WASHINGTON TERRACE — There's a reason virtually no high school soccer teams use a "flat back four" defensive formation: It's not easy, and there's little room for error.

First-year Bonneville coach Mike Hickman is trying to change that philosophy, and so far the results have been effective.

The Lakers played outstanding defense Wednesday in limiting Ogden to just two quality scoring chances in the 1-0 nonregion victory.

"We're growing," said Hickman, whose team improved to 2-1 with the victory. "We're getting better as we learn the new system."

Most high school teams play with a sweeper, a last-man defender who generally stands anywhere from five to 10 yards deeper than his fellow three defenders. Under the flat-back formation, the four defenders play at the same depth on the field. Without a safety sweeper, those four defenders are forced to constantly communicate to ensure that no one slips through unmarked.

Around the world, virtually no competitive teams, even as young as 12-year-olds, use the sweeper anymore.

"I just think it's a better system," said Hickman about the flat back.

Even for million-dollar professionals using the flat back, breakdowns occur. That's why it wasn't surprising when Bonneville's defense wilted in the 50th minute allowing an Ogden player to get an open look from the middle of the box. He missed, and the Lakers immediately began countering.

The build-up from the back ultimately led Scott Lewis' goal early in the second half as Bonneville went ahead 1-0.

"I thought that was a good goal," Hickman said. "Fortunately the keeper didn't get to it in time."

Hickman was an assistant under former Bonneville coach Bill Fletcher for several years while his sons Kenny and Mike were playing for the Lakers. After Mike graduated in 2001 and Kenny in 2002, the elder Hickman took a year off last year.

This year he decided to come back and help Fletcher, knowing his freshman son Joseph Hickman would be playing. Two months ago he learned that Fletcher wouldn't be coaching again this year, so he gladly decided to take the reins.

"It ended up being a good situation. I liked working with Bill. He had his system, but it's nice to be able to use your own systems," Hickman said.

A team must have a quality goalie to play the flat back, and Scott Klema more than proved himself with his first shutout of the season.

In other games Wednesday:

REGION 5

WOODS CROSS 5, WEST 0:Drew Fisher recorded two goals and B.J. Thomas picked up a shutout to give the Wildcats the win in their opening Region 5 game.

REGION 8

DELTA 3, GRAND 1:Zach Nelson scored two of his three goals in the final nine minutes as Delta knocked off the Red Devils. Grand's Patrick Peterson tied the game with an 80th minute goal, only to see Nelson spoil it.

LEHI 5, CARBON 1:Brooks Royal, Rick Christofferson, Daniel Gray, Zach Bullock and Gary Glodowski all scored in leading the Pioneers past the Dinos.

NONREGION

MOUNTAIN CREST 4, MORGAN 0:Alex Miller, Matt Davidson, Jake Bassett and Jeremy Larsen all scored first-half goals in leading the Mustangs to a shutout victory over the Trojans.

UINTAH 2, GRANGER 1:Daniel Hyde scored two second half goals in leading the Utes to the nonregion road victory over the Lancers.

BOX ELDER 2, PAYSON 1:Adam Bywater recorded a goal and an assist, and Matt Frandsen also scored as the Bees improved to 3-1 with the win over the Lions.

OREM 3, SPRINGVILLE 0: Two goals from Alex Williams, and one from Kai Kamoe paced the Tigers past the Devils. Brandon Mann earned the shutout for Orem.

LONE PEAK 5, KEARNS 0: The Knights improved to 4-0-0 on the season by blanking the Cougars as Taylor Payne earned the shutout.

WASATCH 2, PROVO 0: In his first start of the season, Jordan Smith scored on an assist from sweeper Kyle Tanner as the Wasps blanked the Bulldogs to improve to 3-0-2.

GRANTSVILLE 1, WENDOVER 0: Grantsville's Ben Smith put back Kyle Copeland's shot on goal in the final five minutes to defeat Wendover. Cowboy goalkeeper Tim Williamson recorded the shutout.

BEN LOMOND 2, ST. JOSEPH 1 (OT):Francisco Arellano converted a breakaway goal in overtime to give the Scots a close win over the Jayhawks.

WEST JORDAN 3, COTTONWOOD 0:Sean Rogers' hat trick propeled the Jaguars past the Colts for the shutout victory. Mike Lefever earned the clean sheet for West Jordan.


E-mail: jedward@desnews.com