KAYSVILLE It was an unusual situation. The first-ranked team in the state going on the road to play the No. 2 team in the quarterfinals of the state tournament was not ideal, but with predetermined brackets, that is exactly what happened when Brighton traveled to meet Davis in girls soccer.
"We knew all year that as long as we won our region we were probably going to get either Alta or Brighton at home in that second game," said Darts coach Souli Phongsavath. "We got Brighton and for 45 minutes we had them on the ropes. We just didn't quite finish the job."
Davis was eliminated from the playoffs by Brighton 2-1 in what was probably the best game of the tournament and probably the entire season. The Bengals' winning goal came on a penalty kick in the final moments after the two teams had played some of the most intense and quality soccer displayed all year.
"It was a disappointing ending, but that doesn't take away from what the girls accomplished during the year," added Phongsavath.
The Darts put together an astounding year. They cruised through Region 1 with a 13-1 record, and they did it in impressive fashion. Except for one little glitch where the team surrendered four goals in a road-loss to Viewmont, the defense never surrendered more than one goal and posted nine shutouts. To go with the stout defense, the offense was also the best in the region scoring 60 goals in the 14 contests.
Colette Jepson led the offensive scoring assault with 26 tallies. The junior was a scoring threat any time she touched the ball. Besides putting the ball in the net herself, just her dangerous presence opened up things for her teammates.
"I don't mind getting double- or even triple-teamed at times," said Jepson. "If I can score myself that is great, but I just like to win."
Roxy Tebbs broke the school record for assists and was among the state's all-time leaders in a season when she had 28 helpers. Her play in the midfield set up the attack time and time again as she distributed the ball to open wings and Jepson up top. Both Tebbs' and Jepson's play was noticed by opponents as both were selected to the all-state first-team.
"It is a nice luxury to have players like that," said Phongsavath. "Roxy is almost like having an extension of me out there. She is so smart with the ball and knows what we are trying to do. And what can you say about Colette. She is flat-out one of the best forwards in the state."
The defense was led by the tandem of Christy Brian and Casey Williams. The pair allowed the Darts to play an aggressive four-across line at times, and they gave the rest of the defense confidence that even should they get beat, they would have their backs. It earned both second-team all-state.
"Those two were the unsung heroes of the team," Phongsavath said. "People knew about Roxy and Colette, but without those two at the back, we wouldn't have reached where we did."While only Jepson will be back from the Darts' all-state selections, but the cupboard will not be bare. Davis played plenty of underclassmen. In fact, that the team achieved what it did was a bit of a surprise to many who thought the Darts were a year away because of the numerous sophomores and freshmen that got playing time. With players such as keeper Jamie Wilkinson and Bailey Eames coming back, Davis may be near the top high school soccer for a while.