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4A boys' soccer: Teerlink's PK save secures Alta's championship vs. East

Published May 25, 2017 10:58 pm

4A boys' soccer • Josh Affleck scores the game's lone goal for the champions.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Sandy • Alta goalkeeper Adam Teerlink made the biggest save of his life in the closing minutes of Thursday's Class 4A boys' soccer state championship game.

East had been knocking on the door in the second half, and its persistence paid off when it earned a penalty kick in the 71st minute. The Hawks clung to a 1-0 lead, which they'd gained the first half. This was the Leopards' chance to pull even at Rio Tinto Stadium.

"When the PK was lined up, I just cleared my head and thought what I had been doing at practice and just went for it," Teerlink said. "Every keeper has their secrets, but I just guessed and I got lucky for it."

East forward Yves Govina lined up his attempt, but Teerlink managed to push it away to preserve the Hawks' 1-0 victory and the program's sixth state title.

"They're grinders," Alta coach Lee Mitchell said about his team. "They just seem to grind the games out. I can't explain it. They're dead on their feet and yet they still kept playing. They just find a way to win."

The Leopards forced the Hawks to chase them after halftime, and Govina was the catalyst for most of East's success. After forcing Teerlink into a fingertip save on a free kick in the 31st minute, Govina nearly equalized with a shot that careened off the crossbar to open the second half.

After East was denied again by the crossbar on a curling Matt Barker free kick, the Alta backline was scrambling to find a way to stay in front of the East attack. Time after time, the last-ditch defending of the Hawks proved enough.

"I knew that our legs would not be as fresh as East's," Mitchell said. "They had a little easier semifinal, plus two or three hours extra rest, so I knew that we would be struggling a little bit. But they hung in there and they did it and that's why we work as hard as we do — condition as hard as we do."

It was the Hawks who were flying high in the first half, when they took a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute thanks to junior midfielder Josh Affleck.

After getting on the end of a service from Nick Lowrimore inside the East penalty box, Affleck calmly took a touch to set up his shot. He slid a shot underneath East's Trever Elders, one of the top goalkeepers in 4A, and into the netting behind the right post for the game's only goal.

"We send that ball out to Nick, and I know he's going to play it back in," Affleck said. "That's what we do all the time at practice. I was just hustling up the field to get there. We always talk about that, coming out strong. That dictates the entire game."

Despite the near comeback from East, there was no sense of frustration from the Hawks.

"It feels amazing, it's unbelievable," Affleck said. "We were just trying to get the win; you do it any way you can." —

Alta 1, East 0

R Alta wins its sixth boys' soccer title, its first since 2011.

• The teams finish with 14 shots apiece, but East outshoots Alta 12-4 in the second half.

• Alta finishes the season on a 14-game unbeaten streak.






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