PAYSON In a game that had an injury delay of almost 30 minutes in the second half, both Payson and Spanish Fork boys soccer teams did enough to score once, but neither could find a game-winning goal.
Spanish Fork picked up its first positive result of the year after opening the season with four losses. On Payson's side, the Lions felt fortunate to come away with a point after their first half goal stood up to the Dons' constant pressure in the last 40 minutes as the game ended in a 1-1 tie.
"I think so far this is the best game we've played this season," said Spanish Fork coach Sara Atuaia. "We think we could have won. We had it down in their end in the second half almost the whole time. We had some chances to score and couldn't get one in to win the game."
Jose Olivarez scored for the Dons in the 57th minute on a free kick taken just outside the edge of the penalty box. His low-drive shot slipped inside the far post and cancelled out a first half goal by Payson.
The Lions had taken the lead in the 15th minute when Brandon Jameson chipped a ball from distance that caught the goalkeeper off his line with a high bounce and fell into the goal.
"We got a good bounce on it," said Payson coach Lee Gillie. "That was a good rainbow."
After Spanish Fork scored the equalizer, the Dons pressed for the game winner, but got a scare when one of their players took a hard fall.
Midfielder Tanner Tagg went high in the air to challenge for a ball, but came down head first. The game was delayed half an hour while Tagg was cautiously taken off the field by paramedics, although he appeared to be in good condition.
Spanish Fork narrowly missed taking the lead when one shot hit the cross bar and another forced a stretching save from Lions' goalkeeper Mike Tobler before the final whistle sounded.
"We've had games we should have won and haven't been able to," said Atuaia. "I think today's the first time we've started to pass the ball really well and really put things together."
Payson was happy to get its second goal of the year on the board, and follow up its first win of the season last week with another positive result.
"For the result I'm happy with what we got," said Gillie. "I don't know if we fully deserved it. Spanish Fork played a really great game."