HEBER There were moments during Lehi's struggle to open a lane through Wasatch's defense where the thought that the Pioneers might end up settling for a scoreless tie crossed a few minds.
The Wasps could not create much on offense. But they weren't letting the Pioneers do much of anything either.
Still, Lehi never quit thinking it could beat the clock and get three points instead of settling for one.
"I know our team always believes, in tough games, there's always a way to win," senior forward Alyssa Hill said. "It just depends on if you find that way to win and most of the time our team finds that way to win."
It fell on Hill's shoulders to find a path to victory and she did just that, punching in the game's only goal in the 74th minute to lead Lehi to a 1-0 victory over Wasatch on Thursday afternoon.
Hill created a perfect scoring opportunity when she drove down the middle of the penalty area and forced goalkeeper Sierra Wardle to come out and try to block her. Once Wardle met Hill on the drive, it was simply a matter of flicking the ball around her and watching it bounce into an empty net.
It seemed inevitable that the Pioneers would score. The Wasps successfully stopped one drive after another. Still, Lehi managed to control possession and forced Wasatch to continually defend rather than build up any attacks of its own.
"The second half, we refocused a little bit," Pioneers coach Brett Bergholm said. "We were able to start getting some combinations. We started winning balls (and) playing our game a little bit. It was just a matter of passion and desire."
Lehi came out strong in the second half after playing somewhat flat the first 40 minutes. The Pioneers established control in the first five minutes of the half, when Kelsey Hancock and Mikaela Kauffman each made deep drives into the penalty area before being repelled by Mattie Graham and other Wasp defenders.
No shots on goal were created at either juncture, but it stimulated a team still emotionally drained from a big victory over Riverton on Tuesday.
Bergholm thought the Pioneers were fortunate sluggish play didn't cost them against a solid Wasatch team."Nothing really went our way today," Bergholm said. "Our set pieces were a little off. All of our timing (was bad). We had a tough time with bounces on a hard field."