5A boys' soccer: Brighton pulls away from Weber in quarters
Sandy • A teammate asked Matt Coffey if he thought he could make the shot again not long after Friday's boys' soccer state quarterfinal playoff game ended.
Coffey smiled, realizing the chances probably were slim.
Nevertheless, Coffey's jaw-dropping goal helped Brighton overcome Weber 3-1 at Albion Middle School and advance to the Class 5A state semifinals Tuesday.
Coffey outraced a defender to the right side, shot back to the left and somehow scored into the top corner, sending Bengal players and fans into a frenzy.
"I saw the keeper going off his line, I looked up and put it in a dangerous area," Coffey said. "I thought I put it on target, hopefully."
The goal came six minutes after teammate Andy Siddoway netted the go-ahead score 13 minutes into the second half. The ball was sent from midfield to a streaking Coffey, whose angle diminished the more he ran. Still, he maintained enough balance to attempt his shot going the opposite way.
"I thought he was going to cross it, but he found the corner of the net," Brighton coach Russ Boyer said. "We're fortunate that we see a lot of those kinds of plays in practice. He's a great player and has a great team around him."
The Bengals (17-1) needed just four minutes to score. Coffey corralled a loose ball on the right side of the box and volleyed a shot into the net. Brighton controlled play throughout the first half, holding Weber without a shot.
That was until controversy came.
Weber's Jaden Bybee got behind Brighton keeper Kolton Savage with seconds left in the half. The ball appeared to touch Bybee's hand as he kneed it toward the goal and into the net. After conferring, the referee ruled that Bybee's hand was in a natural position even though the ball touched it.
"Whether it was or wasn't a goal, we had to deal with it," Boyer said. "We responded great. We did a good job of controlling the ball, creating our chances and holding the force of play. There are always intense matchups with Weber."
The Bengals and Warriors do have quite a playoff history between them. Brighton defeated Weber in the playoffs in 2012, 2008 and 2005, while Weber topped Brighton on penalty kicks for the 2004 state championship.
Though they lost all the momentum they had gained in the first half, the Bengals went back to work in the second half, creating scoring chances while limiting the Warriors' opportunities on the attack.
"Coach told us not to worry and play how we play," said Coffey, who has 11 goals this season. "We shut them down. Our defense is the best in the state. When they play as hard as they do, it makes us play as hard for them."
The Warriors (9-5-1) managed only four shots in the game.
One minute before Siddoway's goal, the Bengals nearly pulled off a picture-perfect score. Coffey and Ben Perkins combined with Zach Bernardo on a series of give-and-go passes, with Bernardo's shot glancing off the crossbar.
Brighton will face Lehi in the semifinals Tuesday at Woods Cross High.
Class 5A state tournament
Tuesday at Woods Cross High
11:30 a.m. • Bingham vs. Copper Hills
1:45 p.m. • Lehi vs. Brighton