In round one of the 5A girls’ soccer playoffs the 16th seed Lehi Pioneers kept their season alive by defending home against the visiting 17th seed Murray Spartans, winning 2-1.
Lehi came into today’s game with some confidence after ending the regular season second in Region 8 and fresh off a three game win streak.
The Pioneer defense had to work overtime for this win. The first half was a defensive battle, neither Lehi nor Murray was able to really get anything going offensively.
Both sides had some mistakes, but thanks to solid defensive game plans the two teams stayed neck and neck and ended the first half tied 0-0.
The beginning of the second half seemed to be a similar story with each team struggling to find opportunities to score. Lehi’s constant pressure eventually proved to be fruitful when finally, its offense managed to take advantage of mistakes from the Murray defense.
In the 54th minute, Lehi caught the Spartan defense grabbing jerseys which caused Olivia Smith’s penalty kick to finally break the stalemate between the two teams.
This goal was the turning point of the game, the Pioneer’s found some momentum and played more loosely.
Soon after, in the 60th minute, the Lehi offense struck again, this time it was Raegan Jorgensen who found an opportunity from a bad pass from the Murray defense and made it count, scoring and putting her team up 2-0.
“I couldn’t have done it without my team. We were knocking at the door over and over again. I wouldn’t have done it without my wings and forwards pressing. They set it up perfectly for me. I’m glad I was able to do it and get us ahead,” said Jorgensen.
Despite being down 2-0 with only 20 minutes left to play, the Murray offense did not give up and really put on the pressure.
However, thanks to some great team defense and saves from Lehi’s Haley Ogden, the Pioneers were able to keep the Spartans out of this game.
Finally, with about 10 minutes left, Murrays Ava Talaeai found the back of the net and made the score 2-1.
Murray kept up the pressure until the very end and even had a few chances at evening things up. But once again a strong defensive performance from the Pioneers kept a comeback from happening and pushed them forward into round two.
“We didn’t start the game well today. But made some halftime adjustments and they really came out a did exactly what we asked as a staff. Very happy to be moving on,” said Lehi coach Tim Graham.
It was certainly a nice win for Lehi as they now get to move into round two. But they have their work cut out for them in round two as they take on the undefeated first seed Bonneville Lakers on October 11.