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‘The best feeling in the whole world’: Skyline edges Bonneville on Ani Jensen golden goal to win 5A state championship

Jensen netted the game-winner with three minutes remaining in overtime to give the Eagles the 2-1 state title game victory

Skyline’s Ani Jensen (11) hoists the team’s state championship trophy into the air as they celebrate after winning the 5A girls state soccer match 2-1 over Bonneville at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019.
Skyline’s Ani Jensen (11) hoists the team’s state championship trophy into the air as they celebrate after winning the 5A girls state soccer match 2-1 over Bonneville at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019.
Colter Peterson, Deseret News

SANDY — The Skyline Eagles have experienced nothing less than great success over the years.

Since girls soccer became a sanctioned high school sport in Utah, in 1989, the Eagles have had decades filled with double-digit win seasons, region titles and even a state championship in 2001.

But all of that early success pales in comparison to what the Eagles have achieved under Yamil Castillo. With him at the helm over the past 10 seasons, Skyline has racked up 160 total victories and eight region championships, a run of success nearly unmatched across the state.

The only thing missing, in truth, has been state championships. The Eagles, of course, claimed the ultimate prize in 2015, but more often than not, many of the greatest teams in program history came away empty handed.

The 2019-20 Eagles would surely have been considered among the best teams in Skyline history sans a title, thanks to a 18-win season and a Region 6 title.

Friday afternoon at Rio Tinto Stadium, they made the argument that they are the best ever.

Powered by a golden goal scored by Ani Jensen in overtime, Skyline defeated Bonneville 2-1 to win the 5A state championship. Lilly Kimball netted the other Skyline goal, as the Eagles held off Bonneville for the third state title in school history.

“We have been fighting for five years,” Castillo said. “This is the second time in 10 years and these kids have been fighting since the beginning. I knew we had the talent to accomplish it. They didn’t quit and they didn’t give up.”

At no point was that more evident than late in regulation, after the Lakers knotted the game at one goal apiece on a header by Hailey Price in the 73rd minute.

The Eagles could have come undone at that point, but the challenge by the Lakers only buoyed their efforts.

“We knew that we could never give up and we had to keep sticking through it,” Jensen said. “Just keep pushing. We knew we could get that last goal. We gathered our thoughts, and knew we could do it. We have been playing great this whole season and we knew it was coming.”

It came in overtime, with three minutes remaining, when Jensen scored what she called the best goal of her life.

  • Watch replay: Skyline 2, Bonneville 1

“That is the best goal I have scored, hands down,” she said. “Nothing is better than that. This has literally been my dream, scoring at Rio Tinto. Ella (Kortbawi) just left it for me and I hit it as hard as I could. I saw it bounce down and I knew it was going in. It was the best feeling in the whole world.”

The senior midfielder refused to take all the credit, though, and instead praised her Skyline teammates again and again.

“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” she said. “I couldn’t have scored. If it wasn’t for my whole team, this wouldn’t have happened. It is all of us. It takes a whole team.”

It is a team that Castillo couldn’t be more proud of.

“Are you kidding?” he asked. “I would do anything for those kids. We do this because we love this sport and I couldn’t ask for better players or a better group of players to coach. It is all worth it. Before we won it in 2015, we were here three other times, and we took second place. I thought we were never going to win this. And now, we are ready for more.”