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Knights Grit Out Tough Win Against Warriors

lone-peak-logoThe Lone Peak Knights and Spanish Fork Warriors met in a pivotal UHSLL South matchup at ALA’s Eagle Stadium Friday night. The game was a physical and hard-fought affair as it would determine sole ownership of the No. 3 spot in the south, helping the winner avoid an extra play-in game to get into the playoffs. After several lead changes and ties throughout the contest, the Knights used a dominating ride and big defense in the fourth quarter to nab the 10-7 win.
“We were a little bit more united this game than we’ve been in the past,” said Lone Peak head coach Greg Saunders, “We stayed positive and it held us through to the end.”
It might have been easy for the Knights to lose that positivity early when Spanish Fork middie Gavin McClain grabbed the ground ball off the opening faceoff and took it all the way down for the score. But Lone Peak responded when they found themselves in a man-up situation and their leading scorer, Tanner Sheide, stepped in from the wing and buried the shot, tying things at 1-1. Spanish Fork controlled much of the rest of the possession in the quarter, and it paid dividends as attackman Chase Coleman caught the ball in an unsettled situation and scored off a wing dodge followed by another goal on a high-wing rip from midfielder Kyle Allsop, putting the Warriors up 3-1 to end the first.
A non-releasable penalty on Spanish Fork to start the second is just what Lone Peak needed to get momentum on their side. They capitalized by running off three quick man-up goals from the outside by Nicholas Williams, Josh Stout, and Mitchell Decker, putting the Knights up 4-3. Coleman got the Warriors back on track, though, with a catch-and-finish on the doorstep to knot things at 4. The game then got very physical, with each team lighting the other up during ground balls and ultimately resulting in a non-releasable penalty on Spanish Fork. The Knights looked to duplicate their man-up success from earlier, but the Warrior keeper made an acrobatic save and pushed the ball forward to Allsop who took it all the way down the side and put it over the goalie’s shoulder for the shorthanded goal, giving the Warriors the lead. The Knights then established a long possession by using a tough ride to get the ball back after missed shots and finally Sheide was able to push from behind the cage, get topside, and finish, tying the game at 5-5 going into the break.
“We just knew it was going to be a battle from the very beginning,” stated Saunders, “and it was.”
With both coaches making halftime adjustments, the third quarter became a defensive struggle. Each teams brought big hits and solid fundamentals to the defensive half, causing lots of turnovers, failed clears, and a drought in scoring opportunities. Sheide eventually showed why he’s Lone Peak’s heavy hitter when he scored back-to-back goals, the second being a swift low-to-low shot that beat the keeper. But a man-up opportunity allowed the Warriors to close the gap when Dallin Taylor tickled the net on a high heat shot from the top of the box. Both teams continued to push hard to finish out the quarter, but neither offense was able to add to the total, Lone Peak leading 7-6.
The fourth quarter started with two quick goals for Lone Peak, first when LSM Joseph Prososki caught a feed with his longpole in transition and put a hard shot to the back of the net, and then when the Knights stifled a clearing attempt right in front of the goal and were easily able to score on a one-on-one with the goalie. Coleman answered for the Warriors, catching and finishing on the crease, making it a two-goal game, 9-7. But after several errant shots in transition with no backup and several failed man-up attempts, it became evident that the Knights would emerge victorious. Mitchell Decker added one more goal for the Knights late, just for good measure, and sealed the Lone Peak win at 10-7.
“What a battle!” exclaimed Saunders looking back on the game, “Our defense played well, our goalie played well. It was a good game – a fun game.”
Lone Peak will look to have some more fun as they travel up to Jordan to play the Beetdiggers on Wednesday, April 23, at 7:30 pm. Spanish Fork will host Olympus on the same day at home at 7:00 pm.

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