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Lone Peak Outlasts American Fork In Final Minute To Win, 11-10

Every sport has their rivalries.  There are the Yankees and the Red Sox, the Lakers and the Celtics, and the Cougars and the Utes.  In Utah girls lacrosse, we have the Lone Peak Knights and the American Fork Lady Caveman. Since 2014, every game in this rivalry has been a nail biter, with the largest victory being two goals.

These teams are very similar in many ways. Both teams finished the 2017 season with a 10-2 record. Both teams lost in close games in last year’s semi-finals. Both teams are entering this contest with 1-0 records coming off decisive wins in their respective season openers.  Every fan bundled up in Lone Peak Stadium knew they were in for a treat; another close game going down to the wire.

American Fork won the opening draw.  After a turnover by both teams, Anesa Ernst opened the scoring with a drive through multiple defenders.  American Fork won the next draw, but after a Lady Caveman turnover, Lone Peak scored on a quick transition goal by Summer Mohowski to tie the score 1-1.  American Fork won their third consecutive draw and retook the lead with a nice goal by Ernst that was assisted by a perfect feed from Portia Card. Lone Peaks Elise Winger scored a goal sandwiched between two more goals by Ernst that made the score 4-2 in American Fork’s favor.

Ernst, who was a 2017 All-State midfielder, dominated the early part of the game with 4 goals and 4 draw controls in the first 14 minutes of the game.  However, Ernst had to sit out for two minutes when she received a yellow card with 10:50 left in the first half. With Ernst out of the game, Lone Peak was poised to make a run.  However, when the game resumed, Lone Peak quickly turned over the ball which led to a man down goal by Mallorie Van Woerkom assisted by Madison McMurray. American Fork now had a 5-3 lead and all the momentum, but they were still without Ernst who was on the sideline serving her penalty.

Without Ernst, Lone Peak won the next draw.  After putting pressure on the defense, Skye Rust was finally able to break free with a point-blank goal.  The goal seemed to get the Knights going as they scored 3 more consecutive goals, two more by Rust, and another goal by Winger putting Lone Peak up 6-5.

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American Fork had one more chance to tie the game before half time as defender Margaret Blakeley came up with a nice caused turnover.  American Fork wasn’t able to capitalize as they had a shot hit the pipe and a shot wide.

American Fork came out strong in the second half.  With Ernst winning another draw control, Card quickly tied the game 6-6.  American Fork took the lead minutes later when Van Woerkom scored her second goal of the night.  Their lead would not last long as Lone Peak scored the next 4 goals by 4 different players; Brooke Galbraith, Monet Winger, Mohowski, and Skye Rust.

Lone Peak now had a 10-7 lead with 10 minutes left in the game.  But just like any good rivalry game, no lead is safe. American Fork started chipping away at the lead with goals by Ernst and Card to bring the Lady Caveman within a single goal.  Lone Peak’s, Mohowski scored an important insurance goal to put her team back up 11-9 with 5 minutes left in the game. American Fork won the ensuing draw and came down to their offensive end knowing they needed to score.  Lone Peak’s defense stayed strong until Van Woerkom found McMurray open for a goal with two minutes left.

With only two minutes left, both teams knew the next draw would be crucial to winning the game.  Lone Peak took a time out and both coaches quickly discussed strategy with their team. Win or lose, both teams were playing their hearts out and everyone knew it was going to be a fantastic finish.

A fantastic finish it was. Lone Peak’s Elise Winger won the draw for the Knights leaving the hometown crowd to celebrate.  But that celebration was short lived when Lone Peak picked up a yellow card after a loose ball foul. However, just as American Fork was dreaming of a fast break goal, the officials realized the Lady Caveman were offsides, which meant there were offsetting fouls.  The possession arrow went to the Knights giving them back the ball. Lone Peak now had the ball, with a one-goal lead, knowing they would need to retain possession for the final minute, being down a player because of the penalty. This allowed American Fork to aggressively double the ball, trying desperately to get possession back for one final chance to tie the game.

Lone Peak’s stick skills prevailed as they were able to make clean passes all over the field and run away from the defense.  As the clock struck zero, Lone Peak celebrated. American Fork was disappointed, but everyone in the Lone Peak stadium knew that both teams could hold their heads high, as they played with heart and dedication.

American Fork was lead by five goals by Anesa Ernst, two goals and an assist by both Portia Card and Mallorie Van Woerkom, and one goal and an assist by Madison McMurray.  Skye Rust lead Lone Peak in scoring with four goals and two assists. Summer Mohowski had three goals, Elise Winger had two goals, and Brooke Galbraith and Monet Winger had a goal apiece.

American Fork will host Olympus next Thursday while Lone Peak will try to keep their undefeated season alive when they travel to Copper Hills next Tuesday.

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