OREM — Two minutes.
That is all the time it took for the Orem Tigers to take over in their showdown against visiting Mountain View on Thursday afternoon.
Senior forward Jake Thomson scored the early goal, and 78 minutes later Orem (8-1-0, 7-0-0) extended its lead in the Region 8 race with a 3-0 victory over its rival.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with our effort,” said Orem coach Ed Louder. “I thought that we possessed the ball really well and I thought that our defense did a great job.”
Just 10 minutes after Thomson initiated the Tigers’ scoring Emil Cuello added a second goal. The sophomore forward found space in the center of the box on a long throw-in and headed the ball into the corner of the net.
Leading scorer Daniel Corbett netted Orem's third and final goal in the 36th minute.
“Daniel’s was a great solo effort where he had defenders on him in the box and got them turned around, and got just enough space to get a shot off,” Louder said. “That was a really nice goal.”
Despite having a three-goal lead, the Orem coach said his team was wary of a Mountain View comeback in the second half.
“We were nervous coming in, even in the second half, because we knew they were going to come out just as hard,” he said of the Bruins, who are in second place in the Region 8 standings with a record of 4-1-2 in league play. They're 5-2-2 overall.
“Mountain View is a fantastic team. Any time we play it’s usually a dogfight all the way to the end, and I don’t expect anything less,” Louder added. “We wanted to keep them out of the net but we didn’t want to go away from our game too much because we were playing well.”
The Tigers kept attacking on offense while focusing on the defensive end to keep the Bruins away from the net. Senior goalkeeper Ben Mitchell maintained the shutout with a handful of fantastic saves — including diving in time to deflect a penalty kick with his finger tips — throughout the latter 40 minutes of play.
“He reads the game so well and just gets himself in a good position,” Louder said of his goalkeeper, who recorded his fourth shutout of the season.
“He’s aggressive. He’ll throw his body after anything. He’s not the tallest kid out there, but what he lacks in height he makes up for in getting position and effort.”
Sarah Thomas is a graduate of the University of Utah and has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org