Girls soccer preview: Looking at Northern Utah teams in 3A Region 13 and 2A North
High school girls soccer is underway in Northern Utah. Here’s a quick breakdown of 3A Region 13 as well as the 2A North region.
Ogden and Morgan split the regular-season series against each other, played each other in the state title game last year and it’s likely those two teams top the region in some order again in 2022.
This year’s Ogden-Morgan games take place on Monday, Sept. 12, and Wednesday, Sept. 28.
Who’s got the edge between the two this year? Early on, it might be Morgan.
The Trojans return pretty much their entire team, including sophomore forward Lacie Poll, who scored 21 goals last year (she scored a hat trick in Tuesday’s season opener) and senior forward Brecklee Charlton, who scored 20 goals last year and had two assists with one goal on Tuesday.
Further, Morgan returns both its goalkeepers and most of its defenders — and the Trojans still are loaded with sophomores and juniors, so they appear in good shape for the next couple of years.
Ogden has four returning starters: junior midfielder Nevaeh Peregrina, defenders Aya Obayashi and Kallie Cherry, and goalkeeper Emily Blackford.
Peregrina, now a three-year starter, might be one of the best players in the state after receiving a call-up to the United States Under-16 National Team in May.
Though the Tigers have just four returning starters, three of them are in defense and the team only allowed 15 goals in 20 games last year. That good defense could help new midfielders and forwards settle in.
“We are young. They are great soccer players. Few have tons of varsity experience. We need to mature, not as individual soccer talented players, but as a team,” Ogden coach Ryan Robinson said.
Ben Lomond went 8-9 overall and 6-4 in the region last year. The Scots beat everyone in the region except Ogden and Morgan. Additional information about this year’s team wasn’t provided.
Layton Christian Academy isn’t fielding a girls soccer team this year. Grantsville and South Summit are the other two members of Region 13. Ben Lomond beat Grantsville in both meetings last year by one goal each time (4-3 and 2-1).
St. Joseph and Utah Military Academy play in the 2A North region along with Rowland Hall, Waterford, American Heritage, American Prep Academy-Draper, Maeser Prep and North Summit.
St. Joseph went 10-6 overall and 6-4 in the region last year, good for third place. Injuries impacted the Jayhawks all season, but they still won a playoff game and lost 3-2 in the quarterfinals.
They have a new head coach this year in Thomas Evans. St. Joseph has a young team overall but does have some experience with eight returning starters or contributors.
“We have a lot of talented players in the sophomore and freshman classes but our success will be contingent on how well our few upper-class players are able to lead the younger players and show them what is necessary to be successful,” Evans said.
Sophomore forward Abby Gough returns after a breakout season in which she scored 19 goals with 14 assists, but SJC did graduate three players who combined for 34 goals and 27 assists last season.
Utah Military Academy went 0-12 last season in Nick Lopez’s first season as head coach. Lopez said the Thunderbirds return nearly a dozen starters and contributors from last year’s team and UMA could ostensibly improve this year.
“Last year we established a good foundation and amazing cohesion. Our weakness would be that we are a young program that hasn’t truly put its feet underneath itself,” Lopez said.
Lopez said starting goalkeeper Kendall Prieto, one of the team’s three captains along with seniors Eilish Rennie and Malaya Larsen, is returning this year after a concussion kept her off the field for most of the 2021 season.
In 2A North last year, Rowland Hall won the region title with a 10-0 record and Waterford finished second at 8-2. Waterford beat Rowland Hall in the 2A state title game and it’s expected those two teams will once again be favorites this time around.
Connect with reporter Patrick Carr via email at email@example.com, Twitter @patrickcarr_ and Instagram @standardexaminersports.