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Draper Journal

JDCHS girls soccer finishes in state’s final four

Dec 02, 2022 12:42PM ● By Catherine Garrett

JDCHS senior Hailey Mezenen led the girls soccer team with 22 goals and 11 assists this season. (Photo courtesy Ayshia Flores)

By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]

It was an interesting start to the season for the Juan Diego Catholic High School girls soccer team as they played six games searching for a goalie.

“We tried several different players and finally found a senior basketball player (Brianna Aquilla) who had played goalie when she was younger,” said head coach Joe Baca.

Despite a 1-5 record at that point, the Soaring Eagle squad put together a 10-win season and reached the 3A state semifinals where they lost to Ogden 2-0 at Jordan High School Oct. 20.

“Not only did our goalie situation get resolved, but Brianna was the reason we won our quarterfinal game and got to the semis,” Baca said, referring to the double overtime and shootout game Juan Diego won 5-4 over Canyon View on penalty kicks.

After a first-round bye to begin the state tournament, seventh-seeded JDCHS defeated Richfield 5-0 Oct. 12 behind a hat trick by senior forward Hailey Mezenen. The Soaring Eagle squad was up 1-0 at half before pouring it on in the second half with four goals. Juniors Kate Digiandomenico and Abbie Alamilla also provided offense in addition to Mezenen’s three goals while Jada Mirabile recorded the shutout.

In the quarterfinal matchup against Canyon View Oct. 15, Aquilla’s save and freshman Addison Pettit’s goal clinched the win for Juan Diego.

In their two-goal loss against Ogden, Juan Diego had some direct shots on goal that hit the crossbars but they were unable to continue their season for one more game.

“We were feeling really good going into state with who was in our bracket and we knew we had a chance,” Baca said. “Obviously, we wanted to win, but our girls felt like they had left everything out on the field.”

Baca credited Mezenen for her leadership as a captain this season as she also changed positions and encouraged other players to “believe in what we were doing” as other lineup spots were shuffled to fill in gaps left from the year before and maximize the talent on the field. Mezenen led the team with 22 goals and 11 assists while Jada Mirabile, a junior, added eight goals and 13 assists. “Jada was our unsung hero who played all over the field for us. She was an integral part of our team,” Baca said.

Sophomore Allison Green was also noted by Baca as someone who “found herself this year,” playing in an unfamiliar position in the playoffs and will be an important part of the program moving forward.

Baca was assisted on the coaching staff this season by Joe Alamilla, Troy Stroud and Whitney Shuman. “I have to give a lot of credit to them as they are a big part of what we do,” Baca said. “It’s not one person, we are a staff and I can’t do this without their belief.”

Also on the 2022 squad were seniors Lily Edwards and Drea Murdock; juniors Elly Blair, Phuonganh Bui, Maddie Chiazzese, Hailey Cutler, Kennedy Jones, Hope Lowery, Peyton Montoya and Morgan Mulcahy; sophomores Campbell Gentry, Abby Harbison, Clarissa Sanchez and Denver Whaley; and freshmen Piper Fennell, Makena Gardner, Alex Pepi, Hayden Pettit, Adri Priskos and Tessa Shuman.

“Our goal this year was to try and do one win better than last season and with nine wins last year, we did exactly that,” Baca said. “So, I’d say 10 wins and a semifinal finish definitely was a successful year.”