Washington Terrace • It took longer than coach Rob McDaniel would have liked, but his Bonneville squad eventually would find its feet on offense as the Lakers scored twice in a five-minute span for a 2-0 victory over Desert Hills in the first round of the Class 4A girls’ soccer state tournament.
Sophomore Taelor Anderson scored in the 65th minute and senior striker Jaycee Stein sealed the victory in the 70th minute with her 10th goal of the season.
“I think it was nerves,” McDaniel said. “I think our girls were really nervous coming out. We didn’t start the game out the way we know we can play. We weren’t being as aggressive as we knew we could be.”
While the Lakers enjoyed the majority of possession in the first half, the Thunder were able to put three shots on goal before halftime.
“It was all on us,” Stein said. “We’re a pressure team and we didn’t pressure the ball enough. We also didn’t score early. We like to score early, and we struggled with that.”
But Bonneville was able to stretch the Desert Hills defense after halftime, which led to the opening goal. Bailey Hassell won the ball inside the Thunder penalty area and lifted a cross onto the waiting foot of Anderson at the far post.
“I was just sending it toward the goal,” Hassell said about her cross. “I tried to keep it on frame so someone else could get it if it didn’t go in. I didn’t see Taelor, I just hit it and hoped someone would put it in.”
Stein was able to reach double digits in scoring this season when she tallied in the 70th minute off a feed from junior Abby Kunzler.
“I was trying to find the back of the net a lot today, and it just wasn’t coming,” Stein said. “Once my teammates helped me work up the ball, it came together. We all worked as a team to work that goal in. It wasn’t just me on that one.”
McDaniel told his team after the match that it was going to have to learn a lesson from the match if it planned on advancing further.
“Come out strong,” McDaniel said. “We’ve got to come out from the opening whistle and take control of the game instead of waiting around to see what happens. We have to put our game on them. That’s the thing.”