Brighton's 3-0 victory over Cottonwood in girls' soccer was a balanced two-act play Thursday.
The Bengals' offense starred in the first ace, then the defense stole the show in the second.
Junior Jocelyn Loomis put Brighton on the board in the seventh minute on a half-field breakaway. She split the defenders and sneaked the ball past the keeper.
Senior Mati Long outdribbled the keeper to score her 11th goal of the season in the 22nd minute.
Brighton quickly scored for the final time in the 26th minute when Long crossed the ball in front of a swarm of Colts defenders, and Loomis put it away on a one-touch.
"It was our game, and we made the shots we needed to," Long said.
Brighton's 11 offsides were not the result of sloppy play but aggressively attacking the ball on looping kicks from the midfielders.
"We're focused on getting to every ball and making a play," Long said. "With a lot of injuries [on the team], we needed to step up and play as a team."
Junior Syd Myers acted as a lynchpin in Brighton's defense after halftime. She patrolled the middle and stopped all approaching Cottonwood attacks. She also helped launch plays by sending the ball deep into the Colts' side of the field. Myers directed traffic in the midfield and orchestrated Brighton's defense while feeding the ball to the forwards.
"She's so tough," Long said. "She's the kind of player that can get hit and get right back up."
Brighton's defense held Cottonwood to eight shots on goal, and junior Carly Olsen earned her fourth shutout of the season.
After a tough loss against Alta, Myers thinks that Thursday's victory would regroup Brighton has it goes into postseason play.
"We wanted to get back on our feet and prove that we belong as one of the top teams in region," Myers said. "We played well and feel real good about today."
• Brighton outshot Cottonwood 17-9.
• Brighton junior Carly Olsen recorded her fourth shutout of the season.
• Mati Long was issued a yellow card in the 54th minute for a hard tackle.