SPRINGVILLE The way the first 15 minutes went, the Springville girls soccer team had to figure that scoring goals would be the least of its problems Thursday against Provo.
The Red Devils knocked in two quick goals in the first quarter of an hour, but for the next hour or so, their finishing touch deserted them. Instead of an overpowering offensive victory, they needed a last-minute goal to eke out a 3-2 win.
A win on the first day of region play is welcome, but Springville will hope it doesn't need too many late-game dramatics in the coming weeks.
"Provo fought hard, and they were very opportunistic," said Springville coach Ryan Swanson. "I was upset just because I felt our girls kept the door open for them.
"We had a lot of opportunities that we didn't capitalize on. We were able to get a win. I guess that's all that matters."
After an Amber Wadsworth free kick in the 10th minute gave Provo a 1-0 lead, the Red Devils came back and rattled off two goals in two minutes.
In the 15th minute, Alexis Eaton scored off a cross from Megan Marchbanks. Moments later, Chase Joyner knocked a ball in from her midfield position to make the score 2-1.
Provo rarely threatened for the rest of the game, and Springville poured on wave after wave of pressure, but the ball wouldn't go in. Shots rolled agonizingly wide, and final touches were just a second slow.
In one exchange late in the second half, the ball dropped in among three Springville attackers, right in front of the goal and just feet from the line. But, by the time someone got a foot on it to shoot, a defender had gotten back to make a deflection.
"We had two or three or four good passes, and then we would blow it," said Swanson. "In a one-goal game, anything can happen. When you have a two- or three-goal lead you play a lot better."
The Bulldogs made Springville pay in the 74th minute when Ashly Ogden slipped through the defense and scored the equalizing goal, but the remaining time was just enough for the Red Devils to pull another goal out.
In stoppage time, Kaisa Goodman was wide open to receive a cross in the six-yard box. Her touch toward goal looked like it would roll wide, but Kim Stratford came on a late run to knock it inside the near post and win the game.
"I was pleased with how we pushed," said Swanson. "If I can get them to play that way for 70 or 80 minutes in a game, we're going to be a tough team."