LEHI The Layton boys soccer team proved to be just one kick better than Lehi and advanced to the 5A state quarterfinals with a 2-1 overtime win on Tuesday.
For the most part, everything went according to script for the Lancers. On the road and playing on unfamiliar field turf, they got an early goal and looked air-tight on defense for 80 minutes.
Layton's plans did take a detour when Lehi equalized in second half stoppage time, but a golden goal five minutes into the first extra period sent the Lancers through.
"We knew what they're capable of," said Layton coach Rick Talamantez. "We knew what kind of pitch they had laid out for us. We played really well on turf."
With the strong defense of both teams, good scoring chances were at a premium, and Layton took control when they knocked in one of their first chances in the sixth minute.
A long throw-in was popped up in the box and fell to Christian Cannavina who rose up and headed the ball in. The early advantage gave a morale boost and allowed the Lancers to play the game at their own pace.
"Getting that early goal was good for these kids," said Talamantez. "It gave us a little momentum and they thrived off that."
Layton fell back on its defense and didn't budge for 74 minutes. Every time Lehi looked like it had a good shot, someone would come up with a tackle or get a foot in the way.
Deep into stoppage time the Pioneers finally got a break on their own long throw-in. The ball was knocked off the cross bar on its first touch and feel to the turf where Caleb Gray dove and headed inside the far post.
Gray almost won the game in moments later when he got his head on a corner kick, but the ball sailed just high and the whistle blew.
In the 85th minute, Tate Baxter sent a driven corner to the far post and sophomore Adam Evans was unmarked and had an easy time redirecting the ball in.
"It was a perfectly laid out corner," said Talamantez. "That ball dropped right on his head right where we wanted the ball."
It was a disappointing way for Lehi to end its season, but the Pioneers have plenty to build on after winning Region 4 in their first year as a 5A school.
"Not much was expected from them," said Lehi coach Steve McMurdie. "Winning a region championship gets a little respect that they deserve."