Brighton off to good start in boys soccer as 2019 season heats up
Mar 26, 2019 03:04PM
● By Josh McFadden
Sophomore Cameron Neely battles for the ball against Cottonwood High in region play last year. (City Journals)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
The makeup of a high school team changes from year to year, but some things stay the same. Just take a look at the Brighton boys soccer team.
Season after season, players come and go, and the Bengals are always competitive and are usually among the top teams in the state. Want proof? The Bengals have qualified for the state tournament every year this century. Brighton has advanced to the Class 5A state championship three times since 2011, losing all three in close fashion. Brighton won the 5A crown in 2008 and 2009.
This season presents some challenges, as the Bengals lost several key players from last year to graduation. Brighton has to replace its top two scorers from a year ago, but this doesn’t mean head coach Brett Rosen doesn’t have talent and experience at his disposal.
Senior forward Alex Frankhauser is back to help lead the offense. He scored five goals last season and five as a sophomore in 2017. Josh Loomis will team with Frankhauser up front. The fellow senior tallied three goals last season.
Defensively, Brighton gave up just one goal per game in 2018, and some critical pieces of that unit are back this season. Goalkeeper Harrison Nuttall, a senior, had five shutouts in the net last season. Rosen expects more of the same from him. Also, defender Walker Schwendiman, a junior, will bolster the back line for the Bengals.
Last season, Brighton won the Region 7 title by going 8-0-2. However, the Bengals came up short in the 5A state tournament, losing in the semifinals to Viewmont 1-0.
Brighton’s 2019 campaign couldn’t have begun much better.
Despite playing with a collection of new varsity starters, the Bengals won their first two games without a lot of trouble. The team picked up where it left off defensively a year ago, recording shutouts in both contests. Brighton first dispatched Class 6A’s Lone Peak 4-0 on March 6 and then blanked Olympus 3-0 on March 8.
Against Lone Peak, the Bengals scored three goals in the first half, putting the game away for all intents and purposes. Two days later, in the victory over Olympus, Frankhauser, Loomis ad Brixen Baird found the back of the net in the Bengals’ triumph. Nuttall got both shutouts.
After facing Skyline on March 15, the Bengals host Hillcrest on March 28 for the final non-league game of the season. Region play starts for Brighton on April 9 when it entertains Jordan. The Bengals don’t have a road game until the second region contest of the season, an April 12 clash at Corner Canyon.
Brighton will square off with its region foes twice each. The top four teams will advance to the state tournament. Though Brighton captured the Region 7 title a year ago, runner-up Alta ended up winning the 5A championship.