The race for the Region 6 soccer title got a lot tighter on Tuesday afternoon after Murray’s 1-0 road victory over Brighton.

Every team now sits on at least two region losses, including Brighton, which was the only team in region with just one loss heading into the week.

The Bengals hit a post and a crossbar as they pushed for the equalizer on Tuesday, but aside from those chances Murray’s defense did a great job of keeping things tidy at the back in recording the shutout.

“Those four boys in the back are very aggressive, are very aggressive and sound,” said Murray coach Bryan DeMann.

Because of the crazy spring weather, Murray has played more games than anyone else in the region, but it earned wins in those extra games as it sits in first place in region with a 5-2 record with five region games left.

The Spartans beat Brighton 2-1 earlier in region play, but they’d dropped two of the past two region games and DeMann said his team needed a strong start on Tuesday to build confidence.

“It’s their field, they’re on a roll and the guys had to deliver a message, and most of the message is to us so they know they can go out there and take care of business,” said DeMann.

Murray came out on the front foot early and put Brighton under pressure, and it finally capitalized on that pressure in the 21st minute as sophomore Jason Adams finished off a through ball from Vaughn Jess.

After slipping behind the defense, Adams calmly slotted the shot past Brighton’s keeper just inside the far post for the early 1-0 lead.

“He’s a smart kid, puts himself in the right spot. He was making a run off the ball,” said DeMann.

Early in the second half, Brighton nearly equalized in the 48th minute on a long-range free kick from Andrew Guizar that Murray keeper Easton Toone narrowly tipped into the crossbar and out for a corner kick.

In the 66th minute, Brighton nearly leveled again on a corner kick header that bounced off the post.

Aside for those chances, Murray center backs Axel Lopez and Kaden Coons dealt well with just about everything the home side threw at them in the second half.

Outside backs Colton Boyd and Jacob Riches were instrumental in the shutout as well as they spent way more time in the second half defending. The first half was virtually the opposite as they were pushing into the attack regularly and putting Brighton under pressure.

Collectively DeMann said the ball movement throughout the game, but particularly in the first half, was very good, very Murray and was key for the big region win.