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2015 Girls D-I Quarterfinal Recaps

Alta squared off vs. Skyline in the first game of a D-I girls semifinal double header at Altara Elementary School. The D-I South No. 1 seed Alta Hawks put their 10-2 record to the test vs. D-I South No. 4 Skyline Eagles. Although Skyline went into the game with a record of just 3-9, they proved to be a difficult team to beat with their relentless hustle and aggression in gaining possession of the ball.
The Hawks were first to score when Alta’s Jaida Webster knocked down a goalie clear, picked up the ground ball and patiently put the ball in the back of the net. Minutes later, Laura Ogden scored a goal to put Alta up 2-0. After a Skyline goal by Olivia Heiner assisted by Edie Peterson, Alta scored two more goals on free position shots from Ogden and Kayla Medina. Down 4-1, Skyline showed the Hawks that they never give up. The Eagles went on an offensive charge led by two goals by senior captain Annie Soulier, another goal by Heiner and a goal by Peterson. Alta countered with two goals by McKinan Little and another goal by Ogden. With seconds left in the half, Skyline’s goalie Charlotte Romney saved a point blank shot to stop the scoring. Alta went into halftime with a 7-5 lead.
The second half started like the first with Alta winning the opening draw and a free position score by Ogden. Skyline was then able to find ways to penetrate Alta’s zone defense when Peterson fed an assist to Soulier from behind goal. Peterson was again involved in the scoring when she scored a goal off of a Heiner assist. Skyline was not done scoring as Heiner added another free position goal to tie the game at 8 apiece.
Now in a close battle, both teams batted down the hatches and played tough defense. Skyline had chances to score but weren’t able to get a shot past Second Team All-State goalie Jessica Christensen who came up with some big saves. Alta too struggled to score behind Skyline’s tough defense led by Tessa Braley. Alta was finally able to break the tie as Miranda McCulloch drove in on an inside crease roll and put the ball in the net as she tiptoed in front of the goal circle.
Skyline fought back to tie the game once again when Peterson assisted Heiner for her 4th goal of the night. On the ensuing draw, an Alta attack player was given a yellow card, giving Skyline a man up situation and the ball. Skyline was in a great position to take their first lead of the game but could not capitalize. The Eagles had two great chances to score, but one shot hit the pipe and the other was saved by Christensen. On the clear, Christensen sent a pin-point pass into the midfield that started an Alta fast break. McCulloch finished the fast break with her second goal of the night. Now up by a goal, Alta won the next draw and started to work the clock. Alta went into a stall but still found a chance to score when Ogden ran past Skyline’s over-aggressive defense. Little rounded out the scoring with another goal to give Alta a hard fought 12-9 victory.
After talking to his team and catching a quick breather, Alta’s head coach Josh Sullivan stated, “They never let us feel comfortable. I am happy we figured it out at the end. Skyline is a scrappy team and their #23 (Heiner) is a great player.” Sullivan also was pleased with his team’s ability to “get possession in the end and run [their] stall.”
Alta’s scoring was led by Ogden with 5 goals, Little scored 3 goals, Nelson added 2 goals, Webster and Medina scored one goal apiece. Skyline’s scoring was led by Heiner with 4 goals and an assist. Peterson added 2 goals and 3 assists. Soulier also scored 3 goals.
In the second game of the double header, D-I North No. 2 seed Brighton Bengals squared off against D-I South No. 2 seed Riverton Silverwolves in a rematch of last year’s fantastic semifinal game in which Riverton defeated Brighton in overtime.
Tiffany Wallace scored right out of the gates with an unassisted goal. Riverton won the next draw to even the scoring when Katie Oka scored on a free position. Brighton countered by showing their great offensive efficiency by scoring 4 straight goals, two by Bergan McArdle and two by Mo Osterloh giving Brighton an early 5-1 lead. Riverton was able to score their second goal when Madison Brown scored on a beautiful fast break assisted by Remington Jarvis. Brighton continued their quick striking offense when Maddy Doty scored on a fast break with :16 seconds left on the first half clock.
Riverton coach David Oka must have gotten his players attention as they came out of half time scoring. Quick goals by Alyssa Kennedy and Tess Campbell brought Riverton back within 2 goals. Brighton and Riverton then traded free position goals when Osterlogh scored for the Bengals and Campbell added another one for Riverton. Emma Patch added another goal for Brighton to give them an 8-5 lead midway through the second half. Wallace put the Bengals back up by 4 when she picked up an errant ground ball right in front of the goal and placed it in the back of the net for her 3rd goal of the night.
Down 9-5, Riverton showed that they were not going down easily. The Silverwolves went on a momentum changing 3 goal run with goals from Oka, Shaina Fuller and Paige Rutledge. Holding on to a one goal lead, Brighton then called time out in an attempt to regain control of the game. Coming out of the time out however, Riverton won the draw and were able to tie the score with a free position goal by Oka with 5 minutes left to play. With the game now tied, each possession was becoming more and more important. Brighton won the ensuing draw and took it down to their side of the field. A couple of times, Riverton was able to get the ball back, but were not able to successfully get it past Brighton’s stingy midfield defense. With two minutes left in the game, Wallace received a great feed from McArdle and ripped a shot into the corner of the goal putting Brighton up by a single goal.
Riverton called a timeout that gave both teams time to discuss their strategy for the final two minutes of the game. This game was likely going to come down to which team could win the next draw following the time out. Out of the time out, Brighton’s Osterloh was able to draw it to herself and move down field to get her team into their stall play. The Bengals were able to move the ball with precision passes that kept Riverton’s defense scrambling. Brighton was able to run the clock out and celebrate their tough 10-9 victory.
“Riverton looked really good” said Brighton’s head coach Kendra Robinson, “during the last time out, I told my team to take a deep breath, play quick and not frantic, and fight for the draw. We had to win the draw.”
Brighton’s balanced attack was led by Wallace’s 4 goals. Osterloh had a goal and 2 assists. McArdle had a goal and 2 assist. Emma Patch scored two goals while Doty and Zoe Totland each had one goal. Riverton was led by Tess Campbell with 2 goals and 2 assists. Oka had 2 goals. Brown, Kennedy, Fuller, and Rutledge each added a goal while Jessie Case added an assist.
Alta and Brighton will move on to play each other in the D-I semi-final game on Wednesday, May 13th at 7:30 at Corner Canyon High School.
In Park City, the D-I South No. 2 American Fork Cavemen played the D-I North No. 3 Jordan in the first game of the doubleheader. American Fork scored early and often, taking a 11-4 halftime lead and a 19-7 win over Jordan.
In the nightcap, D-I North No. 1 Park City faced D-I South No. 4 Juan Diego. The game was close through the first fifteen minutes of the game with goals being traded back and forth. A four goal run in the late first half put the Miners up 8-4 at halftime. After the break, Juan Diego scored two goals in five minutes to make the score 8-6, but Park City went into high gear and ran away with a 16-7 win. The Miners were led by Hannah Hyatt who had 5 goals and 1 assist.
Park City will face American Fork on Wednesday, May 13th at 6:00pm at Corner Canyon High School.
Tim Haslam also contributed to this story.

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