WOODS CROSS At halftime of his team's 4A boys soccer semifinal showdown against No. 2 Bonneville, Mountain View captain CJ Garner knew if his teammates wanted to be state champions, they were going to have to play like it.
Fourth-ranked Mountain View had done OK up to that point the halftime score was 0-0 but Garner and Co. knew they needed to play better in the second half if they were going to get back to a state final for the second time in as many seasons.
Mountain View made adjustments, the midfielders playing in front of Garner really got going, and the Bruins collectively played better for what turned out to be 60 minutes.
And with literally seconds remaining in double-overtime, they got the goal that took them into Thursday's 4A championship game.
Mountain View midfielder Leo Saban knocked the ball forward inside the final minute of double-OT, and Jake Parkinson stuck it into the net with just 24 seconds remaining to lift Mountain View to a thrilling 1-0 win Tuesday at Woods Cross High.
"We kind of came out slow, but we met at halftime, talked some things over, worked some things out and we came out with a different attitude like we were going to be state champs," said Garner. "And we took it to 'em."
Mountain View, in search of its first boys soccer championship in school history, will face Bountiful, which has more boys soccer championships than anybody else in Utah, in the 4A title game at 4 p.m. Thursday.
Parkinson's late, late game-winner capped a fantastic overall performance by Mountain View against Bonneville, last year's 4A runner-up, and allowed the Bruins to avoid a dreaded shootout.
Mountain View edged Cottonwood in a tense shootout in the quarterfinals last week and beat Davis last year in a shootout to advance to the 5A title game. However, the Bruins clearly didn't want to have to do that again.
"We just thought to ourselves, 'We can't go into another shootout,"' said Parkinson, whose golden goal in the 100th minute made sure they didn't.
After Saban did well to knock the ball forward to Parkinson, Bonneville's onrushing goalkeeper and a defender both got tangled up. The ball squirted free, and Parkinson calmly slotted it into the net.
As well as Mountain View played up to that point, the game nearly slipped away from the Bruins in the final seconds of regulation.
Bonneville, which also played well and walked away feeling like it had given all that it could, found itself with a fabulous scoring chance in the 80th minute.
On that occasion, the ball fell to star midfielder Alex Bernier on the left side. Bernier had an open net to shoot at, and while he did everything right on the play, Garner somehow scrambled across to scurry it away for a corner kick.
"I saw the ball coming and I said to myself, 'It's not ending right now,"' said Garner.His fantastic individual play ensured that all of Mountain View's great second-half play didn't count for nothing, and it set the stage for Parkinson's game-winner exactly 20 minutes later.