SANDY — In the end, the UHSAA-designated top seed won out.
That’s good news for Ogden High.
Alysia Butters converted the game-winning penalty kick, and Bonita Gray added a first-half goal to lead Ogden to its first state title since 2011 with 2-1 win over Ridgeline in the Class 4A state championship Friday at Rio Tinto Stadium.
“I’ve been playing with the seniors since I was in junior high, and it’s really nice to end it like this,” Butters said. “This whole season, we’ve been working for ourselves and not listening to what others say. We definitely deserved that top seed, and we worked so hard for this (title), too.”
The win marked the third state title for Ogden (18-2), the No. 1 overall seed in 4A that carried the aura of an underdog through wins over Mountain Crest, Stansbury and Green Canyon before Friday’s championship match.
Ridgeline goalkeeper Aspen Wallin spilled an intercepted cross in the box in the 27th minute, and Gray pounced in mere seconds. The junior lunged at the ball, and with one motion placed it inside the near post to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead they would never relinquish.
Ridgeline’s Tenzi Knowles pulled one back for the RiverHawks (15-4-1) in the 64th minute, spraying a shot across her body at the far post to equalize at 1-1.
But the Tigers still had time.
“That’s specifically what we talked about. I told them, no matter what happens, there’s always enough time,” Ogden coach Skylar Stam said. “There’s always time. If we do it together, we’ll be fine.
“If we score, we get another one. If they score, we’ll get another one. That’s what we had to be.”
When the RiverHawks were called for a penalty in the 70th minute, there was only one option: it was Butters, who calmly stepped up to the spot and converted a goal right down the chute to give the Tigers their third state title in program history.
“It’s been a long time since this school has fought for a state championship, or even been in the state tournament. To do it on the girls side is huge,” Stam said.
“These girls were meant to be taken seriously, and they didn’t care if anyone believed in them. They were going to make sure everyone had to listen.”