Every time the Mountain View girls soccer team had fallen behind during the 2013 season, the Bruins had a tough time picking themselves back up.
Not this time.
Not against Corner Canyon at home Thursday afternoon in a game to decide who would be in third place in Region 7.
Mountain View rallied after falling behind twice, surging in the final few minutes to earn the exciting 3-2 victory.
“We never gave up,” said Bruin head coach Sara Atuaia. “This is the first time this year we’ve been down and came back. It was great to see their fight and hard work. We were able to come out on top at the end, which is great.”
With the visiting Chargers leading 2-1 late in the second half, Atuaia adjusted her formation by sending a third attacker to put more pressure on the Corner Canyon backline.
The change allowed Mountain View junior forward Olivia Hoddy and sophomore forward Alecia Robinson to find room to work down the right side.
“(Hoddy) is great at giving people opportunities to score,” Robinson said. “She passes the ball to feet. She’s a team player and that helps us out a lot.”
Hoddy proved just how good she was at setting up a goal as she slotted the ball perfectly to where Robinson could run onto it behind the Charger defense. The sophomore drilled the ball into the net to tie the game up.
Only a few minutes later, the scenario developed in almost the exact same way.
Again, Hoddy passed the ball to where Robinson was rushing down the right side. This time the Corner Canyon defense was in better position — but Robinson wasn’t going to be stopped.
“I just knew I had to make it,” Robinson explained. “I just kicked it as hard as I could and luckily it went in.”
The sophomore laced a perfect top-shelf shot that the Charger keeper had no chance to stop. Suddenly the Bruins had gone from being down to being in front.
“It felt so good,” Robinson said. “I was just hoping they didn’t score again.”
Corner Canyon still had enough time to make things exciting.
The Chargers got an open look near the top of the Mountain View box but a bad touch allowed the Bruin defenders to collapse and shut it down.
Moments later, however, the visitors earned a corner kick. Fittingly, “Corner” Canyon had been solid on the set pieces from the end line all game, getting goals by Hilary Nice in the first half and Bayley Bruner in the second off corner kicks.
Once again, the Charger put the ball in a dangerous position but the header just went over the top.
“I couldn’t look,” Atuaia said. “I just looked up at the last second.”
But after endless minutes of clinging to the narrow advantage, the final whistle sounded and Mountain View emerged victorious.
Atuaia said having a game like this with the regular season winding down indicates her squad is finding their heart and their rhythm.
“We are starting to play our best soccer,” she said. “It’s cliche to say but I think we’re peaking at the right time. The girls are wanting it, they can taste it and they never thought they weren’t going to get it. That meant a lot.”
Robinson said she likes how the team is coming together but said effort needs to be the emphasis.
“We need to want to win,” she said. “If we don’t have that, we’re not going to do well.”
The Bruins (7-6-0, 6-3-0) have a tough road ahead that starts when they play at Skyline on Oct. 1. Corner Canyon (6-6-0, 4-5-0) hosts Orem the same afternoon.
Both contests are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.
Daily Herald sports editor Jared Lloyd can be reached at 801-344-2555 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He can also be followed on Twitter at @JaredrLloyd.