The ball didn’t go in. That is soccer. —Bingham head coach Leo Gonzalez
SOUTH JORDAN — A hundred minutes. That is how long the Bingham Miners and the Lone Peak Knights battled Friday afternoon at Bingham High School. Two 40 minutes halves and a pair of 10-minute overtime periods.
For all 100 of those minutes, the Miners and the Knights tried, respectively, to get the ball into the back of the net.
Bingham’s Corbin Lowrance, Spencer Tate, and Merrill and Brayden Davis were but some of the players with scoring opportunities, as were Lone Peak’s Chansen Vawdrey, Tanner Campbell, Brendan Vick and McKay Bitters.
Both teams had shots in the box, shots from outside the 18, header attempts on crosses and set pieces. Each team even had an opportunity in the final minute of the game, on a set piece, but it was all to no avail. The ball steadfastly refused to cross either end line.
Instead of a victory, one way or the other, the Knights and Miners had to settle for a 0-0 draw.
“The ball didn’t go in,” said Bingham head coach Leo Gonzalez. “That is soccer.”
Despite the forever unchanged scoreboard, neither side were upset or disappointed by their performance. Rather, it was quite the opposite.
“I felt like we played a nearly perfect game,” said Gonzalez. “They executed our gameplan almost to perfection. I am proud of them. We created opportunities, we had 14 or 15 scoring opportunities. We were so close.”
“Our guys did well,” said Lone Peak head coach Mark Graham. “They stayed composed and they stayed organized even when we didn’t have possession of the ball. On the road and short-handed — we are okay.”
The truth is both teams were short-handed, making the final result that much more palatable.
The Knights were down five starters, their top three strikers and two midfielders, including a captain.
“One of our captains pulled his quad in warmups, so we were missing five starters,” said Graham.
The Miners on the other hand were down four varsity players, including their top two goalkeepers.
That is where the similarities ended, however.
From the outset, and for much of the contest, Bingham was solidly in control.
The Miners midfield was particularly effective, and aside from Lone Peak salvos at the beginning of each period, dominated the game.
“We knew that the game was going to be won by the midfield, whether it was ours or theirs,” said Gonzalez. “Our midfielders had an outstanding game, not just attacking but defending as well. They were all over the field.”
“Bingham is good,” said Graham. “They are really good. I like their tactics.”
The Miners midfield helped the home side create more than its share of scoring opportunities. Lowrance, in particular, seemed to attempt shot after shot after shot.
Fortunately for Lone Peak, the Knights had Tanner Rasband.
The goalkeeper came up with a pair of huge saves, including a stop of a Lowrance volley that seemed destined to sneak into the back of the net.
His play, coupled with a particularly stout crossbar (Bingham had four shots deflect off the bar) prevented the Miners from ever breaking through.
“He hasn’t had to make a lot of saves this year, but he made a couple of big ones today,” said Graham. “That was great. They did have a couple of dangerous balls and our keeper made a couple of good saves.”
The Knights' attack, for its part, never seriously threatened, save for midway through the first overtime period when a Vick shot attempt rolled just wide right of the goal.
“We were smoke and mirrors up top,” said Graham.
When the Knights did get a shot on goal, Bingham freshman goalkeeper Connor Portrey came through for the hosts.
“He did outstanding,” said Gonzalez. "I couldn’t be more proud of him stepping up today.”