Michael Brandy, Deseret News
Brighton's Jessica Ringwood kicks a goal against Park City as the Bengals knocked off the Miners on Tuesday afternoon.

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — No one needed to explain to Brighton how tough an opponent Park City could be.

Seeing the Miners give top-ranked Alta all it could handle last week offered enough proof that any game involving them had plenty of dangerous elements to it.

After spending an entire half locked in a defensive struggle, the Bengals realized holding off Park City indefinitely would be impossible without injecting its offense with some life.

"We knew we had to get one early, so we could settle down and just play Brighton soccer," senior forward Jessica Ringwood said.

Ringwood cracked the Miner defense herself — scoring a pair of second-half goals to lift Brighton to a 2-0 victory on Tuesday afternoon.

She wasted no time punching in the first one. In the 42nd minute, Ringwood dribbled around a defender up top and buried the ball in the left corner of the net to put the Bengals up 1-0.

Ringwood then added an insurance goal in the 66th minute. She faked out both defender Zoe VanGorder and goalkeeper Cassie Palmachi down low in the penalty area and forced them to dive to the right. Ringwood quickly curled the ball other direction and it spun over into the right corner for the two-goal lead.

Her pair of goals helped settle down a team that felt somewhat flustered by its inability to create the shots it wanted against Park City in the first 40 minutes.

Brighton's best first-half scoring chance came in the ninth minute when Stephanie Verdoia tried to drive deep into the penalty area, only to see her shot blocked away by a sliding Lindi Lisonbee.

"The main thing we wanted to do is settle the ball and play our possession game," Brighton coach Tennille Vance said. "The first half we struggled a little bit more. I think they kind of got into our heads a bit more where we didn't come off the bat and score."

The Bengals netted their fourth consecutive shutout — a far cry from a season opening win over Northridge where they gave up three goals.

Brighton has gone with a host of new starters along the backline and at goalkeeper. Part of the reason why the unit is doing so well, early in the season, is that the players understand their roles and what needs to be done on the field.

"We're getting into the flow of things and defensively we're doing really well," Ringwood said. "A bunch of young players have really stepped up this year."


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