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High school girls soccer: Northridge defeats Davis in battle of Region 1 unbeatens

The Knights scored the first goal against Davis this season in their 1-0 victory.

Tiani Fonoti, right gets a hug from Northridge teammate Lauren Call after scoring the only goal of the game as Northridge defeated Davis 1-0 in Kaysville on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019.
Tiani Fonoti, right gets a hug from Northridge teammate Lauren Call after scoring the only goal of the game as Northridge defeated Davis 1-0 in Kaysville on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019.
Steve Griffin, Deseret News

KAYSVILLE — It is still early, but the Northridge Knights might be the best girls soccer team in Region 1.

If not yet, at the very least they looked the part Tuesday afternoon.

Led by senior forward Tiani Fonoti, who netted the game’s only goal, Northridge defeated Davis 1-0 in a battle of unbeatens, played at the Angel Street Soccer Complex.

Fonoti’s goal, the only one scored in the game and the first given up by the Darts this season, came early in the second half of what was a knock-down, drag-out type contest between the best teams in arguably the most difficult region in the state.

“That is a great team we just played,” Northridge head coach Wyatt Kennah said. “(Davis) is really, really good.”

The Knights were better, however, particularly Fonoti.

While the forward only found the back of the net and bested Davis goalkeeper Taygan Sill once, her play nearly led to three or four additional Northridge goals.

“I think Tiani showed she was the best player on the field today, hands down,” Kennah said. “She was the best player out there, play after play. I thought she did a really good job. Tiani had a lot of really good looks. I can’t wait to go watch the film tonight and see because she easily could have had three or four (goals) today. I don’t say that to be disrespectful to Davis, but she played really well today and left some out there.”

Fonoti wasn’t the only standout performer for the Knights either, as defensive backs Makayla Halley and Hallestyn Kap earned their fair share of praise from Kennah.

The duo, along with goalkeeper Jacee Berry, were instrumental in Northridge’s shutout out of the Darts, who entered the game having scored a region best 17 goals.

Halley in particular came up with the play of the game, outside of Fonoti’s goal, when she blocked what appeared to be an all but certain game tying score by Davis’ Annie Haycock, off a pass from Grace Nicol.

“Makayla had a phenomenal game,” Kennah said. “She and Hallestyn Kap did an amazing job in the middle. They communicated really well. (Davis) is a great team, a lot of skilled players in the attack, and Makayla and Hallestyn played really good soccer today.”

So did the Northridge midfield, particularly in the first half, thanks to strong outings by Paiytn Auger, Lauren Call, Sierra Sivulich, Chloe Cypers and others.

The Knights were able to control possession of the ball throughout the first half, netting a trio of goal scoring chances for Fonoti in the process.

“You know, they are bend not break,” Kennah said. “Our midfield is a really good group, really technical and they know what they want to do with the ball. We had some mature ladies who went out there, played assignment ball and did a really good job.”

For all the stout play by Northridge, the Darts had their chances, particularly late.

Nicol had multiple goal scoring opportunities, while Ruth Wright consistently put pressure on the Knights’ back four.

“We knew they had a lot of really dangerous weapons and we didn’t want to make the job easy for them,” Kennah said. “We wanted to make them earn it.”

It was Fonoti who earned the win for Northridge, however.

“She is special. She is an elite player,” Kennah said. “It is so hard to defend players like that. She does amazing things and we are happy she is with us.”

Kennah expects the victory to give the Knights’ confidence a boost, though such an augmentation is hardly needed with the team standing at 5-0 overall, 3-0 in region play.

“This gives us confidence,” he said. “We know what we are capable of. When we play a full game, we give ourselves a good chance to win. I don’t know if I’d say we are lacking confidence, but we had yet to put in a full (80) and we put that in today. We have some good players, leaders in every spot and they came through today.”