SANDY — Up and down the Wasatch Front, Brighton High's boys soccer team is known for its high-pressure style of play and for the ultra-high work rate of its players.
Both items were on display when the Bengals travelled to No. 3 Jordan Tuesday afternoon. Brighton pressured the Beetdiggers and worked very hard for 80 minutes, and the end result was a 1-0 win.
"It's fun to play like that," coach Russ Boyer said, "and I think the kids are starting to catch onto that. It's fun when you can exert all your energy, and we're starting to do it more and more."
The Bengals played into a stiff wind for long stretches of the first half, but it didn't seem to effect them. Instead, they put consistent pressure on the 'Diggers, which resulted in several good scoring chances.
And Brighton got the game-winner just two minutes before halftime.
From the left side, junior Michael Nielsen whipped a free kick across the edge of the six-yard box. The ball skipped past a couple players from each team before falling to Justin Latimer at the far post. The senior midfielder kept his composure and calmly volleyed it in.
The Bengals maintained their grip throughout the second half en route to three huge points in the Region 2 standings. Three weeks earlier, Brighton largely dominated Jordan and led 1-0 but lost when the Beetdiggers scored twice in the final 11 minutes.
The Bengals made sure that didn't happen again.
"This time," said Nielsen," we just played all the way through, so they didn't get a chance."
Nielsen began the season in midfield but was moved up top after a few games. However, Boyer has since moved him back in the middle. Against Jordan, he looked awfully comfortable there.
"He and Travis Barton work beautifully in conjunction with one another in the midfield. They're a great tandem in there," Boyer said.
Boyer's bunch — with one notable exception — has played pretty well each game this season. It's just that several results didn't go the Bengals' way. Since starting 2-4-1 overall, however, they've won three straight and are only two points behind first-place Taylorsville.
"As nice as the results are, I look more at the process and the effort. And I'm pleased with how that's going," Boyer pointed out.
Jordan played without star striker Jake Hustedt, who is in Italy for two weeks with the Western Regional Olympic Development Team. Hustedt leads the state in scoring, and the Beetdiggers weren't as potent offensively without him.