On a chilly evening under the lights at Art Dye Field in American Fork, the Cavemen celebrated senior night with a big win over the visiting Woods Cross Wildcats. Both teams gave the fans a great show with transition goals abounding and scrappy, tough-it-out play. The Caveman defense showed up late, but it was enough to give American Fork the win as their offense put together an impressive fifteen-goal second half and sealed the 25-13 victory.
“It’s a big improvement,” said American Fork Head Coach Tyler Monteath, “good to see our guys play together and see each other and get the assists.”
The action kicked off quickly with a Caveman goal from Sophomore Midfielder Jace Miller and another from Junior Attackman Coulson Tucker who dodged from the wing and sent high heat to the corner of the cage. After an American Fork non-releasable penalty, the Wildcats were able to respond with two man-up goals: one from Senior Longpole Hunter Johnston and the other from Sophomore Attackman Keaola Adamson, knotting things at 2-2. But the momentum swung back AF’s way when Sophomore Matthew Rawlings caught the Wildcat keeper’s clearing pass and was easily able to take advantage of the one-on-one situation for the score. Caveman Freshman Chase Boshard then got in on the action when he scooped and scored the garbage goal on a loose rebound in front of the cage. After some physical and scrappy play, including a brilliantly executed rusty gate check from American Fork’s Alex Dobson, the Wildcats found the ball on an unsettled situation and moved it quickly to varsity attack Michael Stock for the transition goal, keeping things close to end the first with American Fork leading 4-3.
Just like in the first, the second quarter started with two Caveman goals, including a transition score from Junior Longpole Andrew Szabo. And just like in the first quarter, the Wildcats responded with two goals of their own, this time back-to-back tallies from Stock who played well from the wing. After the teams traded another goal, American Fork went on a three-goal run to close out the quarter, giving them the 10-6 advantage at the half.
In the second half, the Cavemen showed their athleticism and conditioning and pulled away to cruise to victory. These included three more Jace Miller goals and scores from seven different players. And, while the second half belonged to the Cavemen, the Wildcats didn’t back down and kept scrapping until the final whistle. Senior Wildcat Michael Stock took it upon himself to keep his team in the game, and he single-handedly put together one of the most impressive halves in recent memory. Stock found a variety of ways to score: he found the keeper out of position on a face-off fast-break, he backed down his defender like he was Tim Duncan playing in the post, he caught it at the top of the box and sent high heat to the top shelf, and he dodged from behind the cage and from the wing to net a spectacular six goals in the half, bringing his total to nine goals scored in the game.
The American Fork Cavemen closed out the big game with some unexpected help from underclassmen.
“[Junior] Coulson Tucker stepped up big for us,” remarked Monteath, “and Chase Boshard is a Freshman who stepped up. It’s nice to have them step up with the key injuries we’ve had this season. We want to take the momentum from this win and need to practice hard to be ready for the playoffs.”
The Cavemen will look forward to next week when they play Fremont in a competitive 4-5 match up in the first round of the D-II playoffs and the Wildcats will try to build on the successes they’ve had this season and prepare for next year.
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