Stansbury takes regional title into October tournament
As the calendar turns over to October, the three area-high schools are readying themselves for the upcoming state girls soccer tournament. Run by the Utah High School Activities Association, each team will get a chance to claim supremacy among other high schools across the state.
For the Stansbury Stallions girls soccer club, a dominant regular season earned them the regional championship in the 5A Region 7. After improving on last season’s 13-4 record, the Stallions capped off regular season play with a 15-2 record on the heels of a 13-game winning streak.
Head coach Spencer Call said the team’s record, especially the lengthy winning streak, will give his girls momentum heading into the tournament.
“The girls are playing hard for each other and they’re trying to get better each day,” Call said. “I’ve been really impressed with them.”
Although the season accolades aren’t as important to the team as winning the state title, Call is impressed by the accomplishments nonetheless. And while one of the team’s goals was to win the regional championship, the number one focus is on getting to the state finals at Rio Tinto Stadium.
“They are aware of it (the winning streak), but they don’t talk about the winning streak at all,” Call said. “The girls are just dialed in every day.”
In the midst of the team’s 13-game win streak, the Stallions never got complacent or let up on the gas, something Call attribute’s to the team’s cohesion and overall competitive drive.
“A lot of the seniors and juniors have been playing together since they’ve been five, six or seven years old,” he said. “So they know it’s the last time they’re together, so they’re really playing hard.”
According to Call, as teammates who have played together for so long, the girls have stayed competitive by working together, fighting for minutes and continuously pushing one another to do better.
“It’s amazing because you normally see jealousy (among teammates), but people are happy,” he said. “Everyone’s buying into the team concept and every day is a battle.”
With two forwards who are in the top five in assists and goals in the 5A state division, a strong midfield and tough competition within the goalie ranks, Call said the depth on all ends of the pitch has helped keep the team driven and playing at a higher level.
Looking ahead to the tournament, Call’s message to the team is simple and boils down to staying the course that has brought the team success all season.
“Just continue to fight and play for each other and work hard,” Call said of his expectations for the team. “The message is to get better as a team and improve day-by-day.”
Winning the region title earned Stansbury a bye ahead of their first game of the tournament. The team will play host to the as-of-yet undetermined opponent on Oct. 11 at Stallion Stadium.
Grantsville coach optimistic despite team’s mediocre record
Not every head coach can put a positive spin on a team that finished near the .500 mark and is about to lose 11 seniors, but Grantsville girls soccer coach Travis Lowry sang his team’s praises.
Finishing with a 6-8 overall record, with a 2-6 tally in the 3A Region 13, the Cowboys girls soccer team spent the season going through growing pains before improving as it wore down.
“We brought in a first year starter goalie and first year starter defenders, so it kind of started out rough and slow,” Lowry said. In our region, we have some pretty good teams and those (games) can go south quickly with new girls, but I think we got stronger as we went (along).”
With an emerging midfield and a developing offensive strike, Lowry sees a lot of potential in his team, even with the imminent departure of nearly a dozen seniors.
“We had an okay season this year and then we’re going to be rebuilding,” Lowry said.
Grantsville will find out by this weekend who they are scheduled to face in the upcoming state championship, and while the team will be a lower seed, Lowry looks at the opportunity as a chance at redemption.
“Now we have a second season,” Lowry said. “We’ve refocused and intensified ourselves in practice.”
The Cowboys’ first game in the tournament will take place Oct. 8, with the time and location to be determined.
Tooele girls soccer
The Tooele girls soccer team struggled during the 2022-23 season, finishing with a 2-14 overall record and did not qualify for the state tournament.
In the team’s 16 games, the Buffaloes scored 16 goals and surrendered 77, good for a goal-a-game average and a nearly five-goal-against average.
Members of the Buffaloes coaching staff were unable to be reached for comment.