The No. 14 Lehi High School girls soccer team scored in the first half to take a 1-0 lead over No. 19 Bingham in the first round of the 6A state tournament Thursday afternoon (Oct. 5) and then corralled a determined effort by the Miners to secure the victory and the opportunity to move on.
The Pioneers will next play at No. 3 Copper Hills (13-3-0) in the second round on Tuesday (Oct. 10) with a berth to the quarterfinals at stake. Kickoff will be at 4 p.m. unless the schools agree to change the time.
Senior forward Erin Dahl has led the team in every way this season, so it was not surprising that she was the source of the winning edge in this taut contest.
After picking up the ball at the top of the offensive third, she turned it and navigated her way to the left surrounded by Bingham defenders. She found a momentary opening around the 25-yard mark and let loose a bullet off her left foot which hit the net near the right back corner.
“As is often the case, we look to Erin for a moment of magic and she didn’t disappoint,” said Coach Jonas Hartmann. “She came up with a rocket of a shot in the first half to bring us up 1-0.
“It was a hard-fought match the whole day, maybe harder than we had anticipated,” the coach continued. “Bingham went hard to the ball and didn’t allow us the opportunity to get our flow going. Our girls battled the entire game.
“It was a game where we had to fight for every inch all over the field,” he said. “We had anticipated that, but it meant our girls had to work extra hard for everything.
“We played a very solid game defensively and Kelsey Badger recorded another shutout with a lot of help from the new defensive pairing of Kanani Haunga and Brynn Larsen with Amanda Willardson out injured. Those two were great in the back and made sure we didn’t allow our opponents any real chances.
“I will highlight my outside backs today too in Nora Evans and Livi Schoenfeld as they had amazing games” Hartmann said. “I could call out every player because they all worked so hard.
“Offensively we got the usual big contributions from Izze Dahl but also had great work on both wings as well,” he went on.“Amarie Simmons and Adelle Grimley had to work overtime in the middle with Erin to see out the win.
“I am proud of the hard work and determination these girls showed today,” he said. “They were dedicated to the game planand they have worked super hard for weeks now and they got rewarded tonight. We were very close to a second goal on a few occasions, but goals are hard to come by in games like this.
“Before the game we all agreed that our playoff run was not ending today,” Hartmann said. “We wanted this for the school, for each other, for the parents and for the seniors that could have played their last game today. The girls were 100 percent focused and dedicated to not allowing that to happen.
“This was a very important win for us,” the coach added. “Today we showed a lot of desire, and in the end got the win we deserved, and we proudly move on to the second round where a tough Copper Hills team is waiting. We will be ready.”