CENTERVILLE — Some lofty goals underline how Layton is approaching this season. The Lancers are not simply content posting a few victories and earning a playoff berth.
Their sights are set on mastering both Region 1 and 5A.
"Our goal is to go undefeated," senior captain Hannah Nielsen said. "We're undefeated so far and that's our goal."
Layton is right on track with goal No. 1. In barely two weeks, the Lancers have taken their region by storm.
Layton outlasted Viewmont 2-1 at Centerville Junior High on Thursday afternoon to stay on top of Region 1. Nielsen and freshman Jayne Robison each chipped in a second-half goal to help the Lancers improve their record to 4-0.
It is the latest in a growing series of positive results against strong region opponents. Layton opened the season last week by edging Weber 6-4. Then the Lancers clamped down on defending region champ Davis — blasting the Darts 3-0.
Of course, keeping the ship sailing in the right direction against Viewmont meant overcoming a sluggish first half. Layton struggled to adapt to the Vikings defensive pressure at first.
It gave Viewmont tons of momentum coming out of halftime. Starting with a runner from Aleesha Flandro that clanked off the crossbar in the 41st minute, the Vikings fired off four shots through the first five minutes of the second half.
Nielsen gave the Lancers a shot in the arm with the game's first goal in the 59th minute.
She set the play in motion with a corner kick that sailed across the goal mouth and bounced wide to the left flank. Alyssa Amano tracked the ball down and fed it back into the middle of the area. The ball made its way back to Nielsen's feet a couple of passes later. She had an open lane on the right side of the area and slotted the ball past Viewmont keeper Carly Hutchings.
"It kind of gave us some energy," Nielsen said. "It kind of gave us an oomph."
Viewmont snatched that energy back with an equalizer just five minutes later. Ali Forsberg made it 1-1 in the 64th minute when Layton goalkeeper Tenli Waters came out to challenge her in a one-versus-one situation and Forsberg simply sidestepped the diving keeper, got behind her, and flicked the ball into an empty net.
But Layton went up for good in the 71st minute when Robison took a pass from her older sister Jill, broke free from the defender marking her, and slotted the ball behind Hutchings to make it 2-1.
"These girls did not want to lose," Layton coach Rick Talamantez said. "They fought hard, got a couple of balls through and put them away."
Talamantez is pleased with how his team has attacked these early season games with a sense of urgency. They are taking care of business on a schedule that leaves little room for error — in large part because no Region 1 team is playing any non-region games for the first time.
""When you get preseason games, you want to experiment a little bit," Talamantez said.
"This year we weren't able to. The girls adjusted quickly though. They knew they had to come out and get the first wins right off the bat."