West Jordan • After winning three straight state girls’ soccer titles and two mythical national championships, Davis looked as though it was vulnerable this year.
The Darts finished fourth in tough Region 1 and had to open the Class 6A state tournament at Region 3 champion Copper Hills.
Davis isn’t going anywhere yet.
The Darts got second-half goals from Lex Hibler and Alexa Maple and a shutout from veteran senior goalie Halle Moffat to down the Grizzlies 2-0 and advance.
“We have been in every game we have lost,” veteran Darts coach Souli Phonsagath said. “We’ve never lost by more than one goal.”
The Darts played a physical game, taking the game to a good Copper Hills team that missed a couple of close-in chances to take the lead in the first half.
“It was unfortunate that we didn’t get a couple of goals in the first half,” Phonsagath said. “I thought it might come back to haunt us. Somebody is going to have to knock us off.”
• Davis, a fourth-place seed from Region 1, upsets Region 3 champion Copper Hills.
• The Darts get second half goals from Lex Hibler and Alexa Maple.
• Davis goalie Halle Moffat records a shutout.
The teams traded sides much of the second half before Davis’ Belle Mark was awarded a free kick near midfield.
Mark sent the ball toward the goal, and it bounced off the hands of Copper Hills goalie McCaslin Davis.
Hibler was there to put back the rebound at the 57-minute mark.
“I was running and wanted to get it so whatever happened I was there,” she said. “I hit it. Our motto is survive and advance every single game.”
Maple found herself in the middle about 25 yards out from the goal about five minutes later. She buried a line drive high into the net to give the Darts some insurance.
“I knew we had to finish the game off,” she said. “I kept dribbling and I knew I could hit it that far. Nobody is going to beat us, but everybody is out to beat us.”
Moffat, who has played a big role in Davis’ past success, had a couple of scary moments but kept the Grizzlies at bay.
“We didn’t expect to be the fourth seed,” she said. “We played our best. I was a little nervous, but not as much as normal.”
The loss had to be heartbreaking for Copper Hills, which brought a 13-1-2 overall record into the tournament.
Before the game, coach Ryan Rumfallo knew Davis would be a challenge but knew that if his team wanted to take state, it would have to beat all the top teams.
The game was played before two large and loud cheering sections under almost ideal conditions.
And Davis survived and advanced, as it has the last three years.