SOUTH JORDAN — Lone Peak soccer coach Blaine Hale was happy to just survive the match against Region 4 foe Bingham on Wednesday afternoon.
“It was a back-and-forth battle,” he said after the Knights (4-2-2, 1-0-1) edged Bingham 1-0 on the Miners’ home field.
“The game could have gone either way,” Hale added. “It was really sloppy, I thought, and we never really got into our game. I think we can play much, much better, and I hope we’re able to get there soon.”
Although neither team could ever take over, Bingham (5-3-0, 1-1-0) controlled the tempo for the majority of the contest, sending shot after shot off the post or just wide of the goal.
Lone Peak goalkeeper Brad Clark came up big late in the game, matching each Miner shot attempt with a big save.
“I’d love to go back and watch our film and see how many shots we had and how many times we were in front of the net that we just couldn’t get the ball in,” said Matt Kennaley, the Miners’ head coach. “It was just unlucky today.”
As it played out, it was Ryan Morrin of Lone Peak who scored the match's only goal midway through the second half when he snuck behind Bingham goalkeeper Joseph Christensen, controlled a cross, and tapped the ball into the net.
“Give Lone Peak a lot of credit,” Kennaley added. “They came out and made their opportunity count. Even though there weren’t many (opportunities), that doesn’t matter at the end of the day.”
The most dramatic play of the match occurred when the Miners’ Tyler Defenburg jumped for a header and landed on the ground, dislocating a finger on his right hand.
The team captain immediately came off the field and met his dad at the bench, who snapped his finger back into place before anyone even knew what had happened.
“It made a nice little pop,” Kennaley said. “He’s going to be sore tomorrow, but he’s good.”
After taping his middle fingers together, Defenburg returned for the final seven minutes of play.
“I don’t expect anything less from my captain,” Kennaley said. “I knew as soon he got that back in he was going to be able to go. I didn’t even have to worry about it.”
He added that he hopes the experience, particularly Defenburg’s toughness, sticks with the rest of his team.
“It was one of those things they’re going to be able to remember, and hopefully they’ll be able to look at a thing that can happen on a sideline and guys will see that and say, ‘You know what, I can go back in and make it work.’”
Sarah Thomas is a graduate of the University of Utah and has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008. EMAIL: email@example.com