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No surprise as Rowland Hall, Waterford advance again to 2A girls soccer title game

SANDY — Tradition continued at the 2A girls state soccer tournament Saturday afternoon.

Waterford and Rowland Hall made short work of their semifinal opponents, rolling to comfortable wins, to advance to Saturday’s championship game. For each winner, this is where they expected to be at the start of the season.

Waterford defeated Millard 7-0 in the first game on the artificial surface at Jordan High School, and then Rowland Hall dominated Parowan and earned a 9-1 decision. Both contests were decided by halftime, and the RH-Parowan game ended early due to the UHSAA’s point-spread rule.

“It has become a friendly, healthy rivalry,” Rowland Hall coach Bobby Kennedy said about playing Waterford again. “We’ve been region rivals and know them well.”

The two Salt Lake-area private schools have matched up against each other in the championship the last two seasons and split their regular-season series this year.

Rowland Hall 9, Parowan 1

Summer Connery scored three goals and the Winged Lions limited Parowan to only a few shots and was never threatened.

Connery had both of her scores in the game’s first six minutes, and then Aislinn Mitcham, Anna Fukushima, Katherine Lanham, Lily Scaife, and Kaitlyn Bates added goals to help Rowland Hall to an 8-0 halftime advantage.

Izzy Cox added a second-half score before Parowan put a point on the scoreboard on a penalty kick by McKenna Moore, but then the game was called just 10 minutes into the second half. At that point, the match was well decided on this sunny afternoon. Moore was Parowan’s primary scoring threat. She had two other chances to put the ball into the net, but her booming kicks often sailed high.

Sophie Stinnett had a comfortable day in goal and, while the Winged Lions missed what would have been their 11th shutout of the season, still reached their goal of making the state title contest at 4 p.m. at Rio Tinto Stadium.

“We didn’t have tape (of Parowan),” Kennedy said. “We didn’t know what to expect, except that they were organized. We played well, and there still seems to be a little bit of a talent gap.”

Any gap won’t be so noticeable Saturday.

Waterford 7, Millard 0

Seven Castain scored three goals and Anna Wood had two Hannah Bruce and the Ravens roared to a 5-0 advantage at intermission and blanked Millard in the early semifinal.

It was a team effort as Hannah Bruce and Sami Morris also had first-half goals and helped keep the ball on the Millard side of the field.

“We’re a difficult team to cover,” said Tim Dolbin, Waterford's 22-year veteran coach. “We had four different girls score our first four goals, so you can’t take anyone away and expect to hold us down. This is where we wanted to be at this time of year.”

The Ravens’ shutout was their third straight. Millard rarely threatened the goal after finishing the regular season strong and earning two close wins to reach the semis.

“Our defense has gotten stronger and played tough,” Dolbin said. “We’ll have to be at our best next but this is what we’ve been waiting for.”