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Girls’ soccer: Skyridge upsets Timpanogos, 1-0

First Published      Last Updated Oct 04 2016 07:15 pm

Not many soccer fans would pick a first year program to beat a four-time champion on their home field in order to extend their season. But that's exactly what happened Tuesday as Region 7 newcomer Skyridge upset Timpanogos 1-0 on senior night in Orem.

Timpanogos came into the season having played in the past three 4A state title games and having won four state championships since 2009. While the Timberwolves had struggled this season to return to championship form, they are still a dangerous team with plenty of playoff experience.

Skyridge, on the other hand, is a brand new program, unfortunately placed in one of the toughest regions in the state with Alta and Timpview, in addition to Timpanogos. Yet, the fledgling Falcons somehow found a way to upset the Timberwolves on their home field to force a play-in game for the fourth and final playoff spot in Region 7.




Skyridge started the game quickly, holding possession in its attacking third of the field and denying any sort of Timpanogos attack for the first few minutes of the match. The Falcons scored the opening goal in the eighth minute, as senior forward Breesa Mawahine ran onto a ball from fellow forward Cassidy Clegg. Mawahine split the defense, stayed onside and beat the onrushing goalkeeper low and to the middle of the net to give her team the early lead.

With their playoff chances slipping away minute by minute, the Timberwolves fervently attacked the Skyridge backline in the second half. After a few close calls, the Falcon defense began to regain control of the game, thanks in large part to senior captain Alli Merrill.

"We knew that [Timpanogos] was going to come out playing hard, so we had to come out hard," Merrill said. "We finally got the rotation down, our center back had the game of her life and the wings did a really good job of dropping to defend since they had three forwards. We just really wanted it."

Thanks to the tremendous play of her backline, Skyridge goalkeeper Lauren Lange was only forced into five save opportunities and ended up with the shutout.

"They came out with a lot more intensity in the second half," Lange said. "They put a lot of pressure on our defense ­­— everyone was getting back. It wasn't just the defense getting the ball out, everyone was clearing and holding the ball. It was a good team effort and it worked out for us in the end."

Skyridge head coach Jerry Preisndorf has the team effort to thank for his squad's upset win Tuesday, but he knows they will need even more of it if they want to finish the job and win the play-in game.

"I thought the girls played exactly the way we wanted to, at least in the first half," Preisendorf said. "We were knocking it around and forcing the other team to step in and defend. [In the] second half, we played not to lose. We started to get a little jittery and excited, at times we looked good but other times there were definite nerves. We just need to work on playing better, playing our game and making the other team chase."

 

AT A GLANCE

Storylines

» Timpanogos suffers its sixth shutout loss of the season

» Skyridge hangs on for a 1-0 win, thanks to GK Lauren Lange’s third shutout of the season (second straight).

» Skyridge and Timpanogos will hold a play-in game to determine who will represent the Region 7 No. 4 seed.


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