BY SHAIN GILLET
Clipper Sports Editor
KAYSVILLE — The Davis Lady Darts soccer team was one win away from claiming the Region 1 title outright as they faced off against Fremont Tuesday afternoon.
Their battle ended in a 1-1 draw when Silverwolves player Mariah Elmer scored the tying goal in the closing minutes of the first half to delay the Darts Region 1 crown.
“Any time you get a chance to win (the region title) you want to win,” said Davis coach Souli Phongsavath. “But if we have to wait until Thursday, that’s fine. Things just didn’t work out and we have to play again Thursday, so hopefully we’ll get it then.”
Davis was the first team to get on the score board when McKayla Carter scored on a set piece for the 1-0 lead. Phongsavath was happy with the goal and said, “scoring goals off set pieces has been a point of emphasis” for the team.
“We’ve scored five or six goals off of set pieces this season,” he said. “That’s been our point of emphasis over the past couple games is to get those set pieces converted into goals.”
With the first half nearing the 40th minute, Elmer broke through the Darts’ defense to score the game-tying goal, ultimately sending the game into overtime.
On the goal, Elmer completed a throw-in that went into the penalty box area. The ball was deflected but came back to Elmer, who hit a high lob-type shot over Davis goal keeper Sarah Beecher to tie the game.
“We really didn’t play well the first half,” said Phongsavath. “We got a goal but we couldn’t hold onto (the lead) because we really didn’t play well. In the second half, they were much better, especially in the final 10-20 minutes.”
The Darts had at least five good scoring chances in the final 15 minutes that could have given them the win, but instead were kept off the scoreboard by either missed shots or good saves.
Two corner kicks by Davis were turned away in the 73rd and 74th minute, and a cross pass from Regyn Youngberg to Abbey Mann turned into a missed shot.
Both teams had good opportunities to score in each overtime period, but the game ended in a tie.
Phongsavath said Davis’ opportunities to end the game were disappointing, adding “sometimes you finish and sometimes you don’t.”
“That’s just how it works out,” he said. “That’s what makes soccer great and it’s also what drives you crazy.”
The Darts will have a second chance at sealing the Region 1 title and a No. 1 seed in the 5A state playoffs Thursday afternoon against Layton.
With 19 points in region play, a Darts’ win gives them the title outright. A loss or tie combined with a Northridge win will make the duo’s final game against each other Tuesday an important one.
Start time for Thursday’s game is 3:30 p.m.