that put that one on goal."