SANDY — The Syracuse High girls soccer team was 40 minutes away from claiming its first state championship in program history.
The Titans will have to wait until next year to see if they can leave the field with the title.
American Fork used a three-goal barrage in the second half to come from behind and defeat Syracuse 3-1 in the 6-A girls soccer state championship Friday at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Sisters Josie Shepherd and Jamie Shepherd scored in the 43rd and 59th minutes, respectively, to give American Fork a 2-1 lead, and Addison Holmstead added an insurance goal in the 69th minute.
“They owned the (second) half,” Syracuse coach Taylor Allen said. “We knew they were going to come out hard and they won it, man. I felt like they won possession, they won every ball in the air, they controlled, and a lot of credit to them. I felt like we were similar teams with a similar style and they put it in.”
Syracuse finished the season with 84 goals, but the Titans’ attack in the second half Friday was close to non-existent. Syracuse attempted just one corner in the second half, which came after a shot that was deflected just wide of the post.
“We’ll probably digest this a little bit tonight, but it is a young team and we’ve got a lot of unfinished business,” said Allen, noting that the Titans lose only three starters from this year’s team.
Syracuse started strong offensively, winning three corner kicks in the first 20 minutes. In the 17th minute, Sarah Wynn sent in a corner that freshman Caroline Stringfellow headed in for a goal.
Stringfellow finished the season with 29 goals and 31 assists.
“Those are outstanding numbers,” Allen said. “Couldn’t get (Stringfellow and Ashlyn Hall) going in the second half, unfortunately.”