Since 2004, the Juan Diego Catholic High School girls soccer team has advanced to at least the quarterfinals of the 3A state tournament, winning two titles during that span. This year proved to be no different for the Soaring Eagle squad which lost in the semifinals to Desert Hills in a 6-5 shootout after both teams ended double overtime tied at two-all Oct. 24.
“This year went really well,” first-year coach Myriah Fankhauser said. “I love these girls and am super proud of them. They legitimately had to work for everything, and that’s a great way to train and play.”
Juan Diego, which was ranked among the top five teams in the state for much of the season, entered the state tournament with a 10-4-2 record. In the first round, the Soaring Eagle squad found themselves in their fourth double overtime game of the year against Snow Canyon. This time, they defeated the Warriors 4-1 in a shootout after 100 minutes of play resulted in a 0-0 tie.
In the quarterfinals, Juan Diego beat North Sanpete 7-0 behind two goals each from AnnaMaria Degeronimo and Gabbie Berg while 2013 Honorable Mention All-State player Ashley Buck, Emily Pascua and Jordyn Jones also scored. Sophomore Audrey Hall recorded the shutout to help her team reach the semifinal matchup against Desert Hills.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed in the end result as I had every intention of being back in the state championship game,” Fankhauser said. “Everybody gears up and levels rise in the tournament, and on any given day, any team can win.”
The team was led by Buck’s 10 goals while Berg and Alexa Fries each scored seven. Hall, a transfer student from Washington state, had four shutouts this season as the team’s main goalkeeper.
Also on the 2014 Juan Diego squad were Presley Azarcon, Cortney Bench, Haley Bench, Catherine Billings, Elizabeth Blair, Alannah Clay, Avery Fries, Ashley Hall, Sophie Holbrook, Bella Holt, Heaven Kelly, Abby Kolff, Olivia Kuehn, Madison Lopez, Aleya Mason, Melissa McFarlane, Emma Phinney, Baylie Reid, Hannah Shelkey, Britny Sorenson, Alison Stroud, Eva Tavake and Mattea VanDeWiele.
“This year was stressful and awesome all in the same moment,” Fankhauser said. “I am extremely blessed to have worked with these girls.”