The game to decide the top spot in 4A District 6 lived up to its billing Wednesday between the Bonneville and Skyline girls soccer teams.
The Grizzlies pushed through a defensive first half en route to winning 4-1 over the Bees to take sole possession of No. 1 in 4A District 6 with a 6-0 record. Both teams entered Wednesday with identical 5-0 conference records and a combined three losses between them all season.
“We knew going in it would be tough, especially playing them here at Bonneville,” Skyline head coach Kip Archibald said. “They’re a good team. That first half was a great half for everyone. We play them again real soon. It’s gonna be fun to see how it all plays out.”
The first half was a showcase of two high quality back lines and keepers. Four minutes in, each team had a shot on goal. The contest remained scoreless through three Skyline corner kicks in the eighth and ninth minutes, a free kick each by Skyline and Bonneville in the 13th and 14th minutes and a Skyline corner kick in the 21st.
The Grizzlies (8-1-0 overall) broke the defensive, scoreless slugfest with a goal by senior Brooklyn Morgan in the 22nd minute. Bonneville’s back line and keeper had denied multiple shots from close range up to that point, and Morgan’s shot from a distance got enough height to soar over players’ heads and the keeper’s gloves into the net.
Bonneville (8-3-0 overall, 5-1-0 4A District 6) had an opportunity for an equalizer in the 26th minute following a free kick by senior Madison Pugmire, but all attempted shots in the crowded box were stuffed and Skyline regained possession. After a combined two more corners and a free kick, the teams headed to their benches for halftime.
The pace picked up considerably in the second half. Right after a Skyline save, Skyline sophomore Tasha Miller scored in the 42nd minute to put the Grizz up 2-0.
“It was kind of a relief and just knowing we gotta keep focused and keep working,” Miller said of her goal.
Morgan added her second goal of the game in the 50th minute, another shot from a distance that rolled into the back of the net. With Skyline starters Teresa Ledezma and Mattie Olson on the bench after a series of substitutions by both teams, Bonneville got in on the scoring with an Ali Ellsworth goal in the 63rd minute. The final goal of the game was a Bonneville own goal in the 68th after a defender tried to kick the ball out of the goal mouth and it ricocheted off the post and into the net.
With Ledezma a focus of Bonneville’s defense the entire afternoon, the Grizz were prompted to look to other potential goal scorers. Starting the second half strong was also a priority.
“I told her that very thing after the game,” Archibald said. “It opened up other opportunities for other players. We knew Bonneville had the people to score (in the second half). The first 10, 15 minutes are gonna set the parameter of the half.”
Bonneville head coach Amy Feik said she was not super disappointed after Wednesday’s game, adding that it provided learning experiences for her freshman and sophomore laden varsity team.
“This was the first real contest we’ve been in where it’s been back and forth,” Feik said. “Skyline switched it up (in the second half) and our youth showed a bit because we didn’t adapt. It was a good learning experience.”
Feik also commended the Bees for not backing down after the second half goals.
“That’s one thing I love about this team this year, they don’t give up that fight,” Feik said. “It doesn’t matter what the score is or how much time is left, they’re never gonna quit.”
Bonneville plays Saturday at Madison while Skyline hosts Hillcrest on Tuesday.