Bonneville soccer, aiming for 3rd straight title-game appearance, starts playoffs with 2-0 win
WASHINGTON TERRACE — Playoff hope and heartbreak have both motivated and loomed over the Bonneville High girls soccer team each of the past two offseasons after consecutive golden-goal losses in the state title game.
“They’re set. In fact the other day they sat down and … our captains got them together and they all realized that they started back in June with all the trainings and conditionings and now it’s the time, they said this is what we’ve worked for, is these last two weeks,” coach Tyler Anderson said.
Well, it’s October now and the 5A state playoffs have arrived, almost overnight like the cold storm that sent temperatures down to the 40s.
For the Lakers, that much-anticipated playoff journey began Tuesday in said cold, cloudy and windy conditions with a 2-0 win against No. 18 Salem Hills that advances No. 2 Bonneville to a home quarterfinal at 4 p.m. Thursday against No. 10 Murray.
Rylee Lopaz scored the game’s first goal after a well-worked passing move that saw Sadie Beardall provide the final pass to unlock the defense and set up Lopaz.
In midfielder Summer Diamond’s words, it was a great team goal and the shot was “right on the money.”
Near-misses by Ashlyn Bardwell and Maddie Callahan in the final minutes of the first half, plus a pinballing corner kick from Diamond, provided the only other noteworthy moments of the first half since Salem spent most of its possession just trying to keep the ball out of its own half of the field.
The Skyhawks still proved to be a team that was always in the right spot to defend most of the Lakers’ passes and prevent a 2-0 final score from being 3-0 or 4-0.
“We still didn’t connect real well, but the moments we did we were able to advance the ball fairly easily,” Anderson said. “They had a couple of more speedy defenders that we just couldn’t run through, it was more of we had to be a bit more tactical with it.”
Beardall assisted the team’s second goal to Savana Olsen in the second half and the defense kept its ninth shutout of the season.
A lot of that credit for the shutout has to go to the midfield and defenders, who had superior possession and shut down any attacking threats from Salem, so much so it left BHS goalkeeper Ellie Scholer with little to do except do jumping jacks to stay warm.