The Brighton High School girls soccer team is out to defend its 4A state title, with "defend" being the operative word.
Wednesday afternoon the Bengals relied on their defense, as they have all season, to beat Davis, 1-0, at home. The win gives Brighton a spot in the semifinals of the state tournament, where it will face Clearfield Friday afternoon at Derks Field.Not only are the Bengals undefeated this season, with a 13-0-2 mark, but they have given up just three goals all year.
"Our strongest point is our defense," Brighton coach Kathy Kuhn said. "But it was a total team effort today, just like it has been all season."
Davis played tough `D.' as well, led by its goalie Donna Thorson. The only goal of the game came on a rebound shot by Bengal midfielder Kris Lundgren about 15 minutes into the second half.
"Their goalkeeper had a great game," said former Salt Lake Sting goalie and Brighton assistant coach Paul Parkinson. "She made the difference between it being a 3-0 or a 1-0 game. She read the game just right."
After the Brighton goal, the Darts had several opportunities to knot the score, but Bengal goalie Tracie Naisbitt and company held off all threats to preserve the victory.
On the year, Brighton has outscored its opponents 45-3, but the offensive output is down from a year ago when they outscored foes 125-6 in winning the 4A crown.
Despite the loss, Davis coach Jolin Miller was pleased with her team's play. "I'm proud of every one of them," Miller said. "Last year we didn't even make it to the state tournament, but this year we played the two-time defending champions to an even game."
In other quarterfinal action:
Clearfield 1, Olympus 0
At Clearfield, the Falcons earned the right to play Brighton at 3:30 p.m. Friday by shuting out the Titans. The only score of the game came when junior forward Tracy Miya found the net 30 minutes into the contest. Clearfield lost to Brighton in the preseason, but has shown great improvement since then.
Roy 2, Alta 1
At Alta, the surprising Royals needed a playoff to earn the fourth place spot in Region One, but now are in the final four of the state tournament. Janice Kammeryer scored in the first half to give Roy the lead. After the Hawks knotted the game in the second half, Jacki Doman provided the game winner. Roy will now face region rival Layton Friday at 5:15 p.m.
Layton 4, Hillcrest 1
At Layton, Connie Richmond scored three goals to lead the Lancers to a convincing win over the Huskies. Stephanie Cooper added the final goal for Layton, which placed first in Region One. The Lancers are now 11-2-3 on the year.