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Superb goal, PK save lead Ogden girls soccer to state championship in 1-0 win over Morgan

By Patrick Carr - | Oct 23, 2021
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Ogden High's Neveah Peregrina (13) celebrates with teammates after scoring the only goal in the 3A state championship game against Morgan on Saturday, Oct 23, 2021, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.
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Ogden High's Tess Bailey (21) and teammates yell in celebration as they hoist the 3A girls soccer state championship trophy after defeating Morgan on Saturday, Oct 23, 2021, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.
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Ogden High girls soccer players mob each other to celebrate defeating Morgan to win the 3A state championship Saturday, Oct 23, 2021, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.
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Ogden goalkeeper Emily Blackford dives to stop a Morgan penalty kick in the second half of the 3A girls soccer state championship game Saturday, Oct 23, 2021, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.
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Ogden High's Chloe Lindquist (3) smiles as she lifts the 3A girls soccer state championship trophy Saturday, Oct 23, 2021, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.
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Morgan High's Ashlyn Noss (32) prepares to head the ball in the 3A state championship game against Ogden on Saturday, Oct 23, 2021, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.
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Ogden's Lily Galbraith, left, and Morgan's Meliah Moore (16) battle for possession during the 3A state championship game Saturday, Oct 23, 2021, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.
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Ogden's Maya Robinson handles the ball during the 3A state championship game against Morgan on Saturday, Oct 23, 2021, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.
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Morgan goalkeeper Miya Turner can't corral a goal from Ogden's Neveah Peregrina in the 3A state championship game Saturday, Oct 23, 2021, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.
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Ogden High's Kallie Cherry throws the ball in against Morgan during the 3A state championship game Saturday, Oct 23, 2021, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.
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Ogden High's Kate Wadsworth heads the ball during the 3A state championship game against Morgan on Saturday, Oct 23, 2021, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.
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Morgan's Brecklee Charlton, left, and Ogden's Neveah Peregrina, right, collide in a bid for the ball during the 3A state championship game Saturday, Oct 23, 2021, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.
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Morgan goalkeeper Miya Turner divies to make a stop against Ogden in the 3A state championship game Saturday, Oct 23, 2021, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.
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Ogden High's Kate Wadsworth (30) handles the ball as Morgan's Macie Burton (13) approaches in the 3A state championship game Saturday, Oct 23, 2021, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.
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Ogden's Celine Buttars (18) boots the ball as Morgan's Lacie Poll (61) approaches from behind in the 3A state championship game Saturday, Oct 23, 2021, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.

SANDY — Neveah Peregrina knelt down three times in the first half of Saturday’s rainy and wet 3A state soccer championship game at Rio Tinto Stadium to tie her shoelaces.

“I don’t even know, I tie them so good every single game. Today was a struggle with the shoelaces. Then my hands were cold when I would tie them,” the Ogden High sophomore midfielder said.

Peregrina had her laces tied in the second half when she stepped up for a free kick in the 46th minute near the left-side corner flag in what was a 0-0 game against Morgan High.

She hit the ball with her shoelaces, as soccer players are taught to do, getting a curling shot to dip between the crossbar and goalkeeper Miya Turner’s hands for a superb goal that wasn’t technically an “Olimpico” scored from a corner kick, but was still stunning nonetheless.

The goal provided the only score in the Tigers’ dramatic 1-0 win over Morgan that saw Ogden crowned state soccer champions for the second time in three seasons.

“Last year was such a crazy year, we got all the way here and then we lost in the finals last second,” Peregrina said. “Being able to win like that today was absolutely amazing.”

The scoreboard will forever show “1-0” from Ogden’s (16-4) state title win, but it won’t show that the game was arguably won in the 71st minute when OHS sophomore goalkeeper Emily Blackford faced Lacie Poll’s penalty kick.

“Once I got all the nerves out, I just was really confident that I was gonna get the ball,” Blackford said.

Blackford dove to her left and saved the PK to preserve the 1-0 lead during an onslaught of Morgan attacks.

“(Blackford’s) definitely the MVP of this game, she carried that right there,” Peregrina said.

The final score also won’t show that Morgan (17-3) could’ve won the game 2-1 or 3-1 and that Ogden ostensibly was also close to winning 2-0 or 3-0.

Along with the goal she scored, Peregrina had a free kick attempt glance off the far post and a long shot saved by Turner. Ogden also had a handful of close-range chances throughout the game saved by Turner.

The Trojans also had plenty of chances apart from the penalty kick that Blackford stopped.

“Our goalie made three saves that should’ve been goals, so you know, no I don’t think one goal is ever enough,” Tigers coach Ryan Robinson said. “Played better than she’s ever played, and in the biggest game.”

Peregrina started last season and said in light of last year’s loss to Ridgeline in the title game, the Tigers needed to come out, “take shots” and not be nervous and quiet on the bus ride like last year.

“On the bus ride this time, we had music playing, we had everyone talking. We made sure we changed it this year,” Peregrina said.

Ogden had six good scoring chances in the first 22 minutes of the game from Tori Kalista, Chloe Lindquist and Celine Buttars.

Peregrina’s free kick that hit off the post came after she had to kneel down for the third time to fix her shoelaces.

The teams went to halftime tied 0-0.

Peregrina drew a handball foul on Morgan early in the second half to set up her scoring free kick, and her celebration traversed half the sideline including pointing her fingers at the Morgan student section.

Ten minutes after the goal, Morgan’s Aspen Telford got free in the penalty box and Blackford dove low to keep out a well-hit low shot.

In the 64th minute, Morgan ran what looked like a set play on a free kick that resulted in a close-range shot that Blackford tipped over the goal.

“This is probably the happiest I’ve ever been with soccer,” Blackford said.

Both teams, now playing in Region 13, are in the midst of remarkable multi-year runs.

Saturday was Ogden’s third state title game appearance in as many seasons; OHS won the state title in 2019, lost in 2020 and has also won its region championship three years in a row.

Morgan has won three state championships and one runner-up trophy in the past five seasons to go with region titles in 2017, 2019 and 2021.

Saturday was the third meeting this season between OHS and MHS. Ogden won 1-0 and Morgan won 3-2, both winning on their home fields, with the Morgan victory securing a split region championship.

“We had our opportunities,” Morgan coach Bryan Searle said. “Obviously, a PK that you miss is a little frustrating but the same thing happened to us in the semifinals where (RSL Academy) missed one — but listen, two great teams. I think if we play them again tomorrow, we win, the next day, they win. I think we’re going to split for quite a few years going forward.”

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