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2005's net results

New faces, new region alignments mean up-and-down soccer fortunes

Utah Valley's girls prep soccer season started during the summer with a carousel of coaching changes and ended on the field of the 5A state championship game with a dramatic shootout. And in between there were more then enough goals, saves and tackles to keep the fans occupied.

It was a year for the underdogs, but the old favorites were still in the mix. There were some familiar faces making headlines and a few new ones making their mark — and there were a few new rivalries to go along with two revamped regions.

The 2005 season was definitely an interesting one for the local teams. There was no shortage of sub-plots and story-lines to follow as the year unfolded, and there was plenty left to look forward to next season.

Before the season even started, three local head coaches jumped to new schools, while several other schools brought in brand new coaches.

The coaching shake-up started when longtime Mountain View coach Mike Lahargoue took the open job at Lone Peak to work closer to home. Spanish Fork coach Sara Autuia then left her job with the Dons to fill Lahargoue's spot. JanaLee Vidolin replaced Autuia, and Jeni Viernes became the new head coach at Timpanogos when Natalyn Lewis stepped down.

In the meantime, Mikelle Roth jumped from her job at Springville to take over at American Fork. Ed Louder took over at Orem, and Ryan Swanson came from the club ranks to take over for Roth.

Tenured coaches like Provo's Cesar Cardoso and Timpview's Jim Davis were the exception rather than the rule in 2005.

Once the season started, Lahargoue and Lone Peak stole the show. The Knights had lagged far behind the top teams most years and had struggled just to make the playoffs in 2004, but the new coach brought a new attitude and a new system, and Lone Peak quickly became a winner.

After sitting on the bench her sophomore year, Lone Peak's Lauren Hair had a breakout junior year and was the valley's leading scorer with 25 goals and nearly as many assists. Teammate Shantel Flanary transferred from Mountain View and was the valley's third-leading scorer with 19 goals.

Lone Peak lost only one pre-season game — to Brighton — and then surprised everyone by going undefeated in region and advancing to the state championship.

The Knights met up with Brighton once again in the championship game. Fans will probably long remember the controversial play near the end of regulation that was called a miniature version of the famous "Hand of God" soccer play. An apparent hand-ball by Brighton wasn't called by officials before a tying goal by the Bengals, with Lone Peak eventually falling in a shootout.

In the local 4A region, Orem came out with a team full of sophomores and topped favorites Springville and Timpview en route to a region championship. The Tigers trailed Springville in the season standings for most of the year until taking down the Red Devils 2-1 in a late-season upset that catapulted them to first place and eventually the region crown.

The young team lost in the tournament quarterfinals but should be favored to keep winning in the next couple of years and will only be more dangerous as it gains more experience.

Coming off an undefeated regular season last year, Timpanogos returned plenty of firepower and looked to be one of the top teams in the state. The Timberwolves took care of business against everyone but Lone Peak, losing in both meetings with the Knights.

Stacey Bartholomew was the valley's second-leading scorer with 22 goals for Timpanogos before her team lost in the quarterfinals in an 11-kick shootout with Bingham.

Springville got 13 goals apiece from Karissa Henage and Crosby Joyner but couldn't live up to its pre-season billing. The Red Devils were predicted to have their best team in recent years, but a disappointing second-place region finish preceded a quarterfinal playoff loss.

Teams like Provo, Mountain View and Lehi had average years but have more to look forward to next season.

Sophomore Chandra Salmon was one of the better strikers in the valley for Provo and could develop into one of the state's top threats in the next two years.

Lehi's jump to 4A seemed to go fairly smoothly. The Pioneers were competitive against all of their opponents and only narrowly missed the playoffs, losing to Provo in a play-in game.

Erin Salmon had a memorable year for a Mountain View team that stumbled through a rebuilding phase, but one of the state's perennial soccer powers should be much more competitive in the near future.