BOUNTIFUL -- By the end of the first half the fans and players of the Viewmont varsity lacrosse team had reason to be worried.
They were down 1-4 against the Judge Memorial Bulldogs, a perennial powerhouse in the world of Utah High School lacrosse.
But the Vikes were able to pull out a 7-6 victory.
The first half of the game belonged to the Judge's offense. Though the Viewmont defense impressively held off an offensive onslaught through the first quarter, the ball spent the majority of time close to Viewmont's goal.
It would be impossible to hold Judge scoreless with their offense constantly menacing the goal. Bulldog shots finally began to find their way past Viewmont goalie Tyler Andrews who ended up with a .500 save ratio on the night. Viewmont's only goal came from Kevin Mann of Centerville Junior High, the only ninth grader on the varsity team.
Unlike most of the parents, varsity coach Chase Nye, himself a former Viewmont laxer turned coach, wasn't worried. Over the half-time break he gave his offense the advice they needed, Viewmont came back strong in the third quarter, with a goal seconds after the face off. Through shear will, and an unwillingness to go down in flames on their home field, the Viewmont offense came alive. Viewmont was 2-4 and battling back. Viewmont followed Nye's advice by keeping possession of the ball on the offensive end of the field, working for the shot, and watching for the cutter. It worked.
Dallin Payne poured in two more shots and the Viking ship was off the reef and back on the high seas. Brian Miller, team captain, hit for one, and even defender Brian Martin, defensive team captain, covered the full length of the field and rumbled in for a shot that took Viewmont up by two. What a difference the third quarter made to the morale of the Vikings.
After a 5-0 run, the fourth quarter seemed in the bag. Second half Viewmont goalie Jeff Horne, who finished the night with a .667 save ratio, had already deflected two Judge shots, but the Bulldogs (2002 State Champs) were not about to give up that easily. Their offense settled down to business and the defense began to adjust its play to the Viewmont attack. Two unanswered goals brought the game to a tie, and to the end of regulations time.
In Utah High School lacrosse, overtime means sudden death. The period begins with a center field face off.
Viewmont middie and team captain McKay Weaver stepped up to center field. Brian Miller waited in the wing of center. The whistle blew and Weaver dug in, coming up with the ball .
A quick flick and Miller had the ball, coming around left to right Miller passed perfectly in front of the crease and zinged in a low shot at high speed. The Judge defense was just mobilizing but the shot was too much for the Bulldog goalie.
The game was over 15 seconds into overtime, as Viewmont won its varsity season opener in a nail biter 7-6 victory.