It feels great (to beat them), but Skyline is a fantastic team. They have great, strong defenders, and luckily, they made a foul in the box and we got a PK. From then on, it was 0-0, so both teams are very evenly matched, but it is nice to come out with the win for me today. —Timpanogos assistant coach Robyn Bretzing
OREM — After capturing two of the last three 4A state titles — both of which came against Skyline — Timpanogos' rivalry with region foe Skyline is at an all-time high.
The Timberwolves own an impressive 5-2 record against the Eagles since 2009 — including a 1-0 victory Tuesday night at Timpanogos High — resulting in three region titles and three state championships (2009, 2011, 2013).
“It feels great (to beat them), but Skyline is a fantastic team,” Timpanogos assistant coach Robyn Bretzing said. “They have great, strong defenders, and luckily, they made a foul in the box and we got a PK. From then on, it was 0-0, so both teams are very evenly matched, but it is nice to come out with the win for me today.”
Timpanogos (3-1, 2-0) picked up right where it left off from last year’s state title match and came out firing until it drew first blood.
After a few crisp passes, Timpanogos central midfielder Jordyn Chung-Hoon took the ball and drew a PK before burying it into the back of the net to help her squad take an early 1-0 lead midway through the first half.
“I thought we did well in the first half, but I think we kind of lost it a little bit in the second half,” Bretzing said of her offense. “I think we need to connect more passes offensively. From midfielders to forward, we need to do a better job of finding the right run at the right time, and then I think we will find us scoring more goals. But I was pleased with where they’re at so early in the season.”
Skyline (5-1, 1-1) had many opportunities to get the ball in the net in both halves, but the swarming defense and superb play between the posts by the T-Wolves junior goalkeeper, Carly Nelson, helped keep the Eagles off the board and relatively at bay for the remainder of the first half.
“I thought Carly played fantastic in the goal today,” Bretzing said of her goalie. “I thought she was very strong. We’ve been working with her on coming off her line, so to see her actually put practice into the game, it made the difference in the game today.”
The Eagles did everything they could in the second half — especially in the final minutes — but the impressive play of Nelson and an intense T-Wolves defense was too much to handle.
In the final minute and a half of the match, the Eagles finally made the necessary adjustments and key passes to get the ball downfield and into Timpanogos’ territory to set up a free kick.
After one swift boot of the ball, the Eagles had a great look directly in front of the goal as many of them rose up in an attempt to head in what would have been the game-tying goal.
Fortunately for the T-Wolves, Nelson had a different plan in mind.
Nelson desperately leaped up with both of her arms fully extended in the air, got just enough of her hands on the ball to deflect it down to her, and secured the game-clinching save to help the home team hang on for the 1-0 win.
Timpanogos will next take on Mountain View at 3:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon. Meanwhile, Skyline’s next contest also comes against Mountain View, set to get underway at 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 4.
Ryan Love is a full-time student at the University of Utah studying communications, and has been a part-time sportswriter and scoreboarder for the Deseret News since Oct. 2012.
Follow him on Twitter @RLove7724