BOUNTIFUL — The Viewmont High School girls soccer team kicked off its preseason play Tuesday with an exciting, double-overtime victory over crosstown rival Bountiful.
The Vikings defeated the Braves 2-1 when sophomore Karrie Pead scored a golden goal to clinch the win.
The solidifier came in the opening minute of the second overtime and was one of two goals scored by Pead in the Vikings' season-opener. The speedy forward raced downfield as part of a counter attack and was given a great ball from Abbie Flandro. Pead then beat her defender for the uncontested look.
"I so badly wanted to win," she said of the finish. "Abby always sends the best balls. ... I put it in the corner and knew it was in."
The game-winner wasn't Pead's only shining moment, as her first goal gave the Vikings an early 1-0 lead in the 11th minute. Finding herself in the right place at the right time, she cleaned up a near-miss header from teammate Ella Johnson. The header was the result of a well-placed corner kick from Courtney Wallis and a defensive letdown by the Braves.
"We dropped off in our marking and it bit us on that corner kick," Bountiful head coach Lou Plank said. "Hands down, they outplayed us that entire first half."
The Vikings' 1-0 lead seemed as if it would hold throughout regulation, as Bountiful struggled to find opportunities out front. Though their intensity picked up in the second half — resulting in occasional shots on goal — the Braves were unable to focus on an attack when the Vikings were continuously mounting one of their own.
Finally, in the 76th minute, the Braves were granted a viable opportunity. An obstruction foul led to an indirect free kick and Bountiful goal, as Viewmont goalie Hailey Johnson dove and fumbled the ball upon meeting the ground just inside the line. Despite the surge, the Braves were unable to stave off the tenacious Viewmont forwards in the second overtime.
Viewmont's new head coach, Emily Tate, was pleased with the win and is excited about the future of her talented team — a team boasting several returners with championship experience.
"The last two years, the girls were in the finals and lost," she said. "They want to get back again. ... They have a different mentality this year."
Tate went on to commend the returners for their leadership, emphasizing the importance of the younger players "buying in" to the program and contributing to a possible return to the finals at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Tate was the girls soccer coach at Clearfield for one year before replacing Viewmont's coach, Eric Landon, at the helm of the Vikings' ship.
The Vikings' roster is chock full of talent and a redemption trip to the finals is very possible.
"Third time is a charm," Pead said confidently. "This time we'll take it. We have the heart, the players, a deep bench ... we can take it."