Prep girls’ soccer: Sophomore delivers in OT to lead Alta past rival Brighton

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Alta's Maggie Cowdell heads the ball as Brighton hosts Alta, girls high school soccer, Thursday September 7, 2017.

Cottonwood Heights • The moment Alta striker Megan Vawdrey took the ball in the second overtime, she knew immediately two things were going to happen.

The first was her graceful touch from teammate Valerie Cazdessus was going to be the second overtime game-winner against rival Brighton.

The second?

She better brace for the dog pile celebration from her team.

“It was great. I’ve never had a celebration like that before,” Vawdrey said. “I knew the second Val crossed the ball that we had it.”

ALTA 2, BRIGHTON 1 IN OT <br>• Sophomore Megan Vawdrey scores both goals for the Hawks. <br>• Sam Myers makes 11 saves to earn the win in goal. <br>• Alexxis Ward forces overtime with her second-half goal for Brighton.

Vawdrey scored both goals in Alta’s 2-1 slugfest victory over Brighton on Tuesday.

She found the net for the first time in the 12th minute. She fought through a crowded goal box before clobbering the ball for the goal.

It wasn’t until the second half that Brighton evened the scoreboard. Alexxis Ward fought for position at the top of box and uncorked a rocket that found the back of the goal.

The countdown to the end of regulation was a back-and-forth affair with both team attacking the ball and each other. Each tried to establish midfield dominance but neither was able to find the back of the net. The advantage for Alta was goalkeeper Sam Myers.

The senior keeper could be heard across the field directing traffic. Alta coach Lee Mitchell said Myers’ leadership, not to mention her 11 saves, was the difference.

“She’s been a rock back there for us,” Mitchell said. “She’s settled us down and kept us in the game.”

Alta improved to 1-2 in region play with the overtime victory.

“We came out to prove that we’re here to stay,” Myers said. “The standings don’t prove anything. We’re strong and we can handle anything thrown our way.”

Mitchell wasn’t surprised by the hard play by both teams. He’s seen plenty of heated battles between the rivals over the years.

“It’s Alta-Brighton — that says it all,” he said. “It’s always been that way and it always will be.”

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