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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Bengals looking for more wins in region boys soccer action

May 08, 2018 03:25PM ● By Josh McFadden

By Josh McFadden | [email protected]

A shoot-out in the game of soccer can be one of the most heart-stopping, exciting moments in sports. Of course, in the high school ranks, this isn’t part of the game until the postseason, which is one of the reasons the Brighton boys team has so many ties.

In its six non-region games, Brighton had a pair of wins and a loss to go with three ties. Add in a Brighton tie against Corner Canyon on April 13 in the second game of its Region 7 schedule, and the team had more draws up to that point in the season than all but one school in the entire state.

Still, following their 4-2 victory over Timpview on April 17, the Bengals still had just one loss on the season and began 2-0-1 in region standings. In that victory, Brighton scored all of its goals in the first half while building a commanding four-goal lead. Cameron Neely, Jake Babcock, Kaleo Dutro-Raymond and Traedon Chamberlain each scored. 

Brighton has averaged just shy of two goals a game this season. The team has enjoyed balanced scoring, as 10 players had registered goals in the first nine contests. During that time frame, senior David Brog was leading the way with four goals. He scored against Snow Canyon, Jordan, Provo and Corner Canyon. Fellow senior Chamberlain was second on the team in goals scored (three) following the April 17 win over Corner Canyon.

Meanwhile, defensively, Brighton has been solid. Senior goalkeeper Thomas Jensen and junior goalie Harrison Nuttall have combined to each pitch a shutout during the first nine games. The Bengals’ defense also limited three other opponents to a single goal.

Last season, Brighton finished third in a highly competitive Region 3 of Class 5A and lost in the first round of the state tournament. Brighton stayed in 5A this season but moved to Region 7, as the Utah High School Activities Association created Class 6A and made major region realignments. This season, instead of facing Bingham, Copper Hills, West Jordan and Taylorsville, the Bengals are contending for region supremacy with Corner Canyon, Alta and Timpview. Cottonwood and Jordan, which were with Brighton in Region 3 last season, have joined the Bengals in the new-look region.

In order to reach the postseason, the Bengals must finish in the top four of the six-team league. Brighton has been a playoff fixture in boys soccer over the years. Though the program has suffered first-rounds exits the past two seasons, Brighton reached the 5A state title game in 2015. The Bengals won its last championship in 2009, which was the second of back-to-back titles for the team.

The Bengals will face each region foe twice this season. They’ll conclude the regular season May 11 at home against Alta. If Brighton qualifies for the state tournament, as always, it will either host or play a road game when the tournament gets underway May 16. Brighton will secure a home game in the first round if its finishes first or second in region.