6A playoffs

Top seed Lone Peak squares off against No. 5 seed American Fork for the Class 6A state championship at America First Field on Friday at 11 a.m. The Knights (19-1) head into the match in dominant form, boasting a streak of seven straight victories over the Cavemen (13-5), including 3-0 and 2-0 wins in region play this year.

The Knights are formidable on both ends of the field. They’ve amassed an impressive 85 goals this season, conceding only 8. Brooke Hendricks and Samantha Sellers stand out on the stats sheet, contributing 17 and 13 goals, respectively. The Knights defense has held firm with Eliza Collings registering 15 shutouts.

The Cavemen, however, aren’t to be underestimated. With 49 goals scored and 20 conceded, they’ve demonstrated their competitive edge. Lucy Kesler and Julie Huddleston have been key players, scoring 15 and 10 goals, respectively. Goalkeeper Sarah Mathis, who has saved three of four penalty kicks she’s faced this season, will be crucial in defending against the Knights’ potent attack.

High school girls soccer: Region foes Lone Peak, American Fork earn 1-0 wins in 6A semis to set up showdown in final
American Fork players celebrate a goal during a girls 6A soccer state semifinal game against Skyridge at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023. American Fork won 1-0. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Both teams navigated their way to the finals with close wins. The Knights eked out a 1-0 victory over Layton in a tense semifinal, thanks to a last-minute goal from sophomore Ivy Harding. The Cavemen secured their place in the final with a 1-0 win over Skyridge, courtesy of a header by Sophie Eckery and a penalty save from keeper Mathis.

There’s also a rich history in the competition with both teams boasting recent championship wins. Lone Peak won the state title in 2018, while the Cavemen clinched the championship in 2019.

Friday’s clash promises high stakes and intense competition as the Cavemen aim to break the Knights’ winning streak and claim another title. Alternatively, the Knights look to continue their dominance and add another trophy to their collection.

5A championship preview

In a first-time meeting on the grandest stage of Utah high school girls soccer, the No.5 Bountiful Redhawks will face off against the No. 10 Maple Mountain Golden Eagles in the 5A state championship game at America First Field on Friday at 5 p.m.

Bountiful enters the finals on a strong note, boasting a record of 15-4, scoring an impressive 62 goals while allowing only 28. The Redhawks are paced by standouts Caroline Hellewell with 15 goals and 16 assists, and Belle Sorensen adding 16 goals and six assists. Bountiful has won four state titles in school history, but none since 2006. It came close to halting that drought last year, but lost in the championship to Skyline in a shootout.

The shootout was been kind to the Redhawks this playoff run as it eliminated Springville in penalties in the quarterfinals and then Brighton in the semifinals.

High school girls soccer: Bountiful and Maple Mountain earn tight victories in 5A semifinals
Maple Mountain celebrates Hannah Bailey’s goal during their game against Olympus during the 5A girls soccer semifinals at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023. | Megan Nielsen, Deseret News

Maple Mountain strides into the championship with a record of 13-6 with 33 goals scored and 25 conceded. Spearheading the team’s offensive, Mika Krommenhoek has added five goals and 14 assists, and Kesley Jewkes provided six goals. The Golden Eagles last won a state title in 2017.

Since beating Highland in the first round, Maple Mountain has knocked off three straight higher seeds to reach the final — No. 7 Timpview, No. 2 Clearfield and No. 5 Olympus.

Both teams have shown tenacity and grit throughout the playoffs. Bountiful, faced with a disadvantage from a second-half red card against Brighton, managed to secure a berth in the final by winning through a tenacious shootout, learning the lessons from its shootout loss in last year’s 5A championship against Skyline.

For Maple Mountain, after losing five of it first seven games this season it has turned things around and has won 11 of its past 12 games heading into the final.

4A championship preview

No. 3 Park City and No. 1 Green Canyon are set to battle for the 4A state championship title on Friday at 2 p.m. at America First Field. Park City is looking to reestablish its championship credentials after a 16-year hiatus, while Green Canyon is making its first-ever state championship appearance since the school opened in 2017.

Park City has had a strong season, with an overall record of 17-2-0. It’s been an offensive powerhouse throughout, scoring 72 goals while conceding 23. Abby Hanton and Lauren Kindt have been particularly notable contributors, each notching 13 goals during the season.

On the way to the finals, Park City asserted its dominance by securing wins against Cedar and Snow Canyon before a nervy 2-1 overtime win over Stansbury in the semis on Monday. Kendall Hassel scored the dramatic winner on an Olimpico goal in overtime.

High school girls soccer: Green Canyon, Park City secure dramatic 4A semifinal wins with stunning golden goals
Park City’s Caroline Retzer goes for a shot with Stansbury’s Sofia Munoz defending as they play in 4A soccer playoff action at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman on Monday, Oct. 16, 2023. Park City won 2-1 in overtime. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Contrastingly, Green Canyon has built its success on a formidable defense this season. Its overall record stands at 18-1-0, having scored 51 goals while allowing just 10. Austin Miller leads the way with 14 goals, with Chloe Sadler adding seven.

The Wolves’ run to the finals has been marked by a tight defense, evidenced in their 1-0 victory over Ridgeline in the semi. It was a tense affair in which Chloe Sadler displayed remarkable composure to score an exquisite free-kick in the final minute, earning her team their seventh straight shutout victory.

Given that this is the first encounter between the teams, the championship game is set to be a thrilling showdown, with Park City looking to revive its title-winning pedigree and Green Canyon intent on carving out its own championship history.

3A championship preview

The Ogden Tigers are aiming to repeat history against the Morgan Trojans in the state 3A championship this Saturday at America First Field (2 p.m.). The Tigers outclassed the Trojans in both their encounters this season, scoring decisive victories of 5-1 and 4-1.

Ogden has showcased sterling form throughout the season, boasting a 16-2 overall record with 122 goals scored and only 13 allowed — averaging about seven goals per game. Leading the way, the 2022 Deseret News Ms. Soccer recipient, Nevaeh Peregrina has netted an impressive 29 goals, with assistance from Ruth Larsen who contributed 23 goals.

High school girls soccer: Morgan, Ogden earn runaway semifinal victories in 3A to set up a rematch of 2021’s title game

Morgan, equipped with a sturdy 14-4 record, have been a force in their own right. The attack is led by standout Lacie Poll who’s scored 28 of the team’s 99 goals. The Trojans have only let in 17 goals.

The Tigers secured their championship berth by trouncing No. 6 Juan Diego 9-1, while the Trojans silenced the top-seeded Canyon View 3-0.

2A championship preview

In what has the potential to be a thrilling championship rematch, Rowland Hall and St. Joseph will vie for the Class 2A state championship on Saturday at America First Field at 5 p.m.. Last year, Rowland Hall narrowly clinched the title with a 2-1 victory over the Jayhawks, adding an extra layer of anticipation for this year’s final.

Rowland Hall enters the matchup boasting an overall record of 13-3, having amassed an impressive total of 94 goals this season whilst conceding only 31. Key contributors for the Lions include Paige Connery and Zakrie Smith, registering 28 and 20 goals respectively throughout the campaign.

High school girls soccer: St. Joseph and Rowland Hall get a 2A championship rematch

St. Joseph has demonstrated both offensive firepower and defensive fortitude. With an 11-6 overall record, the Jayhawks have netted 100 goals and conceded 32. Leading the offensive charge for St. Joseph are Abigail Gough and Sofia Evans, who’ve scored 39 and 28 goals respectively. A noteworthy stat is that St. Joseph enters the finals without surrendering a single goal in the postseason.

The matchup serves as an intriguing tiebreaker for the season. Their only previous meeting this season resulted in a narrow 5-4 victory for Rowland Hall, highlighting the teams’ high-scoring potential.

In their respective paths to the finals, St. Joseph solidly defeated top-seeded Parowan 2-0 in the semifinals after a resounding 5-0 win over Millard in the quarterfinals. Rowland Hall, on the other hand, managed a thrilling overtime 3-2 victory against Waterford in the semifinals following a convincing 5-1 quarterfinal win over Maeser Prep.

This report was compiled with the assistance of ChatGPT.