High school boys soccer: Powerful Brighton Bengals blank Mountain View Bruins, 3-0

Published: Friday, March 9 2012 10:44 p.m. MST

Brighton's Zach Bernardo, right, and Mountain View's Jake Hoddy battle for the ball during Friday's match in Orem. n play Friday, March 9, 2012 at Mountain View.View and Brighton play Friday, March 9, 2012 at Mountain View.

Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

OREM — The Brighton Bengals opened their soccer season with a commanding 3-0 victory over Mountain View on Friday.

The Bengals dominated offensively with 21 shots on goal compared to Mountain View's five. Attacking the net incessantly, the team experienced several near misses.

The ball pinged off the cross bar on four separate occasions and sailed just wide of the net time and time again. The aggressive play kept Bruin goalkeeper Austin McBride extremely busy and required several diving, fingertip saves.

"We created a lot of chances to score," Brighton head coach Russ Boyer said. "I thought we attacked aggressively and created a lot of good chances."

The first goal for the Bengals was an own goal and it came midway through the first half. Brighton midfielder Zane Chao sent the ball sailing across the front of the net, earning the 1-0 lead when it deflected off a Mountain View defender.

Just before halftime, Matthew Coffey extended that lead to 2-0 as he calmly dribbled around his opponent and sent the ball into the back of the net. The Bengals displayed exceptional patience, working it around and opening things up for the persistent forward.

As the game progressed, the Bruins struggled to slow down the Bengal offense.

"We could have come out a little stronger, a little more confident," McBride said of the Bruins' first half. "We didn't do as good in the middle. We lost a lot of balls that we could have won."

The second half resembled the first in that the Bengals held the momentum. Despite the dominance, Mountain View held them to just one more goal.

The goal, however, was a pretty one. Coffey sent a perfectly placed cross to teammate Skyler Milne. The 6-foot-4 midfielder outjumped the Bruin defenders and headed it in to complete the beautiful play.

"It's always fun playing with Matt (Coffey)," Milne said of the assist.

He went on to name several teammates, including Taylor Fankhauser, who assisted Coffey's goal in the first half. Milne, a senior captain, was pleased with his team's performance.

"I was happy with how well we came out and played our first game," Milne said. "We worked hard in practice all week, conditioning."

Coach Boyer agreed.

"Our effort was good," he said. "Everybody that played got in and contributed. It was a good team effort."

According to Boyer, the Bengals are returning a talented cast despite graduating several seniors last year. "We have a lot of underclassmen that contributed (Friday)," he said. "We have key starters back and a lot of good players to fill the spots."

Brighton boasts a strong core and exceptional depth — something the coach sees as a strong advantage.

Mountain View hopes to see success as well this year with key starters from last year's team and new, young talent. McBride is confident in his team's abilities despite the loss.

"We may even have a better team than last year," the goalkeeper said. "We have a great team that could take it to state again."

email: jwilde@desnews.com

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