We are the defending state champs and we weren’t going to let someone walk through our region. It’s a good win. —Eric Brady

DRAPER — Heading into the season finale, played Tuesday night at Corner Canyon High School, it seemed all but certain that no one in Region 7, and perhaps all of 5A, could stop the Corner Canyon Chargers. After all, the Chargers had made short work of any and all challengers this season, including perennial powerhouse Alta, the defending 4A state champion Timpview Thunderbirds and a talented Brighton Bengals squad. The only loss Corner Canyon suffered all year came during preseason play, at Skyline.

That dominance had earned the Chargers the Region 7 title, as well as a sure-fire top seed in the state tournament. All that was left to do was to defeat Timpview one last time.

The Thunderbirds had other plans.

Led by Ashton Brockbank and Lily Haskins, who each netted a goal, as well as the excellent goalkeeping of Marren Nielsen, the T-birds (12-3-0 (7-3-0)) defeated the Chargers (13-2-0 (9-1-0)), 2-1.

“It’s not a state championship, but it is kind of a proving point,” said Timpview head coach Eric Brady. “We are the defending state champs and we weren’t going to let someone walk through our region. It’s a good win. It’s confidence building.”

The win may, in fact, prove to be more than that for Timpview.

“We are peaking at the right time,” said Brady. “We lost our first team all-stater (Kelsey Salvesen) for the entire first half (Salvesen was hurt less than two minutes into the contest) and yet, we shut them out without her. That’s phenomenal. We have girls coming back from injuries. We have played in what I believe to be the toughest region in the state. We have gotten some great experience this year and learned from our mistakes. We still have some things to work on, don’t get me wrong, but we are peaking at the right time.”

From the outset, it was clear that the contest would be competitive. Within the first 10 minutes of the game, both sides had chances at goal, though neither team was able to find the back of the net.

That is, until Brockbank drilled one, from just outside the box, past Corner Canyon keeper Allison Stanley.

A few minutes later, Timpview struck again, this time off the foot of Haskins. The sophomore, after losing control of the ball, regained possession and lofted the ball into the air. Somehow it found its way into the top left corner of the goal, slipping just past the outstretched fingers of Stanley.

That goal made it a two-score game, a lead the T-birds took into the break.

The second half was a different story altogether. After threatening briefly to start the period, Timpview found themselves on their heels, as Charger counter-attacks came early and often.

“They can counter like no team in the state,” said Brady. “There is a reason they have beaten the Altas and Brightons by five or six goals. They are fast, skilled and well-coached.”

No Charger was more visible in the second half than senior Halle Jones. The forward was a part of every single Corner Canyon counterattack, culminating in her score with a little over 20 minutes remaining in the game.

“That goal really changed the complexion of the game,” said Brady. “We had a hard time adjusting.”

Corner Canyon attempted upwards of ten shots in the second half, compared to just three in the first half and it seemed only a matter of time before the home team managed to tie the game.

Somehow, under extreme and near constant pressure, Timpview managed to hold firm, just long enough for the final whistle to sound.

“We never gave up tonight,” said Brady. “We defended everything hard, until the very end.”

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