The last thing the Knights expected after Lone Peak’s 5-3 victory over West was homework.
From the opening whistle, the Knights looked like the senior-heavy team that has its eye on a state championship run. With Landon Wilson’s fourth-minute chip shot establishing the lead, Lone Peak looked like it had all of the momentum.
But on a team with 18 seniors, every game for Lone Peak is a tryout for a starting position. Coach Matt Paskett assigned homework for the next practice, to reassess what they need to do to put teams away.
"I imagine we’ll be working on free kicks and our defense," Paskett said. "Still, I am happy with today’s performance. The fact that they practice like they play is something we’re proud of."
Physically, Lone Peak towered over its smaller opposition. The Knights were able to successfully contest every ball in the air and had the speed to challenge any loose possession.
What could have been a rout stopped when West’s Raul Sanchez came alive.
The sophomore tied the game in the 18th minute, beating the keeper with a far corner chip shot.
Kurtis Brimhall answered seconds later, but Sanchez immediately drilled a free kick from near midfield, tying the game.
"They had a little surge, and we were freaking out a little," Lone Peak’s Dave Adams said of Sanchez’s goal. "Once we got up and rolling, we were able to keep our composure better."
Lone Peak settled in for the final moments of the first with Carlos Vera scoring, going into the half 3-2.
The Knights controlled the second half of the game with Mike Smith and Braden Vawdrey finding the back of the net. They focused on their fundamentals and worked on developing passing lanes that West was unable to stop.
"We started passing faster, and they couldn’t get a body on us," Smith said. "We took control of the game in the second."
Wilson re-established Lone Peak’s defensive toughness by making hard slide tackles, and Adams controlled the offense from the forwards. Adams knew that once they stuck to their game plan, West would not be able to respond.
"We have a lot of great players on our team," Adams said. "We’re friends, and we got each other’s back at all costs."
Lone Peak plays at Murray on Friday.
Copyright 2013 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.