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High school soccer: Darts show their stuff, steam into 5A semis

SHARE High school soccer: Darts show their stuff, steam into 5A semis

KAYSVILLE — The Davis Darts earned their spot in the 5A state semifinals with a 3-0 win over the Bingham Miners on Friday afternoon, but it's really no surprise. Not if you look at the team's stats.

The Darts claim the top spots on the state's leader boards in three statistical categories: Casey Black is the top goal scorer with 27 scores, Brackin Flitton has earned 13 shutouts, and the Darts have allowed just four goals this entire season, and no more than one in any game. The next closest team, Mountain View High, allowed eight goals.

"I wish I could tell you because then I could bottle it up and save it for next year," Davis head coach Souli Phongsavath said when asked what the secret to his team's success has been. "These boys just work very hard and they're very athletic, and when they get beat they don't give up. That's just what they've been doing all season."

The Darts beautifully displayed their excellence on both sides of the ball when they jumped out on the Miners with aggressive play from the opening kickoff. In the 16th minute, Black controlled a pass to the front of the net and tapped it in.

"It's great to have anybody that can score consistently," Phongsavath said. "Lately teams have been keying in on (Black) … so he's been really good at maximizing his own opportunities. When he gets just one or two a game, he finishes them well."

John Taylor added the second score with only a minute remaining in the first half when a scrum of players converged at the net and the midfielder tapped it in. Scott Fieldsted put in the final goal of the game just eight minutes into the second half, controlling the ball on a breakaway and sending it past a charging Bingham goalie and into an empty net.

The Miners, who advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2003, fought back throughout the remainder of the game, requiring Flitton to earn his latest shutout.

"They tested him with some balls up in the air, and that's what we have struggled with a little bit," said Phongsavath. "He took it on himself to get those balls out of there. He is really solid back there."

With the win, the Davis team advances to the semifinals after being eliminated a game early in each of the past two seasons. And Phongsavath is counting on the continued effort of his leaders, specifically Black, to keep the Darts moving forward.

"More than anything (Black) is just a leader. I count on him for everything. He sets the tone at practice; he sets the tone defensively. When he works hard, our defense works hard. He's just a great player but more importantly, a great kid."

Davis will next meet the Granger Lancers, who eliminated Alta on Friday in a shootout victory. That game will be Tuesday at 4:15 p.m. at Woods Cross High School.

e-mail: sthomas@desnews.com