Soaring Eagle soccer squad reaches state’s final four for second consecutive seasonNov 07, 2023 09:44AM ● By Catherine Garrett
The Juan Diego Catholic High School girls soccer team reached the 3A state semifinals for the second year, losing to eventual champion Ogden 9-1 Oct. 19. (Photo courtesy Charity Ryan)
The Juan Diego Catholic High School girls soccer team resolved to get back to the 3A state semifinals after a 2-0 loss to Ogden in the final four a year ago. The Soaring Eagle squad did just that this year, but again came up against the eventual state champion Tigers—who now had 13 seniors—and lost 9-1 at Zions Bank Stadium Oct. 19.
“We knew Ogden was the one to beat and we were confident that we could compete with them,” said JDCHS head coach Joe Baca. “There was initial disappointment once the game was over, with some tears especially for the seniors who played their last game, but still a lot of pride and great memories in recalling the last four years for our nine seniors.”
Juan Diego got down a goal within the first three minutes of the game and were down 4-0 at halftime. But, Baca said the team made some adjustments at the break and knew they could get back into the game, even after giving up an early second-half goal.
Senior Kate DiGiandomenico netted their only goal of the game, assisted by sophomore Addison Pettit, in the loss. “We had some miscommunication and then Ogden got sneaky,” Baca said. “We had to go more into attack mode than we had planned and it really was just a chess match back-and-forth where we made adjustments and they countered.”
On the route to the semis, Juan Diego—after a first-round bye—defeated Union 8-1 Oct. 11, going up 5-0 at halftime. Pettit scored a hat trick while senior Maddie Chiazzese added two goals and DiGiandomenico, sophomore Hayden Pettit and senior Peyton Montoya each had one.
In the quarterfinals against third-seeded Manti Oct. 14, the sixth-ranked Soaring Eagle squad pulled out a 3-2 win in double overtime behind the golden goal from Chiazzese. Senior Jada Mirabile had a goal and an assist with Addison Pettit also netting a goal and Chiazzese and senior Morgan Mulcahy each assisting on a score in the big win.
Juan Diego was led this season by Addison Pettit and DiGiandomenico with 13 goals each along with Hayden Pettit with 10 goals. Senior Jada Mirabile was the top assists leader with 12 with Mulcahy, Addison Pettit and Chiazzese adding eight each. Sophomore keeper Alyssa Petersen recorded two shutouts in goal.
Baca credited his senior class for helping to get the program “going in the right direction.”
“These seniors really helped build our culture while playing as a unit and forming a real sisterhood,” he said. “They created a true family environment, and I’m thankful for all they gave to the program.”
Also on the JDCHS squad that went 11-5 this year were seniors Abbie Alamilla, Hailey Cutler and Kennedy Jones; juniors Ella Blair, Campbell Gentry, Alison Green, Abby Harbison, Hope Lowery and Denver Whaley; and freshmen Izzy Guernsey, Brylee Newport and Vivien Pettit.
Baca was assisted on the coaching staff this season by Troy Stroud, Joe Alamilla, Craig Gentry, Ameera Almaksosi and Tucker Davis, as well as team moms Jessica Mirabile and Debbie Jones who helped the program over the past four years.
“On the bus ride home after our loss at state, the juniors approached me with more team building ideas to strengthen the unity even further among the girls,” Baca said. “It was fun to see that. We want to continue to be winners here.” λ