LAYTON — Defenders don’t often get the credit they deserve for keeping other teams off the scoresheet.
Roy’s Kennley Bradley, a captain and central defender, can take a lot of credit for doing just that to Layton.
But she’ll probably remember Thursday’s 1-0 win moreso for scoring the game-winning goal off her head in the second period of extra time.
“Kennley’s a special player ... I think the game-winner is probably the one everyone will remember, but she had a save with her face in the first half, she blocked the ball on wide-open shots on multiple occasions,” Royals head coach Alyssa Foutz said. “She gives everything she has every time she steps on the field.
“I think it was fitting for her to get that goal here today.”
Layton’s Brooklyn Pritchett rounded Roy’s goalkeeper in the first half only to find that her shot at a wide-open net wasn’t really at a wide-open net. Bradley, as Foutz said, saved the ball when the shot hit her face and deflected out of danger.
The Lancers (3-1, 1-1 Region 1) controlled the whole game, had more shots, hardly let the Royals get a look at goal and yet almost every time Layton had a dangerous cross or a wide-open shot, there was Bradley to help keep the ‘0’ on the scoreboard.
“No matter what, as long as we work hard and stay together, that’s what matters,” Bradley said.
Several minutes after saving a goal with her head, Bradley slid and blocked Kaitlyn Richins’ wide-open look at goal from close-range.
Early in the second period of extra time, Roy (1-3, 1-1) midfielder Savanna Martinez lofted a free kick into the penalty box and Bradley was there to head it in.
Sometimes, the team that’s pinned in its own half the entirety of a soccer game is the one that eventually prevails. Soccer is a finicky game like that.
“Ultimately, you’ve got to build off the positives, the fact that we did control it. But we’ve got to work on finishing and take that mindset of, ‘I have to finish the game,’” Layton coach Tara Ferrin said.
Ferrin added that, ultimately, credit goes to Roy and its defense for not breaking despite waves and waves of Layton pressure.
It was Roy’s first win of the season as the Royals attempt to regain their footing in the state’s highest classification of high school sports. Foutz and Bradley both said the win today gives Roy confidence it can compete in Region 1.