Layton’s resilience was put to the test late in Tuesday’s 6A state tournament second-round game against visiting Corner Canyon.
Just 30 seconds from a regulation victory, a bizarre and head-scratching sequence of events ensued that allowed the visiting Chargers to equalize and send the game into overtime.
It would’ve been easy for Layton to feel wronged about the ref’s decisions and carry a sulking attitude into overtime. It did exactly the opposite, and immediately put Corner Canyon under pressure, which led directly a penalty kick that Erin Bailey buried just three minutes into overtime for the 3-2 victory.
“We just talked about regaining the momentum by stepping up and being first to ball, that was our pep talk, and for them to believe in themselves,” said Layton coach Tara Ferrin.
With the win, No. 6 seed Layton advances to Thursday’s 6A quarterfinals at region foe No. 3 Davis. Temperatures are forecast to be in the 40s again and might even be wet, but Ferrin said that’s just fine with her players. They’re just happy to still be playing.
“I told them you don’t get a vacation, you get to keep playing and they’re super excited,” said Ferin.
The sequence that led to Layton’s delayed celebration began with Layton keeper Rilee Godfrey waiting to pick the ball up so more time could tick off the clock in the final minute. A Corner Canyon attacking player ran aggressively toward Godfrey to force her to pick up the ball, and in the process bumped Godfrey. Obviously frustrated with the bump, Godfrey gave the Corner Canyon player a mild shove but was quickly shown a yellow card with 30 seconds remaining on the clock.
The result of the foul was an indirect free kick in the box for Corner Canyon, but instead of placing the ball at the spot of the foul, which was about 6 yards from goal angled to the right, the ref put the ball at the penalty spot. The penalty spot was a much more advantageous angle to take the indirect free kick instead of where the foul took place.
Corner Canyon didn’t waste the lifeline as Ainsley Bowers rolled the free kick slightly in the path of Tess Wert, who hammered in the equalizer despite 11 Layton players trying to block her shot.
The goal was Wert’s second of the game and gave No. 11 Corner Canyon a renewed hope about pulling off the upset.
Wert’s first goal came just 16 minutes into the match on a shot from outside the box that tailed away from the keeper and gave the Chargers the 1-0 lead.
Ferrin said there was no panic from her players after conceding early.
“In region we’ve gotten down one goal multiple games so they know they can come back,” said Ferrin.
Sure enough, six minutes later Bailey capitalized on a miscue at the back from Corner Canyon, dribbling into the box and then uncorking a shot on frame to level the score 1-1.
Just five minutes into the second half Kristen Moss doubled the lead for the Lancers as she banged home a rebound from a long-range shot from Brook Nelson that bounced off the crossbar.
“She’s one of our best players at crashing the goal and finishing off a miss, so that’s typical of what Kristin is capable of,” said Ferrin.
Layton’s quality possession in the midfield helped it protect the lead until the final 30 seconds, which Ferrin said was one of the keys all game.
“At times they held the ball, they distributed the ball, they were relaxed more than just kicking the ball and worrying about that the pressure that Corner Canyon brought. Corner Canyon did a good job of pressuring, but they didn’t let that go to their head,” said Ferrin.
In the quarterfinals Layton will now face a Davis team it split the season series with. The visiting team won each time, a trend the Lancers hope continues in the rematch.