Girls' soccer: 2OT header gives Viewmont title win over Alta
Sandy • Viewmont junior Abbie Flandro had one target in mind as she lined up for a corner kick about halfway through the second overtime of Friday's Class 5A girls' soccer state title game.
She placed the ball on the ground and sent it sailing toward that target.
"I just saw Ella's head, and I aimed for it," Flandro said. "Always do."
Ella Johnson headed the ball high into the net past Alta goalkeeper Elyssa Hashimoto to lift Viewmont to the state championship with a 1-0 victory.
"Beyond words, honestly," Johnson said. "I can't say enough about how I feel right now. Ecstatic."
Johnson's header was the game's lone goal, and it helped erase frustration for the Vikings, who fell in the state title game the last two seasons.
"It always crosses your mind," Viewmont coach Emalee Tate said about coming up short the last two years. "These girls were not going to let us lose today."
Johnson made sure of that when she squarely rocketed the ball off her head and into the net. She was mobbed by her teammates just outside the goal mouth as the Alta players slowly walked away.
"I could tell we had great pressure on the keeper right away and so there wasn't much she could do about it," Johnson said. "I saw it go off her fingertips, and I knew if I was ever going to get a shot, this was it."
The Viewmont players streamed toward the trophy with index fingers raised as it was presented to the team. Johnson pumped her fist in delight as she jumped into the arms of teammate Laura Essig.
"I knew we could win it, I didn't know it would be me," Johnson said. "That doesn't matter as much. Just the fact someone put it away and it just happened to be me."
Alta coach Lee Mitchell, who led the Hawks to the state title last year, said Viewmont's size made the difference on the winning goal.
"They had some pretty big kids, and they got their head on it," he said. "We didn't get it cleared out."
Alta created some solid chances over the final 10 minutes of regulation but couldn't beat Viewmont keeper Ashley Earnshaw. The Vikings started to turn up the pressure in the first overtime, but Hashimoto turned away their chances. Alta again started to create chances in the second overtime until Viewmont earned the decisive corner kick.
"It was just a great ball," Johnson said about the corner kick. "Couldn't have been placed more perfectly."