High pressure is big for us. We have really fast forwards, so we just want to keep high pressure and have defenders back there make decisions under pressure. —Skyridge coach Jerry Preisendorf
SPANISH FORK — Skyridge benefitted from some high pressure early, and then did enough to withstand a second-half lapse to get by Maple Mountain 3-1 on Tuesday.
A first-half goal from Jordan Caprio got the Falcons off to an early 1-0 lead before Ivan Martinez topped things off in the soccer match's final minutes for his first goal of the year. Martinez's goal came off a cross from freshman Austin Wallace, and came just seconds after Skyridge coach Jerry Preisendorf subbed him around the 76th minute mark of the 80-minute match.
"It must have been the best sub in the world, because he scored 10 seconds later," Preisendorf quipped.
The goal was a result of the same type of high pressure that got the Falcons off to a quick start just five minutes after the opening kick. That's when Caprio intercepted an attempted clearing pass deep in Maple Mountain territory and made a couple of nifty moves around defenders to present himself with a relatively wide-open net, which he took advantage of.
"High pressure is big for us," Preisendorf said. "We have really fast forwards, so we just want to keep high pressure and have defenders back there make decisions under pressure."
Skyridge kept up the pressure for the remainder of the first half, although no goals came as a result.
The second half was a different story, however, as Maple Mountain made appropriate adjustments and then tied the match on an indirect kick just outside the penalty box off the foot of Zane Larsen in the 52nd minute.
"We didn't make any adjustments, we just try and play where everyone has to guard somebody," Preisendorf said of his team's late response. "We try and find the soft under-belly of the beast. There's plenty of time. If we just play our game, then we'll be fine."
With the win, Skyridge improves its Region 8 lead with a 7-1 region record with only two matches left in the season. Maple Mountain drops to 5-3 in Region 8 play with the loss.
"It's huge," Preisendorf said of the win. "It's huge because we're in control of our own fate. If we win out, then we win region, and we want that home field. We like our pitch."
Next up for Skyridge is a home match versus Timpanogos on Friday before another home match versus Provo. Maple Mountain will work to rebound with matches at Provo and then at Wasatch.