PLEASANT GROVE — For Lone Peak head coach Mark Graham, heading into Friday night’s region contest against the Pleasant Grove Vikings was a game that could have gone either way. After 85 minutes of even play between the teams, his prediction came true. Luckily for Graham and the Knights, Tyler Gundred wears the black and gold.
Gundred scored the game-winning goal six minutes into the first overtime period, and the Knights defeated their Region 4 rivals 1-0.
“We’re pretty good, but so is everyone in this region,” said Graham. “We could have easily lost this game. They have good players all over the field, and Chris (Ecalono) is a great coach. We changed our system a little bit, our guys made the adjustment, and that proved to be the key.”
Those adjustments came after a first half that saw neither team establish itself. Both sides mustered a few threatening attacks on goal in the first period, but to no avail. If any team controlled the game after one, it was the Vikings.
“They attacked a little more at the beginning,” Graham said. “Overall I think (the Vikings) had the better first half.”
After mustering only two shots on goal in the first half, Lone Peak racked up more than a dozen shots in the second period.
Unfortunately for the Knights, Pleasant Grove had Kenny Hall. The senior keeper made save after save after save, and he wasn’t alone.
“Their goalkeeper, their back line, they have good players everywhere,” Graham said.
Graham said the team that attacks the most doesn’t always win, evidenced by a near Viking goal midway through the second half.
Cameron Pennock, a senior midfielder, was part of that Pleasant Grove counterattack. Pennock’s header seemed destined to cross the end line, especially since the Knight’s keeper had vacacted the goal seconds earlier to make a save. Somehow Lone Peak kept the ball out of the goal, preserving the 0-0 tie.
In the end, it was Gundred who broke through on a shot taken after Pleasant Grove made the slightest of errors on a pass back to Hall.
“I saw a little poke, and honestly I thought (Hall) was going to get it,” said Gundred. “But I got that little poke, and as I saw it go in, there was just a feeling of relief. We pushed our hardest, and I knew if we did that we were going to break through. We did, and we got the goal.”
With the win, Lone Peak improves to 7-2 with a 3-1 record in Region 4, while Pleasant Grove falls to 7-4 and 3-3 in region play.
Up next for both teams are the third-ranked American Fork Cavemen. The Knights will host American Fork Wednesday, and the Vikings will do the same next Friday.