SANDY — Trying to avoid the runner-up spot for the third-straight year, the Viewmont Vikings battled Alta Friday night in a repeat of last year’s state 5-A girls soccer championship match the Hawks won, 1-0.
A scoreless game lasted four minutes into double overtime until Viewmont senior Ella Johnson headed a corner kick past Alta goalie Elyssa Hashimoto effectively breaking the losing streak and crowning the Vikings champs under the lights at Rio Tinto Stadium.
“I played in all three (championship) games since my sophomore year and each year it hurt a little bit more, walking off this field with our heads hanging,” Johnson said after her game-winning score. “They’re not going to be hanging today.”
After a dramatic double-overtime semifinal win over Davis on Tuesday, the Vikings knew they needed a near-perfect effort to beat an undefeated Alta (16-0-1) squad.
“It always crosses your mind,” Viewmont coach Emalee Tate said of the championship losses over the previous two years. “But these girls were not going to let us lose today. They have believed it since day one and losing was not an option.”
Viewmont goalie Ashley Earnshaw faced a dangerous duo in Alta’s Bizzy Phillips and Madie Lyons (42 combined goals) but held the Hawks’ attack at bay for her eighth shutout of the season.
Hashimoto leads 5-A goalies with 8.3 shutouts over 19 games and played a phenomenal match until Johnson’s score.
Entering the game at 16-1-0, Viewmont had its own offensive weapon in senior striker Heidi Lorscheider (18 goals on the year) but it was the defense on both sides that held the game to a 0-0 stalemate through regulation and the first overtime.
After the trophy presentation ceremony, Johnson explained the first emotion that hit her after her header hit the back of the net.
“Overwhelmed. Tears streaming down my face,” she said. “I can’t say enough about how I feel right now.”