Brighton Claims Region 7 Crown in Winner-Take-All Rivalry Match with Alta
May 09, 2019 06:45PM
● By Justin Adams
By Justin Adams | [email protected]
Brighton is the Region 7 boys soccer champion after defeating Alta in the teams' final game of the regular season.
Going into the match, both teams held an identical 8-1 region record, making the game a de facto Region Championship.
Alta finished the first half without a goal (and few opportunities) as they struggled against a stingy Brighton defense that had recorded a shutout in four of its previous five games.
Meanwhile, after several near misses, Brighton got on the scoreboard in the 21st minute when senior forward Josh Loomis capitalized on a cross. His initial header was impressively deflected by Alta goalkeeper Taren England. The ball settled at Loomis’ feet though, and he calmly buried it in the back of the net.
The initial goal helped Brighton take control of the game during the second half, said Brighton head coach Brett Rosen.
“It was nice to get the first one in,” he said. “[Loomis] put a ball off the post and could have given up, but stayed with it and got it in. It’s always good to get the first one in a rivalry game because it gives you a little extra confidence and you can kind of set the tone after that.”
Midway through the second half, the Bengals doubled their lead when a chaotic scrum in front of the goal resulted in the ball rolling into the back of Alta’s net.
Alta answered just two minutes later with a goal of its own, courtesy of senior midfielder Lehi Jensen.
Brighton was able to hold Alta at bay for the remainder of the game (though a controversial no-call in the final moments of the match may have changed that).
The region championship is Brighton’s second in a row.
“It’s extra sweet… to do it against Alta here on their senior night, with the rivals that we are,” said Rosen.
Both teams now set their sights on the state playoffs, which take place over the next two weeks. Alta is the defending 5A state champions, while Brighton’s 2018 campaign ended in the state semifinals.
“We have a great team,” said Rosen. “These boys came together in the beginning of the year and set some high goals. This was one of them. It’s not our end-goal. In two weeks we have another goal to be standing there with another trophy.”
“We just gotta move forward and take it game by game. We have to go in with confidence,” said Loomis.