Opportunities past and future define 2022’s Ms. Soccer, Ogden’s Nevaeh Peregrina
Ogden High midfielder picked up where she left off for the Tigers this season, but her sights are set even higher
On a September afternoon in 2021, Ogden High sophomore midfielder Nevaeh Peregrina set up a corner kick against her school’s rival, Ben Lomond.
She then turned to a group of spectators sitting a few yards away and asked them if she should try to score it herself from that spot. They were all too happy to dare her to do it.
Instead of lobbing it toward the goal box, she inbounded the ball off a teammate, took it back, and fired a long-range missile, which bent mid-air into the goal, capping a hat trick for on the day.
That level of confidence and skill aided Peregrina as she hardly missed a beat in the 2022 season, leading her to 2022 Deseret News Ms. Soccer honors as a junior.
“Coming from Ogden, you just kind of learn to have that confidence in yourself and that swagger,” Peregrina said. “Coming from a Mexican family, there’s a lot that it takes. You build a super-tough skin. Growing up in this environment was something that taught me to be more confident in myself.”
Peregrina scored 19 goals this season, averaging a goal per game, while leading an Ogden team that worked its way back to the 3A state championship game for the second straight year.
As a developmental academy player at 14, and in a completely different school than her future teammates, it was never in Peregrina’s plan to play high school soccer, since the academy season was also in the fall and their rules did not permit players to play both.
The COVID-19 pandemic canceled that season in 2020, and Peregrina was without a team to play for in the fall. That’s when Ogden players, some of whom had played against her on club teams, took notice and went to work recruiting her through Snapchat and other social media.
Peregrina eventually took the offer and suited up for the Tigers, and within a couple years became the face of the team.
“Ogden’s been my home since I was a baby,” Peregrina said. “Having the community know who I am just from soccer is an awesome experience.”
Having been in the state championship match every year of high school, Peregrina is an uber-competitive player. The Tigers’ loss in the 4A title game to Ridgeline her freshman year didn’t sit well with her at all.
“I really wanted a redemption round after that and wanted a ring so bad,” Peregrina said. “I’m very, very competitive, and I needed to win something for us.”
Peregrina made good on her objective when she scored the only goal of the game to win the 3A championship over Morgan in 2021.
Outside of Ogden, Peregrina plays for La Roca Futbol Club in South Weber, playing teams from all over the western United States. She also represented the U.S. after her sophomore year as a member of the U16 National Team last spring. That team won all three of its games playing in Sweden against Norway, France and Sweden.
Peregrina is committed to the University of Portland to play in 2024 after her senior year. The Pilots are one of the best teams in the West Coast Conference. The opportunity is special to her for more than just continuing to play the sport. She also becomes one of very few people in her family to go to college and will be a first-generation college student.
“It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do,” Peregrina said. “Coming from a background where neither of my parents went to college, a lot of my extended family never even thought of college either. Now, being committed at 16 years old … it’s something that means so much to me. I’ve definitely cried about it a lot of times because it’s something I’m so proud of. Being able to allow my parents to not have to pay for college is something I’ve always worked towards, and I’m glad I was able to accomplish that.”
Peregrina became one of only two girls soccer players ever to receive the Ms. Soccer title while playing for a classification lower than 4A, joining Tigers alum Avery Calton in 2012.