Girls' soccer: Defending champ Alta looks good in opener
For the first 20 minutes of their season opener with Bountiful, the Alta girls' soccer team looked hesitant. Crosses to the middle went untouched, and balls that would normally be put away with authority bounced harmlessly away from the goal.
That all changed in the 28th minute when Bizzy Phillips banged an impossibly hard, left-footed shot that caromed off Bountiful goal keep Charity Cole. An alert Julianne Gentry was there for the rebound putaway, and from there Alta looked like Alta in a 4-1 victory.
"We had spurts today where we looked ok," said Phillips. "We had a lot of new players starting their first games today, and Bountiful is a solid team."
Alta added one more goal before halftime when junior Madie Lyons lofted a free kick over the Bountiful front defenders and just inches over the outstretched arms of Cole.
One of those scoring spurts Phillips mentioned occurred midway through the second half. Phillips, a junior midfielder, took a pass near the top of the box, took one dribble to her left, and dropped the hammer with a left-footed bomb.
Two minutes later, Sydney Fitzpatrick found herself alone on the right wing, turned, and banged home another goal, despite a sharp angle to the goal.
Hawks coach Lee Mitchell said he saw some good things, but added there is plenty of room for growth.
"We've got a lot of work to do," said Phillips. "We had moments where it looked like we were clicking and then stretches where we just weren't sharp."
Alta 4, Bountiful 1
R All four players who scored in Thursday's season opener Julianne Gentry, Madie Lyons, Bizzy Phillips and Sydney Fitzpatrick are juniors.
• The Bountiful Braves have arguably the toughest two-game opener of anyone in the state. The Braves dropped a double-overtime contest to Viewmont Tuesday before falling to Alta on Thursday. Alta defeated Viewmont for the 2011 Class 5A title.
• Alta keeper Elyssa Hashimoto was flawless through the first 80 minutes of Thursday's opener. The Braves' only goal came after Hashimoto took a hard hit, just minutes before giving up a score.