BOUNTIFUL — Before the Layton boys soccer team stepped on to the field for its matchup with the Bountiful Braves on Thursday afternoon, coach Rick Talamantez gave the team a pep talk.
“I told my boys I want them to be a great team,” he said, “and great teams won’t give up.”
The Lancers took the message to heart and, with nearly a full 80 minutes wearing on their legs, found the net on a penalty kick with less than a minute remaining for the 1-0 road victory.
“Great teams won’t give up when they’re tired, when they’re fatigued, when they’re hurt — and we played to that potential today.” Talamantez continued. “They want to be a great team so they’re pushing hard; they’re not breaking down.”
“He comes up with confidence,” Talamantez said of Steed’s desire to take the penalty kick. “He wants to take, and that’s the player I’m going to go with. If he wants it, he’s going to do it.”
The senior captain slipped the ball past a charging Bountiful goalkeeper to improve the Lancers’ record to 2-0-0.
The Bountiful coaching staff was not pleased with the game-determining foul, approaching the officials afterward to challenge the call. The staff protested that the foul differential was lopsided, and that the Bountiful scorebook showed a 4-1 advantage for the Lancers.
Both teams had opportunities to score earlier in the match. Bountiful had an open net with four minutes remaining, and Layton put the ball in the net in the 65th minute — but it was called back because the referees ruled the ball went out of bounds first.
“It’s disappointing,” Talamantez said of watching the ball go in the net but not counting. “That’s just an unfortunate call. I thought it was in, but who am I to argue?”
Senior captain Scott Sweeten earned the Layton shutout with a solid defensive effort to support the Lancers’ late rally.
“Overall, these kids, they’ve got one goal in mind,” Talamantez said. “That’s (to) win a game. Take one game at a time and push forward.”
Sarah Thomas is a graduate of the University of Utah and has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org