At 6-foot-4, Brighton’s Skyler Milne is used to playing heads and shoulders above the competition.
Milne might need his own cloud after a memorable three-goal performance from the Bengal senior lifted Brighton into the 5A soccer semifinals with a 4-1 win over Bingham on Friday.
The win avenged Brighton’s only loss of the season — 1-0 to Bingham on March 13 — and sends the Bengals into a May 22 semifinal showdown with a Weber squad that turned back Lehi, 2-0.
After a scoreless 20 minutes, Bengal junior Mathew Coffey lofted a ball to Milne, who put it away with authority. Milne struck again with just less than five minutes until intermission when Taylor Fankhauser lofted a nearly identical ball.
“Once Mathew and Taylor started getting balls out wide, I knew they would come with a cross,” said Milne. “I just told myself to get to the middle and go up and get it.”
Brighton maintained the 2-0 lead into intermission, but Brighton coach Russ Boyer was determined his team wouldn’t play like they owned the lead.
“We talked about it at halftime and I told the guys to really treat this like it’s 0-0,” said Boyer.
And the Bengals kept right on attacking. Andrew Campbell found Fankhauser open on the wing in the 66th minute, where Fankhauser banged his attempt just hard enough to get past Bingham goalkeeper Taran Meyer.
Fankhauser put a final imprint on the game with a corner kick with just less 15 minutes to play that Milne headed in for his third goal and second hat trick in two weeks.
“I thought we played about as good a team game as we have all year,” said Boyer. “Our midfield distributed balls and our front line was very dangerous tonight.”
Brighton moves to 16-1 on the year, while Bingham, which got a late goal from Parker Bengtzen, ends at 12-5-1.
Weber 2, Lehi 0 • Weber advanced to Tuesday’s 5A semifinals with a 2-0 win over Lehi. Warrior goalkeeper Joe Wheelwright notched his ninth shutout, and Weber used goals from Jaden Bybee and Tyler Murdock to end Lehi’s season. The Warriors take on Brighton in the semifinal Tuesday at 4:15 at Woods Cross.
Copper Hills 0, Riverton 0 (3-1, 2 SO) • Braden Burkett, Andrian Sanchez, and Alex Higueara found the net in a 3-1 shootout victory as Copper Hills advanced to the 5A semifinals for the first time in school history with the win over Riverton. The Grizzlies will face Davis Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Woods Cross.
Davis 1, Lone Peak 0 • Darts goalkeeper Mitch Jensen blocked two penalty kicks in stoppage time to secure the win after Colby Childs scored the game’s lone goal in the 80th minute.