High School Sports
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Zach Morgan and Zach Stanley each scored twice as Lehi won its first state championship in boys soccer since 1998. After falling behind 1-0, the Pioneers played extremely good soccer the rest of the way to come from behind and win convincingly.
1st minute: The referee blows his whistle to get this state championship game underway here inside Rio Tinto Stadium. Bonneville is in search of its boys soccer championship in school history, while Lehi is attempting to win its first state championship since 1998.
11th minute: GOAL BONNEVILLE! It had been mostly Lehi throughout the opening 10 minutes, but in the 11th minute, stellar sophomore Gage Woodward fires Bonneville in front. Woodward twists and turns and beats several Lehi defenders before blasting into the net from eight yards.
19th minute: GOAL LEHI! How's that for a composed response? Lehi doesn't panic at all after falling behind 1-0, and the Pioneers get an equalizer eight minutes later. From the right side, Ben Preisendorf does well to make some space, and his subsequent cross is tipped by Bonneville's goalie into the path of a gleeful Zach Stanley, who clips it into the net.
26th minute: GOAL LEHI! Lehi has turned this thing around for now. From the left side, Zach Morgan has two defenders to beat when the ball arrives at his feet, but he beats the first one and then watches the second one slip before slotting the ball nicely past Bonneville's goalie and in. Hugely impressive response from the Region 7 champions.
40th minute: Incredible scenes as the half comes to a close. With less than 60 seconds on the clock, Lehi's Rolando Hernandez dispossesses a Bonneville defender and races clear in on goal. Bonneville's goalie does well to cut the angle down and makes a brilliant save, but the ball falls into the path of Stanley, who will surely score into the open net. Stanley blasts the ball toward goal and his effort is on target but Bonneville defender Braden Bybee does brilliantly well to get back and somehow clear the ball off the line. Then, from the ensuing corner, Hernandez volleys the ball toward goal with literally less than three seconds to go, and Bybee is again Johnny-on-the-spot to clear the ball off the line.
We've reached the break here inside Rio Tinto Stadium. Lehi will have to feel disappointed to have not scored again near the end of the first half. Besides the three fantastic chances they had in the closing second, the Pioneers had other scoring opportunities that just wouldn't go in the net. Bonneville, on the other hand, will most definitely feel it's still in this, especially when you consider how good the Lakers have been in second halfs of matches this year.
41st minute: And we're off and away in the second half, with Lehi looking to hang on to a one-goal lead. The way the first half went, it's hard to fathom this one finishing 2-1, as both teams should have plenty of chances.
52nd minute: LEHI GOAL! The Pioneers just doubled their lead, and it's Stanley who got it. All the credit should go to Austin Tuckett, who's initial rattles off the cross bar. From a full 40 yards out, Tuckett optimistically decides to shoot, and it proves to be a brilliant decision, as his effort flies over the goalie and blasts off the crossbar and into the path of Stanley, who once again is Johnny-on-the-spot to blast the ball into the net.
60th minute: With 20 minutes to go, Lehi has been in complete control here, but a huge decision by the referee could change the dynamic of this title game. A Lehi player slides in badly and takes out a Bonneville player, and the referee shows the Lehi player a straight red card. It's a huge decision by the referee, and now Lehi will try to hang on here with only 10 men.
65th minute: Lehi wins a penalty kick as Morgan is adjudged to have been fouled in the box, and he steps to the spot to take the kick...
65th minute: LEHI GOAL! Morgan blasts the ensuing penalty kick inside the right-hand post, and the Pioneers find themselves up by three goals in the final 15 minutes. You can't say they're there yet not with a man disadvantage but they're certainly on their way there.
END OF GAME
Lehi takes care of business over the final 20 minutes to emerge with the 4A state title. It's the Pioneers' first title in 12 years. On the grand stage of Rio Tinto Stadium, they played some really good soccer from start to finish to walk away deserving champions.
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