For the Lone Peak Knights on Thursday afternoon, the best defense was a good offense.
Lone Peak girls’ soccer moved to 2-0 on the season with a hard-fought win on the road, outlasting the Farmington Phoenix to pull away in the second half with a 3-0 victory in nonregion play. Farmington fell to 1-1.
The score was 1-0 Lone Peak at the half thanks to some impressive defense by Farmington, led by a stellar effort from junior goalkeeper Emmy McKeon, who had nearly a dozen deflections and saves throughout the game.
“It was a good tough game,” Lone Peak coach Shantell Jolley said. “We knew coming up here, it was gonna be close, it was gonna be a challenge both ways. We know these northern team are always a good tough game for us.”
Despite Farmington’s stalwartness on their own side of the field, the Phoenix struggled to get offensive looks by maneuvering past the young and pesky Lone Peak forwards, who were well-supported by the Knights’ experienced back line.
Most of the second half remained scoreless until junior Brooklyn Dowdle was in the right place with 4:01 remaining in the second half. After her teammate’s shot got blocked by McKeon and landed right at her feet, Dowdle launched it into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead.
“It’s good to see the forwards connecting and finishing their chances,” Jolley said. “The back line does a good job of keeping things calm and relaxed, both on the back line and for the team as a whole.”
Lone Peak put the final nail in the coffin for Farmington just a minute later on an unassisted goal by sophomore Bella Devey. It was Devey’s fourth goal of the season after getting a hat trick last Tuesday against Alta.
“I thought we came out competing in the second half,” Farmington coach Sara Beecher said. “We just quit at the end. That’s what the score shows, 3-0; it should have been 1-0. We should have been more on fire. We shouldn’t have come out intimidated by them.”
Lone Peak began on the offensive and kept possession in Farmington territory for nearly the first four minutes of the game. Farmington got more aggressive in the second half pushing to Lone Peak’s side of the field for much of the first 10 minutes.
In the 11th minute, Farmington goalie Emmy McKeon went to the sky for a block on a shot that hit the football goalposts and stopped play. She came away with another block and a save on the ensuing possession to stave off a furious scoring effort from the Knights.
An attempt by Lone Peak in the 28th minute went off McKeon’s hands for her fifth stop in the first half. Lone Peak nearly scored again in the final minute of the half when another deflection by McKeon went off the post and danced along the goal line without going in. Farmington’s defender got there just in time to boot it away before it became an easy goal for the Knights.
“(McKeon) saved our butts,” Beecher said. “She did amazing. I’m super confident in her abilities. It showed today how vital she is to this team to do well in region and going into the rest of the season.”