Tooele and Stansbury had their playoff positions already figured out last week, but the two teams still had one more rivalry game to conclude the regular season.
And they delivered a thrilling contest that ended with the Lady Buffaloes defeating the Lady Stallions 3-2.
The two teams went into halftime tied at 1-1, and then Tooele’s Matalyn Pike broke the draw in the 49th minute. Pike launched a shot from the right side that hit off the top post downward. The ball then crossed the line, giving Tooele a 2-1 lead.
Stansbury’s Jenny Munoz attempted the equalizer in the 57th minute with a shot on goal, but Tooele goalkeeper Trista Fackrell knocked the ball away. That allowed Tooele to extend the lead in the 61st minute thanks to free kick extraordinare Kenya Russell. She lined up just outside the goal box and kicked it in for the 3-1 lead.
Stansbury didn’t go away, trying to get back into the game. Munoz came down three minutes after Tooele’s third goal and put in the response goal, pulling the Lady Stallions to a one-goal deficit at 3-2. Munoz then attempted another shot in the 69th minute that hit off the top post and over the net. In the closing minutes, Lexi Golden attempted a shot that missed off the top post and over the net.
That gave Tooele the win, as the Lady Buffs stormed midfield for a celebration.
The Lady Buffs took an early lead on a shot by Megan Alvarez in the 10th minute. Her shot came from far outside the goal box, closer to midfield, giving Tooele a 1-0 lead.
The Stallions’ Michaela Didericksen scored the equalizer right before halftime. She had a scoring chance that she missed high while at close range, but she got the ball back after the goal kick and came down to knock in the tying goal.
Stansbury had other chances to score, especially early in the contest. Rachel Prescott attempted a goal but missed high in the sixth minute on a pass that was crossed over to her. She kicked the ball just over the top post.
Tooele’s defenders stopped Stansbury’s forwards from getting off great shots early in the contest. The Lady Buffs’ Brindisy Russell, playing in her final home game as the team’s lone senior, made two clears after Tooele scored its first goal, and then Tiffanee Bird stayed stride for stride with Munoz to allow Fackrell to clear the ball, keeping the score at 1-0.
Both teams play in southern Utah on Wednesday for the first round of the state tournament. The Lady Buffs visit Region 9’s No. 1 seed, the Dixie Flyers. The Lady Stallions visit Region 9’s No. 2 seed, Cedar High School. Both games start at 4 p.m.
If Tooele gets by Dixie, it’ll then stay on the road to face either North Sanpete or Uintah on Saturday. If Stansbury defeats Cedar, it’ll then play against the winner of Payson vs. Morgan. Stansbury would play on the road against Payson, or it would play at home against Morgan.