Cottonwood Heights •Â Brighton wouldn't let it happen again.
One year after owning a 2-0 halftime lead against Davis in the Class 5A girls' soccer state quarterfinals only to see it evaporate into a 3-2 loss, this year's Bengals ensured it wouldn't be Groundhog Day.
At halftime up 3-0 over the Darts, Brighton coach Mark Stoker told his team to play the second half like it was a 0-0 match.
"It was critical for us to come out and play 40 minutes like it's 0-0," he said.
The Bengals did and dispatched Davis 4-0 in Thursday afternoon's 5A state quarterfinal victory. Brighton inched closer to Rio Tinto Stadium for the state title game. The Bengals will face Fremont in the semifinals at Jordan High School on Tuesday.
Senior forward Nadia Gomes opened the scoring with two quick goals in the first 13 minutes. She hit the crossbar twice in a 10-minute span in the first half, barely missing out on a four-goal first half.
"I kind of thought that we would have it today," she said.
The Bengals did.
Senior Steph Ringwood dribbled through traffic atop the Davis box and eventually tucked away a goal past the outstretched arms of the Darts' goalkeeper later in the first half.
"I think we just had more drive because we didn't want a repeat of last year," Ringwood said. "Especially because it's the quarterfinals again and it was a tough game, but I think the difference is because we put the goals in quick instead of having it 1-0 at half."
Brighton dominated possession in the second half and preserved a shutout thanks to a few point-blank saves by senior goalkeeper Carly Olsen.
With time ticking away and with a guaranteed spot in the 5A semifinals, senior midfielder Sydney Meyers added the final exclamation with her left-footed goal.
"Our whole senior class is basically our starting lineup," Ringwood said. "We just have more chemistry than last year."
firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: @chriskamrani Storylines Brighton 4, Davis 0
• Nadia Gomes scores two goals in the first half to spark Brighton.
• The victory was redemption for the Bengals, who fell to the Darts in the playoffs last season.