Ask players from Brighton and Davis what the difference between agony and victory is, and the answer should be unanimous.
About five minutes.That's all it took for the fifth-ranked Davis Darts to march back from a 2-0 deficit en route to their stunning 4-2 win over the No. 1 Bengals in the 5A semifinals. Led by Megan Jensen's rebound net shot after halftime, Davis pounded out four unanswered goals, including three in five minutes, to clinch a date for the 5A championship.
"It just kind of happened," said Jensen. "We didn't want to give up. They've been number one all year, the pressure was all on them."
"We just came out really flat to start with," said Davis coach Curt Caldwell. "All we had to do is get one break through."
Thirteen minutes into the second half, midfielder Julie Offret did just that by breaking free on the right side with a cross pass to Jensen for the first goal. From there momentum took its toll on the Bengals.
"They are a fast team," said an amazed Brighton coach Kathy Kuhn. "They were coming at us with such force, that for the first time, our girls started to back off."
Miller broke into the middle lane four minutes later and connected a shot to the far post to tie the score. Davis then took the lead in the same minute when Offret drove a weaving kick from the left side.
"(Brighton) came out really physical," Caldwell said. "We couldn't continue to let them push us off the ball."
Maybe so. But it was the Darts who dealt the biggest casualty in the opening moments with two breakaway charges on Bengal goalie Nicole Wilkinson. Wilkinson stopped both shots, but was injured for the entire game.
Wilkinson mustered up a charge block of her own in the closing minutes - but was whistled for obstruction. Miller then nailed the ensuing indirect kick to put the game away.
"If Nicole wouldn't have been injured, she would have stopped them for us," Kuhn added.
Brighton appeared to have the game under control when Jen Nelson scored within the game's first ten minutes. Forward Emily Sutherland fired her own first half goal just before intermission.
"They were a great team in the first half," Caldwell said of Brighton. "We just told (our players) they have to believe in themselves." The Darts will face defending champion Mountain View today at 4:30 for the title match.
Mountain View 1, Viewmont 0: Strong second half defense against Region 2 champ Viewmont proved to be the Bruins' return ticket to the state championship for the third time in as many years. Midfielder Rebecca Myers scored the game's only goal in the first half as Mountain View continued its bid for a second consecutive 5A crown.
"We got too satisfied with a 1-0 lead," said Mountain View coach Mike LaHargoue. "It got us into a shell. We played a little more defense, but we survived. It's nice to get back to the big game."