PROVO The Orem girls soccer team put in an efficient and solid day at the office with its 3-0 win over Timpview on Tuesday.
There wasn't an overabundance of highlights, and most of the action was closer to the center circle than to either goal, but the Tigers kept their winning streak, their shutout streak, and their undefeated region record alive without being seriously challenged.
"It was played in the middle of the field for the good portion of the game," said Orem coach Ed Louder. "I thought it was more of a side-to-side game than an up-and-down game. I thought we did a nice job of playing the possession game and keeping the ball at our feet."
Orem went ahead with two goals in the first half, and then rode the lead to the end, adding another a few minutes before the final whistle.
Kaci McNeil scored the opener in the 11th minute, her fourth goal of the season. In the 24th minute she tallied an assist, playing the ball square from the end line for Maggie Plothow to knock the ball off the far post from her midfield position.
The Tigers got a boost with the return of starting goalkeeper Hilary Smith from injury. The sophomore had missed the previous two games with an injury, and was solid in the few instances that Timpview tested her.
Her return to the lineup also frees up backup 'keeper Megan Sackett to return to her natural position as a forward, boosting Orem's attack.
"Not only is (Smith) great in the goal, but we get another player on the field that can score," said Louder.
The T-Birds' only real chance to score came on a 68th minute corner kick. The ball was deflected out, and then sent back in where a deflection sent it just wide of the goal. But, Orem's defense cleared before Timpview could get a real shot off.
The Tigers have now gone more than eight games without allowing a goal dating back to last season.
"You want to shut out the other team every game," said Louder. "It's a good sign of how we play. When opportunities do come the girls step up and they do feel that pressure. We're playing well under that pressure right now."
The Tigers wrapped up the scoring with a free kick in the 74th minute. Plothow was tripped up on the edge of the box. Jenna Bowen lined up the kick and struck the ball low and hard past the wall.
Orem now sits on top of Region 7 with a 4-0 record. The loss leaves Timpview stuck in the middle with a 1-2 record.