In a tale of two halves, the American Fork girls lacrosse team came away with a 8-7 victory over Juan Diego on Thursday to remain undefeated.
The first half was slow paced as each team tried to get into their groove. American Fork scored first when Savannah Ernst found the back of the net. Ashley Tack equalized for the Soaring Eagle at the 15:43 mark and then earned the lead at the 10:11 mark with a great shot. Brooke Jones scored on a great feed from Ernst to tie the game at 2. Great goalie play, good defense and poor shot selection plagued both teams, keeping the halftime score low.
The second half was action packed with each team moving the ball well and scoring frequently. Haley Cook scored for American Fork at the 21:55 mark to give the Lady Cavemen the lead. American Fork goalie Shauntae Storms saved a free-position shot but Juan Diego got the rebound and Mara Gronseth capitalized on an assist from Tack to tie the game at 3. Juan Diego began to dominate possession and scored two more goals. One from Camille Arceneaux and one from Tack. Ernst pulled one back for American Fork but Tack answered quickly, make the score 6-4 for the Soaring Eagle with 11:35 remaining in the game. Ernst then took over the game and scored two straight goals within a minute of each other to tie the game at 6.
The sixth goal came when Ernst controlled the draw and took it the distance, firing a high shot that hit the goalie in the helmet and bounced in. The leadership and composure of Gronseth set in though as she spun and dodged from the top then shot high, hitting the top shelf to regain the lead for the Soaring Eagle. Juan Diego then went into their stall and were able to draw a yellow card on American Fork. The American Fork defense was stout and up to the challenge, causing a turnover and getting the ball to Faith Ritchie who took it the distance for the shorthanded goal to tie the game at 7 with 3:52 left in the game. With 1:23, Ernst took advantage of a free-position opportunity and buried the sidearm shot into the top of the net which turned out to be the game-winning goal. With a minute left, Storms made a key save that kept the favor for the Lady Cavemen who then were able to run out the clock for the win.
“The key for us was our defense,” said American Fork head coach Ray Langhaim. “Shauntae had a great save towards the end and we found the right combination on the draw that was able to get us possession then Savannah Ernst stepped up big time for us.”
Ernst led all scorers with 5 goals. Tack finished with 4 goals and 1 assist for the Soaring Eagle. Storms finished with 7 saves. Juan Diego goalie Alexis Womble had 6 saves.
Both teams will be in action next week when American Fork faces Corner Canyon (Monday) and Juan Diego takes on Bingham (Tuesday).