After last Thursday’s golden-goal loss to Snow Canyon, Desert Hills didn’t practice on the field the following Friday.
Through two Region 9 games, the Thunder hadn’t played to their potential, head coach Benji Nelson said.
So the team met in a room for last Friday’s practice and watched “Remember the Titans” and cleared the air between each other.
“We talked, we got a lot of good things out, we said a lot of good things, everyone voiced their opinion, so that was really good,” senior Brecken Dalley said.
It seemed to work on Tuesday night as the Thunder controlled the entire game in a 3-0 home win over Dixie.
Kodee Bracken scored twice and Makayla Lewis added a third for the Thunder, who got their first region win and gave the Flyers their first region loss.
“I think we’re in a lot of our own heads because we’re worried about individuals’ playing time, but we came together as a team tonight and that’s what brought us a win tonight,” Dalley said.
On a windy night, the game seemed like it was setting itself up for a close game, with each team getting 40 minutes to attack with the wind behind them.
But a one-minute outburst in the second half by the Thunder dispelled any doubts after their 1-0 halftime lead.
In the 58th minute, Bracken turned and teed up the ball from more than 30 yards away, smashing it into the top corner.
Less than a minute later, Lewis found herself free on the right side and attempted a cross to the back post. No one was waiting for the ball, which swerved into the goal anyway to give Desert Hills an insurmountable 3-0 lead.
“One player’s not going to do it, you have to all be on the same page and if you do that, you’re going to have success with the talent that we have,” Nelson said.
Bracken scored the first goal in the 29th minute. Midfielder Brecken Dalley found space on the right and hit a perfect through ball to Bracken, who dragged it past Mashaun Estridge and into the net.
Desert Hills created several chances before the first goal, yet the Thunder always seemed a half-step away from scoring. Drew Morby twice came close with long-distance shots, and Brooklyn Lott couldn’t quite get her head on Bracken’s cross early in the first half.
Dixie hardly threatened, with the region’s leading scorer Starlee Woodbury denied the ball mostly all night.
“We play great games and then we play good games, we’ve got to get our consistency,” Dixie coach Burt Myers said.
Kennedy Warnick had the Flyers’ best opportunity early in the second half after being sent through by Woodbury, but Warnick didn’t get enough on the shot to bother goalkeeper Brittney Moore.
Follow reporter Patrick Carr on Twitter @patrickcarr_ and on Facebook at Facebook.com/patrickjosephcarr1/ or call him at (435) 231-3834.