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SANDY — Following the Darts' semifinal victory on Tuesday, head coach Souli Phongsavath had a long talk with Mitch Parkinson about his chip shot.
"He told me not to play FIFA anymore," Parkinson recalls, laughing.
In fact, the coach told him to throw the chip out of his game completely.
Well, in the 44th minute of the 5A state championship game at Rio Tinto, that signature "chip shot" made Parkinson a hero.
He popped the ball right up and over Brighton goalkeeper Kolton Savage — a shot that ultimately resulted in a shiny new addition to the school's trophy case.
"Obviously he didn't listen to me but I'm glad that he didn't," Phongsavath said with a smile. "He had that ball and he played that little chip that was really a beautiful goal."
The 1-0 advantage would be enough for the championship victory as Davis, which was not the favored team, hung on for the win with a strong defensive front.
"Mitch Jensen, our goalie, played incredible today," Parkinson said. "He's the MVP of the day. He saved our butts so many times, it was crazy."
Jensen proved to be flawless in the net, playing an unparalleled role in earning the title. He made several key saves against a team boasting the state's most potent scorers.
Taylor and Seth Fankhauser, Skyler Milne, and Matthew Coffey kept him busy but were unable to sneak one past for the tie.
"We came back and we wanted it, we wanted it so bad," Jensen said, referring back to the 4-1 preseason loss to the Bengals. "We had all the heart in the world."
The senior is second in the state with 12 shutouts, earning three in the Darts' stellar playoff run. Possibly his most memorable feat in the tournament included two unbelievable PK saves to advance over Lone Peak.
He saved the first but was forced to stop another after receiving a call for coming off of the line. According to coach Phongsavath, his equally impressive saves in the championship game against the top-ranked Bengals were paramount in the win.
The talented keeper was quick to commend his teammates for their efforts as well. Scott Felsted and Taylor Flitton set the defensive tone, combining with the entire back line to stave off any chance of an equalizer.
Milne of Brighton nearly found the net a number of times out of the air but was unable to convert. Brighton possessed extremely well and seemed to carry the momentum at times.
With the win, Davis snapped an extraordinary 16-game win streak for Brighton, who hadn't lost since the second game of preseason. The Bengals sat atop the statewide rankings all year long and finished with a near flawless record of 17-2.
The Darts enjoyed an incredible playoff run, defeating Alta, Lone Peak, and Copper Hills to reach Rio Tinto.
"Throughout the playoffs we've been getting more confidence," Parkinson said of the run. "We played teams we weren't supposed to beat and we came through, and that's what we did tonight. We weren't picked to win but we showed that if we play hard, we can win."
Davis entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed in Region 1 and finished with an overall record of 16-3-1.
Brighton v. Davis (5A soccer championship - divided into two embeds) 1st half