It wasn’t our best game, but perhaps we’re saving our best for Friday, and I’ll take that. But we did what we needed to win today. —Timpanogos head coach Natalyn Lewis
DRAPER — Midway through the first half of the 4A semifinal match, the Timpanogos girls soccer team did what it already had done twice during the regular season: establish a lead it would never relinquish against Region 7 foe Mountain View.
The Timberwolves advanced to the final for the third time in four years after winning 2-0 Tuesday afternoon at Juan Diego Catholic High School.
“It wasn’t our best game, but perhaps we’re saving our best for Friday, and I’ll take that,” said head coach Natalyn Lewis, whose team had already defeated the Bruins 6-0 and 4-0. “But we did what we needed to win today.”
Timpanogos and Mountain View were the second and third seeds, respectively, out of Region 7, which also contributed a third semifinal squad, No. 1 Skyline, which played East in the second game.
“You get to the Final Four and three of the four (teams) are the top three from our region, that just means the wins we got during our season mean a little more now,” said Lewis, whose team split with the Eagles, losing just one region game all season. “It means they were tough games and we did well.”
The Timberwolves knew what to expect from their opponent going into the game but saw a new Mountain View squad in the semifinal matchup.
“I think there was more on the line,” Lewis said. “When we played them during the season, they kind of were already solidified for their spot in the region. If they win, they win; if they lose, they lose; and they were still third (seed) in the tournament. Today the game meant a lot to them and they brought a much better game against us.”
This time, it took a sophomore and a senior finding the net in each half to get the playoff win.
“I knew I had to score,” Warner said of her second-half goal. “I knew if I was up there, that’s what my coach wanted me to do. I kept taking shots, and I missed some. I knew that if I kept shooting, I kept pushing, I’d get one in — and I did.”
While the Timberwolves controlled possession for most of the match, a handful of fantastic saves on the part of the Timpanogos goalkeepers saved the day. Senior Sydney Oldroyd and sophomore Carly Nelson combined for the team’s seventh shutout.
“We’ve got two amazing goalkeepers,” Lewis said. “We have perfect confidence in either one of them. It’s a very fortunate thing for us that we have two goalkeepers that on any given day you can’t tell the difference.”
Following the game, Lewis and her team took to the stands to preview their opponent for the championship game at Rio Tinto Stadium on Friday. Waiting for the outcome between Skyline and East, one team the Timberwolves are familiar with and another with which they have no history, Lewis said her team is ready to play either squad.
“When it gets to this part of the season, you have to be unafraid to play any opponent and you have to be confident you can win, or you’re not the state champion,” Lewis said. “If that’s what we’re after, then we better be able to play anybody.”
Sarah Thomas earned a degree in Mathematics from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MBA at Westminster College. She has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008.