BOUNTIFUL The Viewmont Vikings never stopped believing.
One could have forgiven No. 4 Viewmont for fearing the worst when it fell behind 1-0 to defending champion Jordan in the 29th minute of the 5A boys soccer quarterfinals Friday.
However, the Vikes knew they had played well up to that point, and even though the scoreline remained the same at halftime, they knew if they stuck to what they had been doing in the second half, they would be OK.
To their immense credit, that's exactly what they did, and the end product was a thrilling win over the defending champs and a spot in next week's semifinal round.
Star forward Tommy Barrett equalized in the 45th minute, and senior midfielder Abe Lopez netted the game-winner off a long free kick 14 minutes later as Viewmont came from behind to knock off the Beetdiggers, 2-1, on Friday.
"Pure guts and determination," said Viewmont coach Dave Wigham.
With one huge playoff test out of the way, Viewmont next faces another tough one on Tuesday, as the Vikes will take on No. 3 Alta at 4 p.m. on the turf at Woods Cross High.
Before the 5A playoffs began, Wigham had his players fashion wristbands that had just one word on them "Believe." After watching them come from behind to knock off an excellent Jordan team, there is no doubt the Vikings believe they have what it takes to hoist the 5A trophy next week.
"Wigs made us (wear) these wristbands that say, 'Believe,' and it really makes a difference," Lopez said. "It sounds corny and everything, but just thinking it and saying it to yourself, it just makes you believe."
There was no shortage of believers on Viewmont's bench at halftime, even after Jordan freshman Joel Steffensen scored off a well-taken header in the 29th minute.
At halftime, Wigham told his players to do exactly what they had been doing, and just five minutes into the second half, they fashioned an equalizer.
Barrett, a true target forward, rose well to nod home Colton Cook's long throw-in from the right side, and though the big man actually got a cut while celebrating with teammate Jake Juarez, he got back on the field in time to help create the opportunity that led to the game-winner.
In the 59th minute, Barrett won a long free kick approximately 40 yards off the line on the left side, and Wigham instructed Lopez to take it instead of 5A MVP candidate Cook.
Lopez wound up and fired a nice shot toward goal, Barrett faked like he was going to try and hit it, and the ball slid past Jordan keeper Jake Rogers and in.
"It was probably the greatest feeling of my life," Lopez said.
From there, it was all about Viewmont's backline and its goalie, Josh Nordfelt.
Nordfelt did phenomenally well to deny reigning 5A MVP Jake Hustedt in the 68th minute, and the Vikes' defense stayed composed to prevent Jordan from getting into dangerous positions.
"Our defense gets overlooked because we have a great offense," Lopez said, "but we (also) have a great defense."
Viewmont marches on to the semifinals, while Jordan, winner of two of the last three 5A titles, is now out of the tournament."It was a good game, two great teams going at it," said Jordan coach Shaine Herrin, "and the better team prevailed today."
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