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After barrage of shots, Vikings find a winner

BOUNTIFUL — Erica Randall had a couple of chances to be the hero for the Viewmont girls soccer team in the first overtime against American Fork on Tuesday.

A soaring chip shot above the net, a blocked one-on-one attempt, a few groans and another overtime period later, Randall wasn't about to let a third golden-goal opportunity get away.

Randall's goal with 2:29 remaining in double overtime prevented the Vikings from a scary kickoff scenario and sent them to the 5A quarterfinals with a 2-1 first-round playoff victory over the Cavemen.

"We together as a team decided we had to find a way to win," Randall said.

They finally did when she and Jamee Dyches teamed up for a sweet goal. Dyches got double-teamed outside the American Fork box but somehow slipped a pass between the defenders to Randall in a perfectly executed takeover.

This time, Randall pounded the ball into the back of the net to set up a rematch with Alta.

"I just was running wide. (Dyches) got a perfect slot. I just took a touch and the goal was open," she said of the game-winner. "I feel like we controlled the game, but we couldn't get shots in. Finally one went in."

Randall's overtime pretty much summed up Viewmont's afternoon. The Vikings had a boatload — make that a shipload — of scoring chances sail the wrong way all game only to get more and more opportunities to put it away.

Viewmont outshot the Cavemen on goal about 20-2 in what was an incredibly lopsided game for a double-overtime contest. But the Vikings held on, kept their composure and kept firing away. Viewmont coach Eric Landon said this type of game "builds character in the girls."

"We just kept plugging away at our chances. ... In the first and second half we didn't finish our opportunities," Landon said. "Fortunately we finished our chances (in overtime)."

Junior Jessica Madsen caught up to a long pass on the right side and lofted a long kick over the outstretched hands of Cavemen goalie April Hansen to put Viewmont up 1-0 early in the first half.

Despite the relentless attack and barrage of shots — some into the keeper's hands, some just wide or way over, and one off the post — the Cavemen stayed in the game.

Kaycee Mansfield remarkably tied it with a goal in traffic deep in the box nine minutes into the second half.

Viewmont seemed to have a sure game-winner later in the half when Mallory Mitamura got the ball to Caitlin Cook with an open net. But backup defender Madi Palmer hustled in and deflected Cook's shot just in time.

That set up the sudden-victory overtime, keeping hopes momentarily alive for a Cavemen squad that had been stricken by illness and injuries. Four players, including Mansfield, were sick and might have done more throwing up than sleeping the night before.

"Through everything I was happy how they played," said AF coach Becca Murdock of her players. "The scale was tipped with (Viewmont's) shots."

The Vikings and Hawks will play at Alta on Thursday at 4 p.m. The Hawks beat Viewmont 3-0 in the first game of the preseason and ended their season in the playoffs last year.


E-mail: jody@desnews.com