Lehi boys soccer finishes 3rd in region
After dropping two close Region 8 matches, the Lehi boys soccer team won its final three league games to end the regular season in third place with an 8-4 mark behind state No. 1-ranked Alta and No. 3 Orem.
The No. 4 Pioneers are 10-5 overall and also rank high in the RPI standings. They will probably get a first-round bye and start the state tournament Tuesday in the second round. The playoff bracket was not yet available at press time.
April 18: Timpanogos 2, Lehi 1 (OT)
The Pioneers had a rough game on the road against the Timberwolves playing in heavy wind with gusts exceeding 40 mph. The teams were scoreless through the first half, but each netted a goal in the second period to bring on overtime. Senior defender Garrett Weber had the unassisted goal for Lehi.
Junior goalkeeper Kaleb Cowley made six saves in the effort, but the home squad managed to get one more past him in the extra stanza to secure the win.
“The boys didn’t deal well with the wind at all, and that’s on me,” said Coach Tim Graham. “We weren’t prepared to play under those conditions. We had a ton of opportunities and just couldn’t finish them. Hats off to Timpanogos, they wanted it more than us.”
April 21: Orem 1, Lehi 0
A lone goal by the Tigers in the second half turned out to be the difference as the Pioneers visited one of the state’s best squads. Junior goalkeeper Jayce Trejo tallied eight saves to keep his team in the match.
“The boys played great against Orem,” Graham said. “I was super proud of the effort. We had a lot of upperclassmen and starters out injured and young players from our JV squad stepped up big time. We played very well and if we had finished our chances, we would have won that game.
“We fought hard,” he added. “Fingers crossed that we are all healthy the rest of the way. We have had eight concussions and lost two of our starters to ACL season-ending injuries along witha few other injuries. We have literally only started the same 11 twice all season.”
Junior Colton Marsing went down in the third game of the yearand Tyler Orton, the do-everything senior, followed him to the sideline two matches later. “Both were big-time players for us,” Graham said. “However, the boys have handled all the adversity very well most of the time.”
April 28: Lehi 2, Jordan 1
In their final regular-season away game, the Pioneers managed to post a win over the Beetdiggers. Senior Nate Shepherd scored one goal in each half for his squad with assists from senior defender Mac Worthington and Weber. Cowley had three saves to help lift his team.
“We played very well, we just struggled to finish all of our chances,” the coach said. “We need to keep working on that.”
May 2: Lehi 3, Mountain View 0
The Pioneers earned a shutout over the Bruins at home with the help of Cowley’s three saves. They owned a 1-0 lead at the break and found the target twice more after that to finish off the victory.
Shepherd provided two of the scores and senior midfielder Luis Lillo got the third. Worthington made the gives for two goals and senior forward Corbin Tokornoo provided the other.
“The boys played well this night,” Graham said. “We kept the ball for pretty much the whole game. We created a lot of chances and finished three of them. We are starting to get healthy and that’s a plus.”
May 5: Lehi 6, Timpview 2
The Pioneers buried the Thunderbirds with five goals in the first half to finish out the regular season on Senior Night. Cowley and Trejo split time between the pipes and tallied four saves and two saves, respectively. Timpview scored once in each period.
Shepherd registered a hat trick to add to his illustrious careertotals. Sophomore midfielder Gavin Fenn added two goals and Tokornoo netted the other one along with making an assist. Weber contributed three gives in the effort and Cowley provided the other one.
“We got some big-time performances tonight and that was a great way to honor our class of 2023,” Graham said. “We got down 0-1 early and then just refocused and put the pedal to the metal, completely dominating the game after that. We kept the ball well and created a lot of chances.”
The state tournament line-up is scheduled for release on Wednesday. Check online at lehifreepress.com to find out how the Pioneers are positioned.