SANDY — Davis coach Jenifer Gold may have said it best: "There was a lot of intensity out there. You could just feel it in the air."
In typical playoff fashion, Tuesday's soccer game reached a different level. It was more physical, intense and played at a higher level. Davis responded to the new pressure and scored an early goal before holding off a rally from Jordan to win 1-0 and advance in the 5A playoffs.
The key to the Darts' success this season has been teamworK.
"We have a whole team that has to score," said Gold. "We don't have stars that can take over, but we work as one whole unit to get it done. We have to play together to be successful."
A perfect example of the Darts' team concept was their lone goal. Lauren Parkhurst took a ball down the right wing. She fought her way through two defenders before hitting a cross to the middle. Substitute Lindsey Dowdy headed the ball high in the air. She then won the ball at her feet as she one-touched the ball to the center.
Alison Swan was in the right place at the right time as her run to the middle was rewarded when Dowdy's pass came right to the midfielder's feet. Swan scored her first goal of the season when she slammed a right-foot shot past the keeper.
It was the game's only score, but it was not because of poor offense. It was a credit to the defense.
After the goal, the momentum switched completely to Jordan. Led by Lacey Christenson and Jessie Rossi, the 'Diggers threw everything into the attack. Time after time Jordan went on the attack— every time the Davis defense was up the challenge.
Whitney Smuin, Ashtyn Webster, Joni Dickson and sweeper Sydne Porter continued to turn away every scoring chance. They formed a solid barrier that Jordan just could not break through. Porter took all the proper angles to cut off the wings, and Webster and Smuin pressed up the sidelines to stop the attack early.
In the rare occasions that Jordan did create dangerous opportunities, keeper Krista Larson was spectacular in making saves.
"She has been doing it for us all year," Gold said. "She moves really well, and she is so good on the high balls."
In the 64th minute, Larson made the play of the game. Jordan made a run up the right wing and crossed a ball to the middle. After a header, it appeared the ball was going to the upper-left corner of the net before Larson came flying out of the air to make the save and preserve the shutout.
"We think Jordan is a great team, and we feel great to get the win," added Gold. "If we want to advance, we will need to keep up our energy and excitement and continue to play as a team."
In other 5A soccer tournament games Tuesday:
VIEWMONT 5, HUNTER 0:Makell Hansen and Clancee Miller scored two goals apiece and three keepers combined for Viewmont's shutout of Hunter.
BINGHAM 3, LAYTON 0: The Miners got off to a good start on their bid to repeat as they got two goals from Alyssa VanderVeur and one from Jenny Ford to beat the Lancers. Ali Griffin got her 12th shutout on the year.
HILLCREST 2, SKYLINE 1:Briana Bush and Danielle Montgomery each scored a goal and an assist in the Huskies' comeback victory over the Eagles.
WEBER 1, BRIGHTON 0:Jess Anderson scored the game's lone goal, and the Warriors held off the Bengals. Nicole Kashanipour got the shutout in the net.
ALTA 7, KEARNS 0: The Hawks got a hat trick from Katie Larkin and two goals from Whitney Feller to advance and set up a second-round contest with Northridge. Lynzee Lee and Amanda Condie split time in the net to get the shutout.
NORTHRIDGE 8, TAYLORSVILLE 1:Kiersten Wood and Kelsie Ehlers each scored two goals in the Knights' playoff victory over the Warriors. The Region 1 champs got solo goals from Alyssa Toomey, Sarah Naranjo, Chelsea Adams and Alix Berryessa.
COTTONWOOD 3, RIVERTON 0: The Colts used goals by Kilee Quigley, Megan Ohai and Kelsie Egan to beat the Silverwolves and advance to play Davis in the state playoffs. Goalie Danielle Peterson was a wall in the net to get the shutout.