Boys soccer playoffs: Davis makes one goal stand up to beat American Fork, advance
KAYSVILLE — At the time, there was nothing particularly noteworthy about Davis High junior Bjorn Bergant’s goal against American Fork in the second round of the 6A boys soccer tournament Tuesday.
It didn’t come in the opening moments of either half, didn’t just dramatically beat the horn as time ran down on the clock. No golden goal or penalty kick.
One might think a goal scored in the 11th minute of regulation would be followed by several more as No. 2 Davis battled the No. 15 Cavemen.
“The excitement of it was overwhelming. All I remember is receiving (the ball), I think it was from my midfield, and taking it up towards the middle,” Bergant said. “I had a guy on my left shoulder; I just kept on jogging through. Then I looked up for a second and saw the left side of the goal open so that’s how I ended up scoring it. Luckily it slipped beneath his arm.”
Remarkable or not, Bergant’s goal was the only tally in a tight defensive battle that concluded with the Darts advancing to the quarterfinals via a narrow 1-0 victory over American Fork.
“One of (coach) Souli’s (Phongsavath) rules is, if we score early, we have the momentum and we want to get as many as we can in the first half, but unfortunately we didn’t put any more away,” Bergant said. “We had some corners but couldn’t capitalize on any of them.”
Defense was the name of the game and neither team spent much time harassing the opposing goalkeepers as most of the action took place between the 20s on the football field.
“The midfield was super strong; I think that’s where the ball remained most of the time,” Bergant said.
Even with the disparity in the RPI, Bergant said the Darts (12-2) weren’t taking the Cavemen (8-9) lightly.
“We think every game is a competition. As a second seed, it means you’re always being hunted, so others teams are looking to knock us down. We’ve never played any of these teams in our bracket; every game is an equal chance to win or lose. We needed to keep our heads in the game and do our best,” Bergant said.
At the end of the pitch, Davis keeper Jude Walker was the loneliest man on the field as all the action occurred well north or south of him, depending on the half.
American Fork did not have a single shot on goal before the break, and the first time Walker had to make a play was on a long-distance free kick in the 55th minute. So one goal turned out to be enough.
“Our defense has been great. We were good last year, but this year we’ve been amazing,” Walker said. “Just get the win and move forward, that’s all that matters.”
Next up for the Darts is a quarterfinal home game Thursday against the winner between No. 7 Pleasant Grove and No. 23 West Jordan.