The Lehi High School girls soccer team continued their Region 3 schedule with two wins and a loss in the past couple of weeks. The Pioneers are now 4-9 overall and were in fourth place in the league with a 3-4 record coming into this week.
Sept. 7: Lehi 1, Pleasant Grove 0
“This was a huge game for us against a very worthy opponent who like us is fighting for seeding and placement as we get closer to the playoffs,” said Coach Jonas Hartmann.
“This was a game where things we have been working on are slowly starting to take shape and we played some of the best soccer I have seen from the group,” he continued. “We worked really hard for each other and played like a team.
“We implemented some new plays and ways of attacking the game including having our forward turn towards goal on the first touch,” the coach said.
This paid off in a big way when sophomore Izze Dahl buried a beautiful rocket shot from distance with 7:50 left in the first halfoff a give from freshman wing Olivia Schoenfeld.
The Pioneers could have doubled the advantage with one of their free-kick combinations which was well executed by senior Erin Dahl and created a rebound that Lehi almost scored on.
“The rest of the game became a real battle and the girls really had to fight and claw for the win,” Hartmann said. “Our defense had to be about perfect to prevent PG from scoring.”
The defense only allowed two shots on target in each period, and these were all ably fielded by junior netminder Kelsey Badger.
Hartmann named Izze Dahl as Player of the Game. “She never stopped working and found the game-winner that put us on the winning track,” he said.
Sept. 12: Lehi 2, Westlake 1 (OT)
“This was a must-win game for us but a tough one,” Hartmann said. “After having beaten them a few weeks ago we knew they would come out strong and they did.
“It took us a bit of time to get going and by the time we did we found ourselves down 0-1 after giving up a goal in the 14th minute on a miscommunication on our part,” he said. “We battled our way through a tough first half which was less than polished from us.”
On the last play before the break, the Pioneers lost Badger to an injury and junior Kate Williams replaced her in goal.
“In the second half we came out with much more energy and desire,” Hartmann said. “We started winning 50/50 balls and had better possession.”
In the 58th minute, Schoenfeld dropped into the middle to receive the ball and found Izze Dahl with a one-touch pass. She thenquickly turned and saw a great run from senior Brynn Larsen on the right side and with a beautiful split ball she sent Larsen in on goal.
“There was still a lot left to do and Brynn took a couple of touches before sending on a great shot to the back post to tie up the game 1-1,” the coach said. “We had a few more opportunities and our defense was tested multiple times but they were up to the task.”
The game went into overtime. With less than three minutes remaining in the first extra period, Lehi got a free kick barely on the Westlake side of center. Erin Dahl sent the ball towards the target and the keeper from Westlake saw the ball bounce over her and into the goal for the game-winner.
“We were really showing character and playing well,” Hartmann said. “Erin had a great game and deserved to decide it. She has an ability to find the right option at the right time.”
Erin Dahl was named Player of the Game. “She is a leader on and off the field and really helped get the team going,” Hartmann said. “I am extremely proud of the girls battling through adversity but never giving up and finding a way to win the game.”
Badger had four saves and Williams five as they split time between the pipes.
The match against American Fork was a tale of two halves. “We dominated the first half with the best soccer we have played this year,” Hartmann said. “We moved the ball very well, we worked hard, we were solid in the back, and with Kelsey out, Kate stepped in and had a great first half too.”
The Pioneers just missed on a chance two minutes into the contest. They got two more during the period but one was blocked and the other barely outside. It was 0-0 going into the break.
They started the second half strong as well for the first 10 minutes but weren’t able to convert on two more tries. “AF has an amazing keeper who is hard to beat,” the coach said.
With less than 20 minutes remaining, the Cavemen capitalized on their building momentum and scored, taking some steam out of their opponents. They added two more goals in short order. Lehi finally got on the board in the 70th minute when Schenfeld hit the net after an assist from Izze Dahl.
Hartmann said Williams tallied six saves in the contest and did a great job stepping in for her injured teammate. “I am so proud of these girls and the progress they are making,” the coach said. “We played great soccer for about 60-70 minutes and we will use that to build on as we move forward.”
The Player of the Game was Brynn Larsen.