WASHINGTON TERRACE — Bonneville High’s girls soccer team is trying to get back to the 5A state championship this year after losing in last year’s title game to Skyline.
The Lakers got the first step out of the way Tuesday at home, dispatching No. 15 Salem Hills 4-0 behind a Sadie Beardall hat trick and a convincing performance so typical of their season so far.
In the fourth minute, Ashlyn Price lofted a free kick toward the Skyhawks’ goal and goalkeeper Bryanna Hofheins spilled the ball right to Summer Diamond, who cashed in on the open net to give Bonneville (15-2) an early lead.
Beardall, a sophomore forward, got the first of her three when her long free kick dipped under the crossbar for a 2-0 lead.
The Lakers dominated possession the first 20 minutes of the game, took several shots on goal and looked everything like a No. 2 seed hellbent on getting back to the finals would look.
They and everyone in attendance thought the lead could’ve easily been larger than 2-0 at halftime.
Not even two minutes into the second half, Beardall cut inside from the left, then cut back outside to create space and fired a shot that went in just under the crossbar.
Beardall said she “absolutely” thought she was going to score as soon as she saw the shot go off.
“There’s one thing about Sadie is you know you’re going to get everything from her no matter what,” head coach Gavin Garside said.
Beardall left shortly afterward with a bloody nose, then scored her third goal when she came back by heading a free kick right at Hofheins, who mishandled the ball.
The Lakers’ bench players held up three fingers on each of their hands for Beardall’s third goal.
“For me and my girls, we came out hard and we’re going to play our hardest throughout the playoffs and we’re just really pumped and excited,” Beardall said. “And it’s my sister’s last year and I just want to do the best for her.”
At the other end, goalkeeper Abree Beardall — the senior sister of the sophomore Sadie — didn’t have much to do in the way of making saves or dealing with crosses Tuesday en route to her ninth clean sheet of the season.
That can be chalked up to the Lakers, who shared the Region 5 title with Viewmont this year, controlling possession for most of the game and not giving Salem the time it needed to forge many scoring chances.
“In the first 10 minutes, it was next level. Our possession has never been at that level for that long. It goes in spurts, but it was really good to see that (Salem Hills) touched the ball a handful of times maybe in the first 10 minutes or so,” Garside said.
Tuesday’s game, which came after a first-round bye, was the first time the Lakers had central defender Gabby Carlson in the lineup after an injury a few weeks ago. The Lakers will play again at home at 4 p.m. Thursday against 10-seed Timpanogos (12-5), which beat 7-seed Lehi 3-1.