High school soccer: Layton's Fito Ovalle finds the back of the net to break the ice in OT
LAYTON — There's nothing quite like a game-winning goal to warm the soul.
And hey, it'll also warm the hands, the feet, the face, the legs, the … well, you get the picture.
Layton High's Fito Ovalle made his frozen teammates and fans mighty happy when he drilled a shot into the net from 40 yards out less than two minutes into overtime to lift the Lancers to a 1-0 victory over Lone Peak in the two teams' boys soccer season-opener played in a bone-chilling wind Tuesday afternoon.
Ovalle, who's just a 9th-grader, wound up being the young man of the hour in the first game of his high school career.
"These kids are so much bigger and more physical than the ones I usually play against," Ovalle said. "Coach (Rick Talamantez) said to shoot it, so that's what I did.
"It was pretty cold and windy, but it's just good to get a win in our first game."
Ovalle's goal, which he rocketed just below the crossbar and into the top portion of the net just over the outstretched fingertips of Lone Peak's leaping goalie, mercifully ended what had been a scoreless deadlock through regulation.
The two teams' coaches decided to play overtime, but it certainly didn't take long for Ovalle to end it.
"I thought our players came out ready to compete," Talamantez said. "They were very disciplined on the field, and I was very pleased with the way they played.
"Lone Peak is a great team and this was a good test for us, a great way for us to open the season against a good, solid Lone Peak team."
The Lancers' coach said the game's low-scoring, almost no-scoring nature was to be expected in a season-opener. And he wouldn't even complain about the bitter, wintry weather being a factor.
"I think everyone just had first-game jitters," Talamantez said. "They weren't comfortable yet.
"In the second half, Lone Peak started shooting and we got a few more shots that second half. We settled down and moved the ball a lot better.
"As athletes, these guys don't let the weather bother them," he said. "They'll just play in whatever. They're just happy to be out here. They're competitors."
Lone Peak was forced to play a man down throughout the entire second half when Brody Berry was given a red card in the 37th minute.
Each team barely missed a couple of quality scoring chances after halftime, and Layton's Christian Love had two great shots in the closing minutes of regulation that were stopped by the Knights' goalie, who couldn't quite get his hands on Ovalle's game-winner.