The Olympus Titans played host to the Herriman Mustangs on Thursday in what would prove to be a highly competitive cross-league match up. The game, that went back-and-forth with a lot of transition, was in the closing moments of regulation with Olympus up one when Herriman senior attackman Matthew Dykes swept past his defender topside and buried a shot in the far corner of the goal, sending the game into overtime.
The overtime period proved to be just as exciting as the previous quarters, with Herriman grabbing the faceoff and taking a quick shot on goal that was partially deflected. The Mustangs backed up the shot and got another rip on cage, but it wouldn’t find the back of the net. The Titans were then able to wrestle the ball away and set up after a timeout. That’s when Olympus senior midfielder Bridger Fisher took the ball top-center, dodged, and then rolled back and sent high heat to the top corner of the cage, effectively ending the game, 10-9.
“Bridger’s been a crutch we’ve been leaning on all season,” said Olympus Head Coach Walker Bateman, “whatever we put in, is what we get out. We fought hard and came out with a win, and it’s fun to get this win.”
But Fisher didn’t do it alone, his game-winner was set up by a fierce battle on both sides of the field. The first quarter saw plenty of action with both teams trading goals early, but Herriman looked to have the edge when sophomore Matthew Everton crept from X and placed a sweet bounce shot that ricocheted off pipe and in. The Titans responded after a Mustang penalty, with Fisher getting a high rip from the top of the box to even things up. Fisher scored again moments later when teammate Andrew Delis dodged, drew the slide, and dumped the pass for the easy goal. After more back-and-forth, the Titans and Mustangs found themselves knotted at 4-4.
Quarter two started with a bang when Herriman junior middie Taylor Brundage intercepted a pass in the defensive end and took it coast-to-coast for the score. The teams would again trade goals before Olympus faceoff specialist Josh Homer took over the rest of the quarter, dominating the faceoff-X and setting the Titans up for three consecutive goals, including a shot from senior longpole Andrew McGavin that was partially blocked but still managed to trickle in.
“Herriman’s face-off guy is tough, and Josh went in there to battle,” mused Bateman, looking back on the two-goal lead the Titans took into the half.
The second half was a defensive battle, with many transition opportunities, but few goals and stout defense from both sides. Each team scored only once before Herriman longpole Conner Hitesman took a fast break down and dumped it off to attackman Matthew Everton on the doorstep for the easy finish.
The fourth quarter saw more stingy defense, with the only goal scored being the one that sent it to overtime.
“We just came off a tough loss to Alta and only had one day between games,” said Bateman. “We focused on our stick skills and tightened those up. We ran pretty hard and executed well; I’m happy with the effort [my team] gave.”
The Titans will have little rest as they head to Las Vegas this weekend for a slew of games, and Herriman will take on Syracuse next Tuesday in what figures to be a tough, physical match up.