Sandy • Sydney Meyers has taken free kicks from the top of the penalty box 100 times in practice and games, and never did they find the goal.
Meyers' free kick from the top left corner of the box arched beautifully over a wall of defenders and into the upper left corner of the net for the winning goal in Brighton's 1-0 victory against Viewmont in the Class 5A girls' soccer state championship game at Rio Tinto Stadium.
"Opportunity of a lifetime," the senior midfielder said. "I've taken that free kick 100 times. I've practiced that. It's like my main goal, to get that free kick mastered. Finally one went in."
The goal in the 64th minute secured the Bengals' sixth state title second most in history behind Alta's eight. It's also the second for Meyers, who was a freshman when Brighton defeated Viewmont in 2010.
"It's the most incredible feeling ever," said Meyers, who will attend USC next year. "This is 10 times better because it's our senior year and our last game ever together. I can't even tell you how good it feels."
Meyers huddled with senior defender Jayde Jones before the goal, just as the two had done earlier in the game before Jones' free kick.
"We have like a connection," Meyers said about Jones. "We just could not picture ourselves [doing] anything but winning, so we were making sure we were focused together and that we knew we had this game. We got each other settled down and focused."
The goal erased the frustration of continuing to pressure Viewmont's defense and continuing to miss on opportunities. Senior Nadia Gomes hit the crossbar with a shot in the 42nd minute, then had a goal nullified by a foul a few minutes later.
Brighton (16-2-1) dominated possession and scoring chances, but Viewmont's physical play kept the Vikings (15-4) in it. The Bengals won an early season meeting 4-1 and knew they were in for a rough and tumble opponent.
"They had a great strategy â they locked us down in the middle â and it was a battle," Brighton coach Mark Stoker said. "We anticipated it being a very physical game, that they would want to come and bump us off the ball. I think the girls responded very well."
Brighton 1, Viewmont 0
O Brighton's Sydney Meyers scores on a free kick in the 64th minute for the only goal of the game.
• The Bengals do not allow a goal in the playoffs, winning four games by a combined score of 16-0.
• Brighton's six state titles are second only to Alta's eight.