BOUNTIFUL— If possession is nine-tenths of the law, Bountiful needs to be arrested. In a rematch of 2006's 4A title game, the defending champion Braves defeated Sky View 2-0 despite the Bobcats dominating the time possession.

"That was definitely not our best game," said Ari Wood. "We didn't pass the ball that well, and we didn't really play as hard as we have. It was kind of weird because we didn't play our normal passing game, and they had the ball a lot, but we did just enough to get the win."

Bountiful entered Thursday's contest averaging more than six goals per-game, but an important part of that goal-scoring arsenal was absent against Sky View. Monica Okapal had scored eight goals in the first five games for the Braves, but she was simply an observer on the sidelines with in ice bag on her injured left knee.

"Not to make excuses because Sky View is definitely a good team, but we were not at full strength today," said Bountiful coach Dave Wigham. "Monica will go into the doctor tomorrow after the swelling has gone down. She got hurt in the second half against Box Elder on Tuesday, and then both Chelsea (Forbes) and Ari (Wood) have been a little sick. With all that going on, we took what they gave us and got the win."

What the Bobcats gave the Braves was an early goal. In the ninth minute, Forbes sent in a corner kick that Sky View failed to clear away. The ball bounced right at the feet of Rachel Messick who one-timed a blast to the top of the net for the 1-0 lead. It was really the best scoring chance for either team in the opening 40 minutes.

Sky View's midfield and defenders did a terrific job of knocking the ball around. They would string together eight, nine, 10 or even dozens of passes together. The problem with all that time on the ball, is nearly all of it was in the Bobcats' defensive third or in the middle of the field. Once the ball got to the offensive third, the Braves clamped down and did not allow many truly good looks at the goal.

"We need to find some finishing," said Bobcats coach Doyle Geddes. "We didn't really shoot the ball with any intensity or purpose."

Sky View had plenty of shots, the problem was they were coming from about 35 yards out, something that plays into Bountiful's game plan with all-state goalkeeper Molli Merril minding the net.

"I was pretty happy with our defense," said Wigham. "They were taking a lot of shots from far out, and I will take my chances with Molli on those."

Bountiful added a goal in the 70th minute to ice it. Alayna Eiting scored right in front of the goal following a cross sent in from the right side from Melissa Fjeldsted.


E-mail: mblack@desnews.com