I think that first goal, if anything, calmed us down and after that they were relaxed and a little more focused. —Davis head coach Souli Phongsavath
DRAPER — For the fans who watched the 5A semifinal game between the Davis Darts and Copper Hills Grizzlies at Juan Diego High School Tuesday afternoon, there was surely only one thought that ran through their heads as time expired: Now that is how the No. 1 team in the nation is supposed to play.
Mikayla Colohan netted two goals, including a beauty from outside the box, leading goal scorer Olivia Wade added another, three additional Darts scored, and Davis rolled to an easy 6-0 victory.
“It was a good one,” Davis head coach Souli Phongsavath said of the win. “I thought after we settled in, after the first 20 minutes, we were able to play the way we wanted to play. I was really impressed with how they finished today.”
It didn’t take long for the Darts to score, unsettled or not. A mere two minutes into play, Davis was on the board, courtesy of an Ally Olcott score. The Olcott goal was anything but ordinary, however. The forward, isolated on the right wing, attempted to cross the ball into the box, but the ball sailed high into the air and fell in the awaiting arms of the Grizzlies' goalie. That appeared to be the end of it, that is until the ball squirted free and dribbled over the end line for a Darts goal.
“I think that first goal, if anything, calmed us down and after that they were relaxed and a little more focused,” Phongsavath said.
Davis took command of the contest with about 12 minutes remaining in the half when, on their fourth corner kick of the game, Colohan rose above the defense and headed the ball into the net.
From there the floodgates were opened, and in the second half it was all Davis all the time.
Despite, or perhaps because of, missing an early penalty kick, as well as a couple of other chances, Wade was on the attack to start the second half, and it paid off for the star forward. Less than 10 minutes into the second period, Wade, after fighting off two Grizzly defenders, drove the ball past a diving keeper and into the goal, pushing the lead to three.
Not to be outdone, Colohan quickly netted her second goal of the game, this one on a perfect shot from well outside the box.
A few minutes later, Kate McMaster shot a ball that was almost identical to Colohan's, and again a Dart shot found the back of the net.
“I wish I knew or else I’d have them do it on Friday as well,” Phongsavath quipped when asked where the surplus of goals came from. “I think they were just relaxed in their finishing.”
Midfielder Lindsay DiReda, with just under four minutes remaining in the game, added one final score for the Darts, an exclamation point on an incredible performance.
“We just wanted to play the way we play, and impose what we do on them,” Phongsavath said. “When we let the game come to us, and stopped trying to score, we played really well. That was it really.”
With the win, Davis (21-0) advances to the 5A state championship game for the third year in a row. The Darts will battle the Fremont Silver Wolves for the top spot in Utah girls soccer Friday, Oct. 21, at Rio Tinto Stadium.