ROY — Alyssa Foutz was the first one on the field, running toward the goal with her finger raised in the air, the rest of the Roy Royals sprinting behind her.

One doesn’t get too many chances to celebrate on home field in the playoffs. That’s what second-seeded Roy did Tuesday afternoon, letting loose the tense energy built up in a roller-coaster matchup with Timpanogos, a game that could’ve gone off the rails both early and late, but one that ended in a 3-2 win and a ticket to the quarterfinals for the Royals.

Roy scored its three goals from set pieces and carried that 3-0 lead all the way to the 69th minute when Timpanogos scored on a set piece.

A minute later, the Timberwolves picked the ball out the back of the net again, setting the stage for a frantic finish.

At the heart of the game was an MVP-worthy performance by Royals keeper Taylor Thomas, who made 14 total saves and watched countless other shots and crosses drift just over and just wide of her goal.

“I’m tired. Really tired, but it was worth it,” she said.

The Timberwolves peppered the Roy goal in the first half, seemingly poised to take a multi-goal lead into halftime. Thomas made six saves in the first 40 minutes, then had to be alert 45 seconds into the second half to save from close-range.

“She kept us in the game,” said Foutz, the Royals’ head coach of Thomas’s first-half performance. “We’re an inexperienced team in big games and this is just part of our process and I think as it went on we gained more confidence.”

And then as Timpanogos looked more and more likely to score, Roy scored. Savanna Martinez sent a corner kick into a good area and the ball appeared to glance off Kennedy Bodily’s right shoulder and a Timpanogos defender before going in.

The Royals scored off another corner kick in the 60th minute when Jaslyn Tapia’s shot, coming after the ball careened off three different people in the box, hit the goalkeeper and a stretching defender on the way in.

Martinez then looked like she had put the game to bed with about a 23-yard free kick that flew in just under the crossbar with 12 minutes remaining. That’s when the Timberwolves woke up and started scoring.

Once again, Thomas was at the center of the last-minute stand, saving two free kicks in stoppage time and saving another shot that bounced off a Roy defender and nearly went in.

“We’re forever grateful for her, she’s a baller,” Martinez said about Thomas.

Tuesday’s home game was significant for the Royals in that they hadn’t hosted a home playoff game since 1997 and hadn’t won a home playoff game since 2003, the latter of which was the last time Roy had a winning overall record.

Both of those boxes are checked and the ride continues Thursday at Murray.

You can reach prep sports reporter Patrick Carr via email at pcarr@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter @patrickcarr_ and on Facebook at facebook.com/patrickcarr17/.

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