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High school girls soccer: 6A/5A/4A state tournament first-round previews

The 6A, 5A and 4A girls soccer state tournaments get underway this Thursday with first round games across the state. Here’s a quick preview for each of those games.

Class 6A first round

Herriman at Fremont

No. 17 seed Herriman will travel to No. 16 seed Fremont in a 6A state tournament first round clash on Thursday, Oct. 5. Herriman heads into the contest with an overall record of 7-6, showing a somewhat inconsistent season.

On the other side, Fremont has endured a frustrating 3-12 season, and is in the midst of an eight-game losing streak heading into the playoffs.

Herriman is led by Anastasia Estrada, Kate Garner and Kari Pate, who’ve each scored five goals this season. For Fremont, the team relies heavily on players such as Ashlyn Gwynn and Maggie Ware, both of whom have notched seven goals apiece.

Herriman beat Bingham 3-2 in its final game of the regular season and will be looking to build on that momentum heading into the playoffs.

Last season the Mustangs were eliminated in the first round by Clearfield, 2-0. Fremont advanced to the 6A quarterfinals last year, before losing 2-1 to Skyridge.

The winner of this first round game advances to the 6A second round and will travel to No. 1 seed Davis on Tuesday, Oct. 10. This is the first meeting between these programs since a 2020 6A second round game that Fremont won 4-3 in double overtime on a Peyton Ivins golden goal in the 96th minute.

Westlake at Salt Lake Academy

In a 6A state tournament first-round matchup on Thursday, Oct. 5, the No. 15 seed Salt Lake Academy Griffins will host the No. 18 seed Westlake Thunder.

Both teams enter this contest with similar overall records, as Salt Lake Academy has posted a 5-11 season, scoring 25 goals and conceding 35, while Westlake stands at 5-11 with 22 goals scored and 41 goals allowed.

Westlake will rely on players like Afton Perry, who has recorded an impressive 10 goals and five assists, and Halle Cowan with nine goals. Salt Lake Academy will look to Emily Blanchard and Keely Webb, who have contributed five and three goals, respectively.

These two teams last met in a thrilling 2020 6A second-round clash, which Salt Lake Academy won 7-6 in a shootout after double overtime. Westlake is looking to improve on its previous playoff performance, where the teams was eliminated in the first round last year, while Salt Lake Academy aims to replicate its previous success when it secured the 3A state championship a year ago.

The winner of this matchup will face the formidable No. 2 seed, Lone Peak, in the 6A second round on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

Bingham at Lehi

In the first round of the 6A state tournament, No. 19 seed Bingham is set to face No. 14 seed Lehi on Thursday, Oct. 5. The Bingham Miners enter the contest with a 3-13 overall record, aiming to turn their season around. Meanwhile, the Lehi Pioneers are coming in with a 5-11 record, and hoping a recent big win over Skyridge helps them build momentum for the playoffs.

Bingham’s scoring has been led by Journey Heward with seven goals and Alexa Shelley with three goals. On the other side, Lehi has relied on Erin Dahl with four goals and Izze Dahl with three assists. The Pioneers have scored a total of 11 goals and conceded 26, while the Miners have scored 13 goals and allowed 38 this season.

This is the first meeting between these programs in over a decade, as they last met in 2012, with Bingham winning 2-1. In last year’s playoffs, the Pioneers lost to Bountiful 2-0 in the 5A quarterfinals, but this year, they’re competing in 6A. Meanwhile, Bingham was eliminated in the 6A second round, falling to Farmington with a score of 4-0.

The victor of this contest will advance to the second round, facing the formidable No. 3 seed Copper Hills on Oct. 10.

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Brighton and East compete in soccer in Cottonwood Heights on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Class 5A first round

Spanish Fork at Salem Hills

In a Class 5A state tournament first-round matchup on Thursday, Oct. 5, No. 16 Spanish Fork will host No. 17 Salem Hills SkyHawks at 4 p.m. Spanish Fork enters the contest with a 6-9 overall record, but is in the midst of a two-game losing skid, while Salem Hills holds a 7-9 overall record, but has lost six straight entering the playoffs.

The two teams last met on Sept. 12, when Spanish Fork emerged victorious with a 4-1 score. In last year’s playoffs, Salem Hills fell to Skyline in the 5A first round with a 2-0 result, while Spanish Fork did not participate in the postseason. The winner of this matchup will advance to face top-seeded Skyline in the second round on Oct. 10.

West Jordan at Alta

West Jordan hasn’t won a playoff game this century, something it hopes to change this Thursday in the opening round of the 5A state tournament. The No. 18 West Jordan Jaguars will travel to No. 15 Alta Hawks with a spot in the second round up for grabs.

It’s the first meeting between these teams since 2014.

West Jordan comes into this match with an overall record of 7-9, having shown mixed results throughout the season. The Jaguars have scored 24 goals while conceding 44. The Jaguars’ leading scorer is Lexi Nelson with 14 goals and three assists.

On the other hand, the Hawks, with an overall record of 8-8, have found the back of the net 37 times while allowing 35 goals.

Notable contributors for the Hawks include Natalie Abba with nine goals and Andie Anderson with five goals. Alta advanced to the 5A second round last season, ultimately losing to Timpanogos.

The winner of this matchup will aim to break through to the next round, where No. 2 Clearfield is waiting.

Taylorsville at Kearns

No. 24 seed Taylorsville Warriors hits the road to face No. 9 seed Kearns in the 5A first round on Thursday, Oct. 5. The Taylorsville Warriors, with a record of 4-11, have had a challenging season marked by inconsistency. In contrast, Kearns dominated Region 4 play, finishing the regular season with an impressive 11-2 record and is riding high on an impressive seven-game winning streak as it enters the playoffs.

Kearns boasts a well-rounded team, with players like Luna Cazares, Nayelle Rodriguez and Esmeralda Velazquez contributing significantly to the offensive and defensive efforts.

The last time these teams met was on Sept. 19, when Kearns defeated Taylorsville 3-1. Last year, Kearns reached the playoffs but lost in the 6A first round to Copper Hills with a score of 2-1.

Viewmont at Box Elder

In the Class 5A state tournament’s first-round clash on Thursday, Oct. 5, the 13th-seeded Box Elder Bees will welcome the 20th-seeded Viewmont Vikings for a highly anticipated showdown. While their respective regular-season records may not scream dominance, the stage is set for an unpredictable match.

Viewmont, with a 4-12 overall record, enters the game with a resilient spirit, eager to prove that it can compete at the highest level. Box Elder, holding a 9-7 record, hopes to build on their late-season momentum, despite entering the playoffs on a two-game losing streak.

Annie Layton, Tally Smith and Susan Lamb are key players for Viewmont, while Box Elder’s offensive firepower is led by Kaydence Barber, Halli Wright and Ashlyn Wight. Barber leads the Bees with 10 goals.

These teams split their two region games this year, with Box Elder prevailing most recently, a 1-0 win on Sept. 21. The winner of this matchup will advance to the 5A second round, with a potential matchup against fourth-seeded Springville on the horizon.

Roy at Northridge

For No. 21 seed Roy Royals, they will hope the third time is the charm in facing No. 12 seed Northridge on Thursday, Oct. 5, in the first round of the 5A state tournament after losing to Northridge twice in region play.

The Royals enter the match with an overall record of 4-10 and are hoping to defy the odds against the Knights, who finished the regular season with a 9-6 record. Roy is currently grappling with a four-game losing streak, a string of results they Royals would be eager to reverse during this critical playoff bout.

Throughout this season, Roy has struggled to find the back of the net, netting only 17 goals while conceding a hefty 44. In contrast, Northridge has found the right balance, scoring 25 goals while allowing 27.

A year ago, Roy had a strong postseason showing advancing to the 6A quarterfinals, while Northridge’s journey ended in the 5A second round at the hands of Bountiful. This history sets the stage for an intriguing matchup in which Northridge looks to continue its dominance over Roy. The winner advances to the 5A second round against No. 5 seed Bountiful.

Highland at Maple Mountain

In the last year’s 5A state tournament, the Maple Mountain Golden Eagles suffered a heartbreaking second-round loss in a shootout to eventual state champions Skyline. This year, the 10th-seeded Golden Eagles are determined to begin the playoffs on a more positive note as they host No. 23 seed Highland in the first round on Thursday, Oct. 5.

Maple Mountain enters the match with an overall record of 9-6, while Highland carries a 3-13 record. The Golden Eagles average 1.73 goals per game while allowing 1.47 goals per game. Their leading scorers include Kelsey Jewkes with four goals and Mika Krommenhoek with four goals and 11 assists.

On the other hand, Highland has struggled to find the back of the net with just 16 goals scored and 58 conceded. Eliza Smith is the Rams’ leading scorer with eight goals. Her team heads into the playoffs on a four-game losing streak.

The last meeting between these teams was back in 2020 playoffs when Maple Mountain dominated with a 7-0 victory. The winner of this first-round clash will advance to the 5A second round to take on the seventh-seeded Timpview Thunderbirds.

Timpview swept Maple Mountain in the regular season, even though the Golden Eagles ultimately finished higher in the region standings.

Hunter at Woods Cross

Woods Cross opened the season with a win over current top 5 6A team Mountain Ridge, and all throughout region play was competitive against whoever it faced. The results didn’t always fall the Wildcats’ way, but as the 5A playoffs get underway, they’re a team that’s a threat for a deep run.

That run starts in the first round as the 14th-seeded Woods Cross Wildcats host 19th-seeded Hunter Wolverines.

The Woods Cross Wildcats hold an 8-7 overall record, while the Hunter Wolverines come into the match with a 6-7 record. The Wildcats have netted 36 goals this season and conceded 27, showcasing an average of 2.57 goals scored and 1.93 goals allowed per game.

Oakley Anderson leads their scoring with 19 goals, while Bailey Brown has chipped in with four goals and two assists.

On the other side, Hunter has scored 19 goals this season and conceded 25, averaging 1.46 goals per game while allowing 1.92 goals. Aspen Spring has been a key contributor for Hunter, tallying five goals and one assist.

The winner advances to the 5A second round against No. 3 Wasatch.

Bonneville at East

In the opening round of the 5A state tournament, the No. 22 seed Bonneville Lakers will be facing off against the No. 11 seed East Leopards on Thursday, Oct. 5.

Bonneville (4-12) is in the midst of its first losing season since 2002. It will be looking to turn the tide in the playoffs, where it has recently struggled against lower-seeded opponents.

On the other hand, East enters the matchup with a more promising 9-7 season record, backed by a solid offense that has scored 32 goals and a defense that has conceded 22. The Leopards’ top scorer, Rhea Pearson, has netted 13 goals this season.

Bonneville, on the other hand, has struggled to find the back of the net, tallying only 15 goals and conceding 33. The last meeting between these teams was in 2016, with Bonneville securing a 2-1 victory.

The winner of this matchup will advance to the 5A second round to face the No. 6 seed Olympus Titans.

Class 4A first round

Hurricane at Mountain Crest

Last season, Mountain Crest was the overwhelming favorite to win the 4A state title after not allowing a single goal in Region 11 play. Not surprisingly, it didn’t allow a single goal in the playoffs, either, en route to the 4A state championship. The path has been a bit more challenging this season, but the Mustangs have won four straight heading into the playoffs, and expectations are high about the possibility of a repeat.

That title defense begins on Thursday, Oct. 5, as the Mustangs host No. 24 seed Hurricane in the first round. Mountain Crest (10-6) has maintained a solid performance with 34 goals scored and 13 goals conceded. On the other side, Hurricane enters the playoffs with a challenging 3-11 season, but it did win its final match of the regular season, a 2-1 win over Pine View. Hurricane has scored 14 goals and allowed 47.

This is the first meeting between these teams since a 7-0 preseason win in 2021 for Mountain Crest.

With the 4A classification doubling in size since last season, the path to the championship is much more difficult a year later, but Mountain Crest is more than capable of a five-game winning streak in October.

Provo at Jordan

No. 17 seed Provo will make its way to No. 16 Jordan in the first round of the 4A state tournament on Thursday, Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. Provo’s season has been marked by a 5-9 overall record, while Jordan stands at 7-9, setting the stage for a closely contested match. The Bulldogs have scored 25 goals this season while conceding 28, showcasing a balanced attack. Provo’s attack is led by Addison Rose, who has scored 10 goals this season.

Meanwhile, Jordan is aiming to turn things around after ending the regular season with a 7-9 record. It has recorded 31 goals for and 34 goals against. Kenzie Colunga is the Beetdiggers’ top scorer with eight goals, while June Joseph leads the team in assists with five.

The last time these two teams met was during the preseason last year, with Provo coming out on top with a 2-0 victory. Both teams didn’t make it to the playoffs last year, so this first-round clash holds significant importance for both sides. The winner of this game will advance to face the top-seeded Green Canyon in the second round on Oct. 10.

Dixie at Logan

No. 20 seed Dixie traveling to No. 13 seed Logan promises to be an intriguing 4A first round game on Oct. 5. Dixie enters the game with a 5-10 overall record, highlighting a challenging but competitive season, while Logan, standing at 6-8, has been equally tested.

Dixie’s season averages include scoring an average of 0.92 goals per game while conceding 1.93 goals per game. Logan, on the other hand, has netted an average of 2.23 goals per game and allowed an average of 2.23 goals per game. Its top scorer, Mia Lopez, has contributed 14 goals this season.

Last year, Logan’s playoff journey ended in the 4A quarterfinals, where it was defeated 5-0 by eventual state champion Mountain Crest. The winner of this first-round matchup will advance to the second round to face No. 4 seed Ridgeline.

Bear River at Uintah

No. 21 Bear River faces off against No. 12 Uintah in the 4A first round on Thursday, Oct. 5. The Bears finished the regular season with a 4-11 record, but they struggled in Region 11 play going winless in 10 games. On the flip side, the Uintah Utes carry an 8-8 overall record into the playoffs, boasting two consecutive wins leading into the postseason.

Bear River’s season has seen them score a total of 14 goals while conceding 47. Key players for Bear River include Emry Crowther and Gracie Meeds, with four goals each, and Sydney Butler with two goals. In contrast, Uintah has demonstrated more balance, scoring 44 goals while allowing 33. Players to watch for Uintah include Emma Glenn and Zoey Glenn, who have netted nine and eight goals, respectively.

These teams haven’t crossed paths since a 2014 preseason game, where Bear River secured an 8-2 victory. In last year’s playoffs, Uintah faced a first-round exit, losing 2-1 to Viewmont. The winner of this matchup will advance to the second round to face No. 5 Timpanogos on Oct. 10.

Hillcrest at Sky View

Hillcrest, which hasn’t won a playoff game since 2013, will take on the formidable Sky View in the first round of the 4A state tournament on Thursday, Oct. 5. This matchup is defined by two contrasting narratives — Hillcrest, the underdog eager to break a 10-year playoff drought, and Sky View, a seasoned contender looking to continue its playoff success.

No. 18 seed Hillcrest enters this contest with a record of 6-9, having scored 19 goals while conceding 59. It will be leaning on players like Ella Blackbourn and Danica Hickcox, who have contributed with five and four goals, respectively, throughout the year.

On the other side of the pitch, No. 18 Sky View, which has clinched at least one playoff win every year since 2017, is determined to maintain its winning tradition. This season, the Bobcats have scored 35 goals and allowed 29. Sky View’s well-balanced attack features players like Reese Thurston, who has netted six goals, and Maysen McKay, who has notched seven assists.

The history between these two teams only adds to the intrigue, as they haven’t met in over two decades. Sky View’s run in last year’s playoffs ended in the 4A semifinals with a heart-wrenching 2-1 loss to Snow Canyon. In contrast, Hillcrest will be striving to secure its first playoff win in nearly a decade.

The winner faces No. 2 Stansbury in the second round.

Cottonwood at Murray

No. 23 seed Cottonwood travels to No. 10 seed Murray for the first round of the 4A state tournament. It’s a familiar matchup, as the two teams already squared off twice this year in region play, with Murray emerging victorious in both encounters, claiming victories of 3-1 and 3-0. The Colts enter the match with a 3-11 overall record, having scored 20 goals while conceding 35. For the Spartans, it’s been a more successful campaign with an 11-5 record, netting an impressive 57 goals while allowing 22.

Cottonwood’s top scorer, Lulu Vernon, has contributed 10 goals, while Murray’s Ava Talaeai leads her team with 17 goals and 10 assists. Sariah Taeoalii has chipped in with 10 goals as well.

Murray lost in the 5A first round a year ago to Lehi 2-1, having reached the quarterfinals the year prior. In contrast, Cottonwood hasn’t tasted playoff victory since 2004, and the Colts will be eager to change that narrative as they face off against the Spartans once again.

The winner of this first-round matchup will advance to the 4A second round, where they’ll take on the No. 7 seed Mountain View Bruins.

Cedar City at Orem

In the opening round of the Class 4A state tournament, No. 19 seed Cedar City is set to face No. 14 seed Orem on Thursday, Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. Both teams have experienced mixed fortunes this season, with the Reds entering the playoffs with a 7-9 overall record, and the Tigers standing at 7-7. Cedar City is looking to break a losing streak of four games.

The Reds have scored 28 goals while conceding 40 throughout the season, with Kyla Johnson leading the team’s offensive charge with six goals. On the other hand, the Orem Tigers have netted 25 goals and allowed 28, and Brooklyn Bradley has been their top scorer with nine goals. These two teams last met in 2011, with Orem emerging victorious 3-0 behind a hat trick from Kristen Bodine.

In last year’s playoffs, Cedar City advanced to the 4A quarterfinals, where it was defeated by Snow Canyon 6-1. Orem didn’t qualify for the 5A playoffs last year. The winner of this match will progress to the 4A second round against No. 3 seed Park City.

Tooele at Snow Canyon

Snow Canyon is hoping to make another run at the 4A state championship this week after losing in the final a year ago. The 11th-seed Warriors host No. 22 seed Tooele in the first round on Thursday, Oct. 5. The Warriors enter the game with an 11-5 overall record, while Tooele carries a 3-13 record.

Snow Canyon enters the playoffs on an eight-game winning streak, and its attack is led by Ashlee Harris, who leads the team with 14 goals and 15 assists, and Lottie Smith, contributing 11 goals and 10 assists. Tooele, on the other hand, is hoping to overcome a recent four-game losing streak, having managed to score only once during this period.

Key contributors for the Buffaloes include Macie Gustin, with eight goals and three assists, and Isabel Wilcox, with four goals and three assists. These teams haven’t met on the pitch in over two decades, and Thursday’s winner advances to the 4A second round to face No. 6 seed Desert Hills.

This report was compiled with the assistance of ChatGPT

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