The Juan Diego Catholic High School girls soccer team returned three All-State players—Ashley Buck, Presley Azarcon and Emily Pascua—from a year ago when they lost in the 3A title game. This year, the Soaring Eagle squad has been ranked among the top teams in the state for much of the season, hoping to again go deep into the state tournament that began Oct. 15 (after press deadline).
“We are extremely fortunate to have the team we have here at Juan Diego,” new head coach Myriah Fankhauser said. “Our girls are committed to their goals and to each other.”
Buck, an Honorable Mention All-State player in 2013, leads the team in scoring this season as a junior with eight goals.
“Ashley has made a great impact on the field by setting up her teammates for success,” Fankhauser said. Junior Gabbie Berg, a junior forward, was also credited by Fankhauser with stepping up her play and being a strong player for the team.
“The leadership provided by our upperclassmen has been huge this year,” Fankhauser said, particularly noting the contributions of senior Jordyn Jones who “provides selfless play on the field and is a loyal teammate off the field.”
Fankhauser also said she has been able to depend on the consistency of her entire backline.
Juan Diego has a 10-4-2 record and a number two state ranking heading into the state tournament with wins over Cedar, Sky View, West, Morgan (twice), Union (twice), Uintah (twice) and Hillcrest. The team began the season with two ties—a 0-0 score against Fremont and a double overtime 1-1 tie against Viewmont. Its only losses this season were against Bonneville, Alta and Park City (twice).
Alexa Fries has netted seven goals while Pascua and Juliet Fletcher have each scored five, Katie Whittington four, AnnaMaria Degeronimo three, Sierra DeHart three, Jordyn Jones three, Anna Ewoniuk two, and Kat Jones two. Azarcon, Catherine Billings, Audrey Hall, Claire Kolff and Hannah Osmundson have also scored one goal apiece.
Defensively, Osmundson, Hall and Whittington have been responsible for the seven shutouts this year against Fremont, Sky View, Morgan, “Union”, Uintah, Hillcrest and Union.
Also on the Juan Diego team are senior Baylie Reid; juniors Melissa McFarlane, Madison Lopez, Sophie Holbrook, Ashley Hall, Cortney Bench and Emma Phinney; sophomores Mattea VanDeWiele, Olivia Kuehn, Britny Sorenson, Alannah Clay, Hannah Shelkey, Alison Stroud and Aleya Mason; and freshmen Haley Bench, Avery Fries, Abby Kolff, Eva Tavake, Elizabeth Blair, Bella Holt and Heaven Kelly. Kailey Baca assists as the team manager.
“We have high hopes for this year and are excited for all the opportunities we get,” Fankhauser said.