High school boys soccer: Hat trick for Jon Fritcher leads Pleasant Grove to comeback victory over Lone Peak

Just eight minutes into Wednesday’s game between the Pleasant Grove Vikings and Lone Peak Knights, there were the makings of an uphill battle for the Vikings.

The Knights had just scored an own goal after a deflected ball careened over goalkeeper Cameron Davis’ head and into the net, and then things were a slugfest for the rest of the first half, with not many chances on either end.

At halftime, though, a pair of challenges were issued, one by head coach Chris Ecalono, and another by Jon Fritcher, a team captain.

“You know, we have tremendous respect for them … so we knew we had to be disciplined and keep them in front, so I challenged our wide backs to do just that,” Ecalono said.

Fritcher’s charge was perhaps more emotional than tactical.

“I just feel like the first half we definitely were down,” Fritcher said. “The energy wasn’t there, and I know all these boys have the craziest grit in the state. I feel like somebody had to just get them going, rile them up. At the beginning of the half, I was saying to them, ‘We are not losing this game.’”

Both challenges were met, as a Lone Peak side that averages three goals per game didn’t score again, with Davis finishing with six saves. Fritcher also certainly did his part, as he scored three goals in a matter of five minutes in the second half.

“Those standout players make plays, those crucial plays to win games like this,” Ecalono said. “I knew Jon was going to step up today and seize the moment.”

Fritcher’s first goal came off a deflection on a cross ball by Rockwell Doman roughly 15 minutes into the second half.

“It just kind of popped out and I was like, ‘I’m there and I have to score this,’” Fritcher said.

Three minutes later, the second goal came on a magnificent pass by Caden Pennock on a set piece from the left side, which Fritcher headed in to put the Vikings ahead.

“We’ve been working on set pieces all week, and so I knew where that ball was going to be and I was just there,” he said.

With momentum on its side, Pleasant Grove scored again just 20 seconds later on a beautiful through ball by Nathan Martinez, which Fritcher finished to the left side of the goal.

Pleasant Grove then held strong in the final 20 minutes to secure its fifth region win of the season. It moves into second place in Region 3 with the victory.