OREM — The Orem Tigers are on a roll.
Not only did they earn the shutout, 4-0 over Timpview on Tuesday, they snagged the 2-1 win over in-city rival Timpanogos on Thursday.
Senior captain Matt Gay proved vital in the win, assisting the first goal and scoring the second for the Tigers. The tenacious forward was excited to emerge victorious after suffering defeat when the two met in March.
With Orem and Timpanogos tied for second in Region 8 behind Mountain View coming into the game, the win will likely be an important one as the season winds down.
"This game is a big decider," Gay said. "It will mean a lot when it comes to the end of the season. They beat us last time so we wanted to come out and show them how to play."
The Tigers got on the scoreboard just eight minutes into the game, taking advantage of an in-direct free kick on the left side. Kyle Howard played the ball to Gay who found Emil Cuello on the back post. Cuello drove in the header to gain the early advantage.
The next several minutes were marked with fairly even play and stalwart defense on both ends. In the 34th minute, however, the Tigers furthered the lead, capitalizing on a defensive mistake by the T-Wolves.
The Tigers' first attempt was thwarted, but Gay was there for the rebound goal, corralling the deflection and putting the ball between the posts for the 2-0 lead.
Though the half would end there, the Timberwolves refused to surrender the game. They came out with newfound intensity and scored an early goal to cut the deficit to one.
"It was kind of a wake-up call," Gay said of the T-Wolve surge. "It woke up our defense and said they're still in the game and we need to come out and play in the second half."
Both teams were aggressive to the ball, but the Tigers' pressure on defense forced long balls and made it near impossible for Timpanogos to keep possession.
Timpanogos head coach Ed Louder commended the efforts of the defense down the line, noting Christian Clark and Q Bailey's role in the center.Comment on this story
"They are solid," he said. "They pushed everything down the middle. They do a great job for us."
The win improves the Tigers' overall record to 9-3 and continues their four-game win streak.
"I think our guys are playing better as a team," Louder said, noting their improvement since the last time they played Timpanogos. "They're getting on a roll, trusting each other, making the right passes, making the right runs and capitalizing on turnovers."
The T-Wolves had their chances, including two near misses from senior forward Austin Buxton.