BOUNTIFUL — Viewmont picked up its fifth straight victory on Tuesday, defeating the Layton Lancers, 2-1 to maintain a flawless 5-0 record.
Prior to the match, Layton was undefeated as well, and the Vikings quickly realized that the Lancers were not about to go down easy.
Play seemed even in the first half, as offensive action was limited. So limited, in fact, that the teams may as well have been passing the ball around between two brick walls.
Viewmont's Laura Essig attributed the lack of action to a shortage of energy.
"We didn't have energy in the first half on the bench or on the field," she said, noting that communication was absent as well.
Viewmont head coach Emalee Tate addressed the issues at halftime and encouraged the Vikings to play their game.
Just minutes after the recharge, the Vikings proved themselves a force to be reckoned with, and started firing away. Sluggish play was a thing of the past.
Essig broke things open in the 46th minute, running onto a ball from teammate Heidi Lorscheider and chipping it into the net. Carrying the momentum, Lorscheider struck again for the Vikings, floating the ball just over the Layton goalkeeper's fingertips from long range.
Trailing 2-0, the Lancers responded with a burst of energy. Despite the surge, they were unable to break through for several minutes.
Finally, in the 63rd minute, Layton's Jamie Alvarez awed the crowd with a powerful clean-up strike from just outside the 18-yard box. Kaitlynn Morgan had crossed the ball through the middle where it was bouncing and changing direction like a pinball. Just when the opportunity seemed past, Alvarez arrived out of nowhere to blast it in and cut the deficit to 2-1.
"I'm not sure what happened," Essig said of the momentary Viewmont letdown. "We were up by two … we didn't expect them to score."
Layton had another good look in the following minute but was unable to convert. Though they battled in the remaining minutes, Viewmont forced the Lancers back onto their heels with excellent hustle and several shots on goal.
Lorscheider, Karrie Pead, and Ashley Peterson led a merciless attack that kept the Lancers busy and iced their offense. They held on through the final whistle for a narrow victory.
Though the Vikings looked like a well-oiled machine in the second half, a lengthy warm-up could prove fatal in the future.
"I think we overlooked them," Essig said of the slow start. "They were better than we expected."