COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — Brighton had multiple opportunities to hang its head in Tuesday’s rainy region clash with Corner Canyon.
The first two times occurred when the visitors grabbed a one-goal lead, and the third came when they equalized in the dying seconds of regulation to force overtime.
Brighton fought through the adversity though, eking out the 4-3 overtime victory as Chandler Turpin buried the winner less than two minutes into overtime.
“They just kept fighting and were relentless, and that’s important especially this time of year,” said Brighton coach Brett Rosen.
The win avenged Brighton’s loss to Corner Canyon earlier this month — its only loss of the season — and kept it in a first-place tie with Alta in Region 7 with three games remaining.
“We lost to them earlier in the season and we just didn’t want to lose to them again,” Turpin said about the focused mindset on Tuesday. “We just figured we played bad in the first game and we just wanted to come out and do our best in this game.”
Despite that mentality, Corner Canyon was the team that dictated the early tempo. Griffin Dillon scored in the opening 10 minutes, and throughout the rest of the first half the Chargers defense frustrated Brighton’s attack, which settled for numerous ambitious long-range shots that didn’t come close to hitting the target.
Rosen called it the worst half of soccer Brighton has played all year.
“At halftime they took it upon themselves to come out and play the right way, and we definitely controlled the second half,” said Rosen.
Even though Brighton controlled possession and created more chances, Corner Canyon made the most of its chances in a wild second half played in a downpour.
In the 50th minute, Brighton’s Brennan Neeley equalized on a free kick just outside the box, but the Chargers answered back three minutes later with Cameron Milles heading in a Max Olsen cross for the 2-1 lead.
In the 55th minute, Brighton leveled the score again as Josh Loomis tapped in a rebounded shot from Alex Fankhauser who forced Corner Canyon keeper Jagen Allen into a great save.
Brighton’s attack continued to put pressure on the back line, forcing Allen into multiple difficult saves, including a save off the line by one of his defenders.
In the 68th minute though, Brighton grabbed its first lead of the game as Loomis buried a short corner cross from Walker Schwendiman for the 3-2 lead.
Suddenly trailing for the first time all game, Corner Canyon showed the same fighting spirit as Brighton with Mills tying the score 3-3 with a goal in the final minute of regulation.
Despite conceding the late goal, Rosen wasn’t worried about his team’s mindset heading into overtime.Comment on this story
“We dominated the second half we felt, and we knew we could go out and continue to play that way and get a goal, didn’t know it would be that fast,” said Rosen. “These guys are getting really good at just maintaining the right mindset. No matter if we’re up or down, we don’t get too high when we’re up and we don’t get too low when we’re down, we just work and keep fighting and hopefully win.”
That win eventually came in overtime as Turpin capitalized on a missed clearance early in overtime for just his second goal of the season.