High school girls football is underway in Northern Utah. Here’s a quick breakdown of Region 3A 13 as well as Region 2A North.
Ogden and Morgan split the regular season series against each other, faced each other in the state title game last year and it’s likely these two teams will dominate the region in some order at new in 2022.
This year’s Ogden-Morgan matches will take place on Monday, September 12 and Wednesday, September 28.
Who has the advantage between the two this year? At first it might be Morgan.
The Trojans are returning just about their entire team, including sophomore forward Lacie Poll, who scored 21 goals last year (she had a hat trick in Tuesday’s season opener) and the senior forward Brecklee Charlton, who scored 20 goals last year and had two assists with a goal on Tuesday.
Additionally, Morgan fires both his goalkeepers and most of his defenders – and the Trojans are still loaded with sophomores and juniors, so they look to be in good shape for the next two 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, could be one of the best players in the state after being called up to the United States Under-16 national team in May.
Although the Tigers have only four returning starters, three of them are on defense and the team allowed just 15 goals in 20 games last year. This good defense could help new midfielders and forwards settle in.
“We are young. They are great footballers. Few have tons of college experience. We need to mature, not as talented football players, but as a team,” the Ogden coach said , Ryan Robinson.
Ben Lomond went 8-9 overall and 6-4 in area last year. The Scots beat everyone in the area except Ogden and Morgan. No additional information on this year’s squad has been provided.
Layton Christian Academy is not fielding a women’s 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 plays in Region 2A North 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 area last year, good for third place. Injuries plagued 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 has some experience with eight starters or returning contributors.
“We have a lot of talented players in the second and first year classes, but our success will depend on the ability of our few upper class players to lead the young players and show them what it takes to be successful,” said said Evans.
Sophomore forward Abby Gough returns after a stellar season in which she scored 19 goals with 14 assists, but SJC has graduated three players who combined for 34 goals and 27 assists last season.
The Utah Military Academy went 0-12 last season in Nick Lopez’s first season as head coach. Lopez said the Thunderbirds are bringing back nearly a dozen starters and team contributors from last year and WBU could ostensibly improve this year.
“Last year we established a good base and incredible cohesion. Our weakness would be that we are a young program that hasn’t really put its feet under itself,” Lopez said.
Lopez said starting goaltender Kendall Prieto, one of three team captains along with seniors Eilish Rennie and Malaya Larsen, is back this year after a concussion kept her off the field during the major part of the 2021 season.
In 2A North last year, Rowland Hall won the regional title with a 10-0 record and Waterford finished second at 8-2. Waterford beat Rowland Hall in the 2A state title match and both teams are expected to be favorites again this time around.
Connect with journalist Patrick Carr via email at [email protected], Twitter @patrickcarr_ and Instagram @standardexaminersports.