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High school soccer: Third time is the charm for Morgan girls’ soccer as it defeats Judge Memorial to face Manti in 3A final

SHARE High school soccer: Third time is the charm for Morgan girls’ soccer as it defeats Judge Memorial to face Manti in 3A final

Juab’s Marissa Hall (2) and Manti’s Sadie Cartright (9) compete in the 3A high school soccer semifinals at Juan Diego High School in Draper on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

After three rounds of play in the girls 3A state soccer playoffs, Thursday evening’s semifinal matchups at Juan Diego High school still featured the same four teams as last season. This year’s semifinals displayed two rematches from a season ago, pitting No. 1 seed Manti against the No. 4 seed Juab while No. 2 seed Morgan faced off against No. 3 seed Judge Memorial. 

Manti and Juab kicked off the 3A semifinals with a defensive battle, going scoreless for the first 64 minutes. The Templars broke the game open at that point, scoring two goals in less than 16 minutes to come away with the 2-0 victory. The first goal came when Breanne Wayman pushed the ball upfield where she found senior captain Kassidy Alder in front of the Juab goal. Alder rippled the back of the net with a hard strike past Wasp senior goalkeeper Jacie Bergstrom. The Templars’ second goal came off the foot of Ally Squire when Bergstrom overplayed the ball, leaving the goal wide open. 

The two schools were very familiar with one another, having faced off twice in region play, the Templars getting the best of the Wasps on both occasions. “Juab is a phenomenal program,” Manti head coach Eleshia Stienfeldt said. “Every single time we play them they play better, and they played an absolutely phenomenal game today. They knew what they wanted to do and came out and executed it.” 

Despite the Wasps great play, the Templars advanced to the state championship for the second year in a row. Manti will seek to defend its 2019 title against Morgan after the lady Trojans defeated the Bulldogs 1-0 in a fast paced, back-and-forth battle. 

Although both squads came out aggressive, the second game of the evening continued the defensive theme begun in the first semifinal match. Morgan and Judge Memorial played two scoreless halves despite a plethora of opportunities for the Trojans. The Bulldogs relied heavily on junior goalkeeper Kate Borgmeier’s countless saves to send the game into extra time. 

In extra time Morgan kept its attack up, finally defeating Judge Memorial on a golden goal in its third meeting with the Bulldogs. The Trojans game-winning goal came on a corner kick in the final minute of overtime. Senior Trojan Corinne Henderson played the ball in the middle of the box where Sydney Erickson was able to knock it in for the win.  

Morgan head coach Bryan Searle was pleased with the way his team relentlessly attacked all night long. His message was simple for his team going into overtime: “Don’t change what we are doing.” When asked how the Trojans will prepare for Manti he said, “We get ready to practice tomorrow and Friday and we come up with a good game plan and I don’t think it’s going to be much different than what we did today. Because if [we] play like this, odds are kind of in our favor.” 

Morgan will be a tough test for Manti on Monday at Rio Tinto Stadium as the only team to have beaten the Templars this year. The game is set to begin at 7 p.m.