The East Leopards beat the Spanish Fork Warriors, 8-3, on Saturday in the 2018 Class B Championship game at Skyline High School in Salt Lake City.
The Leopards defense stole the show by holding the Warriors scoreless for the first 30 minutes of play including a shutout in the first half. Goalie Dalton Hoopes was a brick-wall for the Leopards, finishing with 10 saves and earning the String King MVP of the game presented by Tribal West Lacrosse.
“You could tell right from the start that he was seeing the ball well,” said East head coach Pete Idstrom, referring to Hoopes. “They were trying to go low but he was so solid.
East leader Jack Idstrom opened the scoring at the 6:38 mark which was the only goal of the first quarter. Attackman Charlie Stenberg, who finished with 2 goals and 2 assists, scored back-to-back goals for East which gave the Leopards a 3-0 lead midway through the second quarter. East added to its lead with 37 seconds left in the half when Spencer Mason found the back of the net, giving East a 4-0 lead.
Ben Parkin scored his first goal of the game at the 7:51 mark in the third quarter but Spanish Fork answered on a goal by Rylan Poulsen. More defensive play led to a tough East ride finding Stenberg scoop up a loose ball and feed Idstrom across the field who stepped-down from 14 yards and buried it in the back of the net.
Both teams scored twice in the final frame, making the score 8-3 for East who claimed its first championship.
“It’s really big for us,” said Pete Idstrom. “It’s a stepping stone for us and we have learned a lot this year. I’m so proud of the guys. At one point we were 3-7 and were struggling. We changed some things and it all worked out.”