OGDEN — A year later, and the Ogden Tigers are up to the same ol' tricks.
Courtesy of two goals from returning first-team all-stater Collin Orton, and outstanding team defense, the defending state champion Tigers opened the 2003 season in much the same way they finished last year.
Ogden solidified itself as the 3A team to beat Tuesday with a convincing 4-1 win over the Judge Bulldogs.
"It was a nice win," said Ogden first-year coach Dale Wilkinson. "You never know what you're going to get out of the first game. For the first game, we gave a pretty good effort."
Sure the Tigers' offense looked unorganized at times, but they were clearly the better and more disciplined team.
Lance Wight opened the scoring for Ogden by volleying in a perfectly headed pass from Lehi Duarte in the 26th minute. Until that point, the Tigers had narrowly missed on a few quality chances, but Wight's goal changed all that.
Eleven might later, Orton corralled a loose ball in the box and easily booted it under Judge's keeper. The second goal came on the heels of a two minute stretch in which the Bulldog defenders were scrambling all over their own box trying to quell Ogden's pressure.
Up two at halftime, Wilkinson was pretty confident the win was just 40 minutes.
"I was most pleased with what our defense did," said Wilkinson. "We just didn't give up a lot of great opportunities."
In fact, Judge's lone goal came on a free kick by Sean Finnigan in the 56th minute — a goal that even U.S. goalie Brad Friedel would've struggled to save. The goal was mostly irrelevant. By that point, Ogden had already increased its lead to 3-0 thanks to another goal from Orton.
Orton, who led Ogden with 13 goals last year, will be a constant nuisance for Tigers' opponents.
"Sometimes the challenge with him and some of our other players is they have so much confidence in themselves, sometimes they have to give up an opportunity to score for someone else," said Wilkinson.
If that happens, which Wilkinson says he expects fully, the Tigers are a good bet to repeat as state champs.
"There's ability there, but what we need to do is gel as a team, not just soccer-wise, but mentally and emotionally," said Wilkinson. "If that happens, then there's a lot of possibility come postseason."
In other games Tuesday:
VIEWMONT 4, SKYLINE 0:Zach Call, Alex Neve, Justin Godfrey and Andy Bell all scored one goal in leading the Vikings to a convincing win over the Eagles.
PINE VIEW 2, TOOELE 1:Raney Garner and Ricky Dais found the net to vault the Panthers to 2-0 on the season.
OREM 1, HUNTER 0: The Tigers opened the season with a defensive victory over the Wolverines.
LOGAN 2, LEHI 1: The Grizzlies opened the season with a road nonregion victory over the Pioneers.
PLEASANT GROVE 1, AMERICAN FORK 1:Jay Holquist scored in the first minute for Pleasant Grove and Mitch Tate scored for American Fork near the last minute.