I think the expectations are kind of what we always thought they’d be. We were a year earlier than what we anticipated, so the expectations are still high. We just have more pressure on us this year than we had last year. None of our goals have changed. – Davis head coach Souli Phongsavath said.

SALT LAKE CITY — With the 2015-16 girls' soccer season officially underway, the defending state champs have reloaded and are looking strong as they look to defend their crowns.

Here is a class-by-class look and preview of what is expected to come in the 2015-16 girls' soccer season.


Ever since this year's group of seniors joined the Davis High School girls' soccer team as freshmen three years ago, the Darts have had big hopes for the 2015-16 season.

However, after knocking off Lone Peak 2-1 in last year's 5A title game, those hopes have now developed into lofty expectations and heavy pressure to meet them.

“I think the expectations are kind of what we always thought they’d be. We were a year earlier than what we anticipated, so the expectations are still high. We just have more pressure on us this year than we had last year. None of our goals have changed — it’s just how we handle the pressure this year,” Davis head coach Souli Phongsavath said.

The Darts (3-0-0), who entered the season ranked No. 25 nationally, are stacked behind nine college-bound players headlined by Ireland Dunn, Olivia Wade and Regyn Youngberg and are the heavy favorites to win it all.

Dunn, last year's 5A MVP and a University of Utah commit, is coming off a monstrous season in which she tallied 18 goals and 16 assists to lead her team to the title. Dunn and Youngberg also came up huge for their team and combined to score 20 goals last season.

“They’re extremely talented girls and they’re great leaders for the team. They have really bought into the program. A lot of the time when girls have so much success club-wise, they think high school is time off and a break from their club season. But they’ve never felt like that — they are fully committed and are excited to get going. They just make things happen for us,” said Phongsavath.

Hoping to spoil Davis' chances of repeating as state champs are last year's runner-up Lone Peak and Region 2-leading Viewmont. Phongsavath knows it won't be an easy task.

Lone Peak is off to a 3-1-0 start and has outscored opponents 18-3. The team is led by top scorers Cameron Tucker and TJ McKendrick.

Meanwhile, the Vikings are on fire with a 5-0-0 record so far this season and have earned more points than any team in the state with 15. They have dominated on defense with four shutouts in their first five games and are led by Sailor Uffens and Ellee Layton, who have combined for an impressive 11 goals.

“We know that it’s never going to be easy at all and we know if we don’t play really well, then we won't be able to accomplish our goals. We honestly don’t think much about other schools specifically, but we just know there are some very good teams out there and if we don’t take care of ourselves, then we’ll fall short,” Phongsavath said.


Skyline has been a top contender year in and year out recently and looks as talented as ever this season.

After falling to Timpanogos in the 4A state championship two years in a row and coming up short in the semifinals in 2012, Skyline has reloaded and undoubtedly has the experience and talent to get over that hump this season.

“I think the team is very committed, very focused and very determined. We know it’s not going to be an easy road, but we do have the team to get it done this year. The girls really want it, the coaches want it, and I believe we have a team that can make it happen if we stay healthy,” Skyline head coach Yamil Castillo said.

The Eagles (4-0-0) will have their hands full in an extremely deep and competitive class with teams such as Timpview, Woods Cross, Wasatch, Salem Hills, Timpanogos and Corner Canyon all trying to disrupt Skyline's playoff run.

The T-Birds (4-0-0) are Deseret News' No. 2 ranked team in all of 4A and have outscored their opponents 14-2 in just four games this season. Meanwhile, the Wildcats (4-1-0) are also off to a hot start and are led by offensive stars Haley Stafford and Kennedy Yost, who lead the team in goals, and should be a serious title contender this season along with Timpview.

“We don’t underestimate the heart of a champion. They’re (Timpanogos) struggling right now, but I know that they’ll get better. Woods Cross is a team that can surprise anybody and I think they can be very dangerous along with Timpview,” said Castillo.

Skyline has completely dominated its competition so far, outscoring them 13-1 and cruising to four straight victories, 12 points and the top spot in Region 6.

The Eagles are fairly stacked behind the strong play of star Holly Daugirda, Emma Heyn, Maddie Gill, Sarah Taylor and star goalkeeper Myah Tatton and should be considered the slight favorites to win it all.

Daugirda and Heyn have anchored Skyline on offense this season as the duo has combined for nine goals while Gill and Taylor have added three more. Tatton has also recorded a dominant three shutouts in her team's first four games.

“They are huge for us. One thing about this team is we have great chemistry. We understand that we don’t have just one superstar or anything, but they all play together as a unit. We win as a team, we lose as a team and we just do everything as a team,” Castillo added.


Region 9 has had tremendous success and dominated this classification in recent years and will look to continue that streak this season.

Last year, three teams from Region 9 advanced to the 3A semifinals and two of them (Cedar, Desert Hills) squared off in the championship with Cedar taking home the title.

However, the teams from down South will have their hands full this year with the always-competitive Juan Diego and, with the new UHSAA region alignments starting this year, fifth-ranked Logan (3-2-0).

“The competition is really tough this year. I don’t know a lot about Logan, but they’ve done some damage in the preseason. Juan Diego is always really, really good and so is Park City. With our region down here as well, it’s going to be really tough,” Cedar head coach Scott Kamachi said.

Cedar has gotten off to somewhat of a rough start with two wins in its first four games, including a 3-0 loss to Juan Diego, while Hurricane and second-ranked Pine View sit in the top two spots of Region 9, respectively. All three Region 9 teams will be contenders this season.

Meanwhile, the Soaring Eagle has reached the semifinals and championship match in the last two years.

Juan Diego has faced an extremely difficult preseason schedule and, despite getting off to a 3-2 start, has played some great matches and hopes those will help prepare them for a deep postseason run. It should be considered the slight favorite.

Meanwhile, the Redmen have outscored their opponents 12-6 and have recorded two shutouts in their first four contests. The offensive trio of Holly Carpenter, Julie Hunt and Nicole Jenkins has gotten off to a hot start with 11 combined goals and will continue to anchor their team this season.

“We have about four or five forwards who are very, very good and we have a midfielder who gets them the ball in a good position. We haven’t played very well, but eventually they got the goals. Holly went in and got a goal and then Julia went in and got another goal. It’s just being patient and being confident in themselves,” said Kamachi.


Waterford has been one of the most dominant teams in 2A, and the entire state, in recent years and it shows no signs of slowing down.

After successfully advancing to the 2A championship in each of the last seven years, including winning a state title in 2012, the Ravens have reloaded and look to continue that traditional success and retake their spot on the throne.

“When you’ve made it that many times, anything short is just subpar. But nonetheless, I’m a realist and the run is going to end sooner or later. We have a young team this year — we graduated nine seniors. But that being said, we’re still really good,” Waterford head coach Tim Dolbin said.

Despite graduating those nine seniors and losing a top midfielder to a broken collarbone, Dolbin still has high expectations for the season.

The Ravens (1-0-1) will heavily rely on the play and leadership of key senior goalkeeper Elle Weir, midfielder Katie Wood and defensive anchor Caitlyn Shrieve to lead this team back to the title game.

Hoping to spoil Waterford's chances of getting back to the championship match and winning a title are last year's 2A state champ and region foe Rowland Hall, 2A South-leading Millard and Manti.

And, with such difficult competition each year, Dolbin knows it won't be a smooth ride, especially with Rowland Hall in his team's region.

The defending champs are off to a solid 2-1-0 start and have run past their opponents so far, outscoring them 11-3, and sit in the top spot in region with six points.

Meanwhile, Millard jumped out of the gates with two straight wins and have completely blown past its competition. It has erupted for 12 goals in just two games while recording two shutouts to quickly establish itself as one of the top teams in 2A.

“Rowland Hall beat us last year in a very tight game. We expect them to be the same this year if not better. There are always a couple schools that are also tough. It kind of shifts around a little bit from Delta, Millard, Manti or top schools from other regions. But there’s no question Rowland Hall will be right up there and they’re in our region so we’ll see them twice,” Dolbin added.

Ryan Love is a full-time student and has been a part-time sportswriter for the Deseret News since Oct. 2012.

Follow him on Twitter @RLove7724

EMAIL: rlove@deseretnews.com