Tuesday , May 22, 2018 - 8:41 PM
WOODS CROSS — In soccer terms, Preston Pitt’s goal with 3:47 left in the second half isn’t called golden, but it was still a pretty sweet shot.
Goalkeeper Isaac Roy and the vaunted Viewmont defense kept Brighton off the board for all 80 minutes and the Vikings sailed into the 5A boys soccer state championship game with a 1-0 shutout victory over the Bengals on Tuesday afternoon.
Pitt’s play came in the 76th minute when he ran under a soaring kick at midfield, slipped past a Brighton defender and beat the Bengal keeper mano a mano to slip the game’s only goal into the net.
“The only way I could have scored is if it played out the way it did. The ball was slippery and I just guessed it right and put it in the back of the net,” Pitt said. “They call me the dog on the team because I have like eight scrappy goals this year ... with three minutes left and playing at Rio Tinto if you get a goal, I was just going full out, and it bounced my way and I tipped it in.”
Before Pitt’s game-winner, both teams weathered a one-hour delay with 28:44 left on the clock because of lightning and rain in the area of Woods Cross High School.
When the fans and the teams returned, Viewmont came out invigorated with a secret weapon, a candy handout from assistant coach Cade Miller.
“At the start of the second half, the first 10 minutes before the rain delay, we were playing really good soccer,” Pitt said. “We did some stretching and ate some sour patch to get our energy up, and came back and finished it.”
Viewmont was under siege early as Brighton constantly put the pressure on, but Roy turned away numerous great shots on goal.
“Brighton is a really good attacking team. We had to stay connected as a defense, but if it breaks down, it’s up to me,” Roy said. “I trust my defense to do what they need to do and if I need to, I’ll make that save.
“But it’s a whole team effort, it’s not just me,” he said. “Our midfielders were pressing high and stopping a lot of their shots.”
After a rough start through the first 10 to 15 minutes, the Vikings got comfortable and changed the flow of the game.
The start of second half saw even better focus with the ball at the Brighton end of the field and the Vikings continued that intensity after the delay.
“We’re a team that works hard on conditioning so we can be that second-half team that won’t get tired,” Viking coach Spencer Keddington said.
Viewmont (9-5-4) now advances to the state final at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy. The Vikings will face Alta (12-4-3), a 4-3 winner over Skyline earlier Tuesday.
“Nobody believes in us. Our clan of brothers are the only people who believe in us to the final whistle,” Pitt said.
Sign up for e-mail news updates.