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(Kim Raff | The Salt Lake Tribune) Davis celebrates defeating Brighton during the 5A State Championship game at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on May 24, 2012. Davis went on to win 1-0.
5A soccer: Davis stuns Brighton to claim state championship

The Darts topple the top-ranked Bengals with a chip shot.

First Published May 24 2012 10:24 pm • Last Updated May 25 2012 09:44 am

Sandy • After Tuesday’s Class 5A semifinal win, Souli Phongsavath expressly told Mitch Parkinson to quit doing what, in the 44th minute Thursday, he did anyway.

"He told me not to play FIFA anymore," the Davis junior said.

At a glance

Storylines Darts edge out Bengals

» Davis wins its second Class 5A championship in three seasons.

» After winning back-to-back championships in 2008 and 2009, Brighton has lost in consecutive championship games.

» Davis senior Mitch Parkinson scored in three of the Darts’ four postseason games, including the deciding goal Thursday.

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Because, surely, it was the video game that encouraged him to keep attempting a chip shot over the goalkeeper that gave Phongsavath, the Davis coach, fits.

After that shot dropped over Brighton goalkeeper Kolton Savage to give Davis the 1-0 win and the Darts the second Class 5A state championship in three years, however, Phongsavath was left with sheepish gratitude.

"Obviously, he didn’t listen to me," Phongsavath said, "but I’m really glad that he didn’t because he had that ball and he played that little chip, which was just a beautiful goal."

Parkinson’s third goal in four postseason games was all the Darts needed — that and an impressive effort from goalkeeper Mitch Jensen — to beat top-ranked Brighton, which had been shut out and lost only once.

Senior midfielder John Taylor ripped his jersey off and, usually the most stoic of the Darts, he heaved long sobs. He hadn’t cried since junior high school, he said, although he couldn’t remember why he would have even then.

"I just know I don’t cry," he said.

Thursday probably would have been the day that he did, win or lose, after he played a crucial rule in Davis’s 2010 championship run. This year as a senior, he said, was more special.

"We had to beat the hardest teams," Taylor said, "we had to fight through every game, through adversity, PKs, goals called back. We never quit."

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Slotted the No. 2 seed from Region 1, Davis had perhaps the toughest path to the championship. It first beat defending 5A champion Alta at home, then knocked off Region 4 champion Lone Peak after Jensen blocked two penalty kicks in stoppage time, got past Copper Hills in the semifinals and, Thursday, got its chance against the Bengals.

"I think when you think of the top programs in the state Davis High has to be up there," Phongsavath said.

It was a stunning end to the season for Brighton, which was the state favorite throughout the season. Senior midfielder Skyler Milne scored six goals through the first three playoff games, but was stymied by Taylor in the box Thursday. Brighton hammered shots on Jensen, whom Phongsavath called the team’s postseason MVP, and earned numerous corner kicks in the final minutes.

"That was way too many corner kicks," said Parkinson. "It was crazy on the bench. Mitch came up so big today."

boram@sltrib.comTwitter: @oramb

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