High school soccer: Perennial powers seek to stay on top

Published: Monday, Aug. 20 2012 7:36 p.m. MDT

Last year's second-place finisher — Skyline — is more than capable of a return trip. They have allowed just two goals in four games.

Offensively, they are quick and work together to produce numerous scoring opportunities. Ashley Aberton and Jaslyn Masina team up out front, and goalkeeper Alli Spencer is a key vocal leader.

Head coach Yamil Castillo is confident about his lineup.

"Everything depends on if we can stay injury free and if the girls believe they can," he said. "I'm pretty confident that we are going to go back there (Rio Tinto), but we are taking it one game at a time."

Maple Mountain is leading Region 8, picking up convincing victories and outscoring opponents 16-4. Returning forward Kennedee Tracy scored 19 goals last year and has scored six so far in 2012.

Highland sits atop Region 6 with a 4-0 record — a refreshing start after winning just four games last year — and East High is always a contender.

Though the Leopards lost a couple of core players, they return leading scorer Madison Roemer. The tenacious forward already leads offensively with three goals.

Region 5 offers stiff competition with Bonneville, Mountain Crest and Box Elder, and Woods Cross is capable as well, with its only losses coming from 5A leaders Davis and Viewmont.

4A is somewhat unpredictable as contenders can be found in all four regions.

3A

In 3A, Ogden led Region 11 last year and enjoyed an incredible 16-game win streak capped with the championship victory over Cedar. With a current preseason record of 3-0, the championship mindset has seemingly carried over.

Offensively, the roster includes Lindsey Bray and Kiley Porter — two of last year's top scorers for the Tigers. Goalkeeper Kelsey East is back in the net and will play a vital role in the team's 2012 success. She posted 12 shutouts in 2011.

Juan Diego is certainly one to watch as well, especially with Emily Bruder on the roster. Bruder has been among the top scorers in the state since her freshman year. Mattie Muzatko, who finished with 13 goals in 2011, will provide a hefty contribution.

Park City will also compete, proving worthy as it tied Skyline and Bountiful. The current group of Miners reached the semifinals in 2011 and the finals the year before.

"We have a couple of really solid returning seniors, and the bulk of our crew is our juniors that have been playing varsity since they were freshmen," head coach Chip Cook said after the Skyline battle. "They come with a ton of experience and soccer savvy in the high school soccer world."

Cedar is another possibility with a current 3-1 record and a balanced offense. Dixie and Canyon View lead Region 9 with undefeated records, and Dixie has an incredible 24-0 scoring margin in just four games.

Ben Lomond and Wasatch have posted landslide victories over noble opponents.

A number of teams are qualified in the 3A cluster.

2A

The St. Joseph Jayhawks are always expected to do well, but with scoring sensation Ivee Barton graduating last year, someone has to pick up the slack. Fortunately for the Jayhawks, junior Jane Porter has a couple more years. Porter scored 15 goals in nine games last year and will be expected to step up.

Waterford, last year's state champ, hasn't been performing as well but will surely improve as the season progresses.

Richfield has picked up two wins, icing opponents by a goal-differential of 8-0. Lydia Foster scored a hat-trick against North Sanpete on Aug. 15 and will be a sure leader.

Summit Academy is thrown into the mix this year and could make some waves.

EMAIL: jwilde@desnews.com

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