Sandy • With only minutes left, Alta was still catching its breath after nearly losing the game.
The team needed a spark in stoppage, and Madie Lyons provided one. She sprinted down the wing with just the goalkeeper in her way.
"I just saw an open goal," the junior striker said. "I was freaking out inside, but I guess I looked calm on the outside."
Lyons buried the shot, and the Hawks (6-0) won 3-2 on their home field to survive their latest tangle with top Region 3 foe, Brighton (7-1-1).
Of course, Lyons' heroics won't be why Brighton fans will be talking about this game for a long time. The Bengals appeared to have sealed a win just minutes before.
Junior Nadia Gomes knocked in what would have been her second goal of the day off a free kick in the 78th minute. But the referees conferred after the play, then ruled it a no-goal after deciding a Brighton player had committed a personal foul in the goal box by knocking an Alta defender out of the air.
It would have been the second set-piece goal for Brighton. Gomes had knocked in a header to take a 1-0 lead in the first half. But the call ended up costing the Bengals the game.
"On set pieces, we have a lot of height, so we were finding good balls," junior Jayde Jones said. "We were surprised that goal got called back, but that's what happens in these games. You can't control what the ref does. You just have to play your game."
Brighton had Alta on its heels after taking a 1-0 lead into halftime. But the Hawks flipped the pressure and scored a pair of goals in the second half to take the lead. Bizzy Phillips equalized early with a turnaround score, and Sydney Fitzpatrick booted a rebound past keeper Carly Olsen.
Stephanie Ringwood tied it again with a rebound shot only minutes later to set up the late drama. Ringwood said she already was looking forward to another shot at Alta, next time at the Bengals' house.
"Hopefully when we meet again," she said, "we can really take it to them."
• Madie Lyons scores the game-winning goal for Alta in stoppage time.
• Bizzy Phillips and Stephanie Fitzpatrick score second-half goals for the Hawks.
• A controversial call cancels a late Brighton goal.