We drove home the point, 'It’s a 0-0 match after halftime. It’s critical to come out and play 40 minutes like it’s 0-0. —Mark Stoker, Brighton head coach
COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — There was no collapse this time around for Brighton’s girls soccer team.
A year after squandering a two-goal lead in a 5A quarterfinal loss to Davis, the Bengals were extra focused for Thursday’s quarterfinal rematch and poured it on throughout on their way to a convincing 4-0 victory over Davis.
“We talked about it at practice the day before. We just had more drive because we didn’t want a repeat of last year, especially 'cause it’s the quarterfinals again,” said Brighton midfielder Steph Ringwood.
David had high hopes for duplicating last year’s result after upsetting Region 4 champion Riverton earlier in the week, but those hopes never materialized.
Brighton senior Nadia Gomes scored in the sixth minute and then again in the 13th minute to push Brighton out to a comfortable early lead.
She scored from distance on her first goal, and her second was the result of a quality cross from Jocelyn Loomis.
Brighton continued to dictate the pace with the 2-0 lead, but Davis certainly had chances to claw back into the game. In the 19th minute, Davis’ Mikayla Colohan headed a corner kick on frame, but Brighton defender Katelynn Mortensen was standing in perfect position by the post to clear it off the line.
In the 35th minute Davis had another close-range scoring opportunity blocked by a perfectly placed Brighton defender.
Just before halftime, Ringwood effectively iced the game on a wonderful piece of individual skill. The senior used several step-over moves to free herself from Davis’ backline and then uncorked a 15-yard shot into the back of the net for the 3-0 lead.
Despite having a three-goal advantage at the half, the message from coach Mark Stoker was a simple one.
“We drove home the point, 'It’s a 0-0 match after halftime. It’s critical to come out and play 40 minutes like it’s 0-0,'” said Stoker, whose team lost to Davis 3-2 in last year’s quarterfinals despite a seemingly comfortable 2-0 halftime lead.
Unlike a year ago though, Brighton did a great job protecting its lead with crisp, one-two passing that had Davis on its heals for long stretches. Defensively, the Bengals were calm whenever the Darts threatened as they held on for the clean sheet.
Just a few minutes before the final whistle, Sydney Meyers finished the game off in style, slipping a shot just inside the post for the 4-0 lead.
With the victory, Brighton advances to next Tuesday’s semifinals at Juan Diego Catholic High School. It will take on Region 1 champion Fremont at 3:45 p.m.