Olympus captures region girls soccer crown, advances to state championship victoryOct 28, 2020 03:43PM ● By Josh Mc Fadden
Mary Anderson attempts to maneuver around a Murray defender in the state semifinals. (Justin Adams/City Journals)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
A year after missing out on a region title, the Olympus girls soccer team dominated during the regular season this time around. The Titans also made it farther in the state tournament.
Olympus racked up 13 wins in its 14 Region 6 games, losing only to Brighton 1-0 on Sept. 10. The Titans were strong on both offense and defense during the regular season, racking up a 14-2 record in the process. Olympus shut out seven opponents and held seven others to a single goal. Meanwhile, behind the play of Emma Neff and Lily Webster—who both had 17 goals as of our press time—along with Sofia Ward and Kelly Bullock (10 goals apiece), the Titans were difficult for foes to stop. Olympus had eight games it the regular season in which it had at least four goals.
Olympus’ 13-1 league mark was two games ahead of second-place Skyline, which it defeated 2-1 on Aug. 20 and 3-0 in a Sept. 17 road contest. The Titans also got revenge against Brighton for its lone region loss. When the two teams got together a third time, the stakes were much higher.
The Titans knocked off Brighton 1-0 in the Class 5A state quarterfinals on Oct. 15 to advance to the semifinals on Oct. 21.
In the quarterfinals victory, Olympus only needed a first-half goal from Bullock to secure the win. The defense was solid all game long, as junior goalkeeper Callie Droitsh got shutout No. 8.5 on the year.
Olympus’ march to the semifinals began with a first-round blowout over Payson, 8-0. The Titans entered the state tournament with the No. 4 seed (by virtue of their RPI ranking), meaning they just missed out on a first-round bye and but would get home games for the first two rounds. Olympus made short work of Payson on Oct. 8, amassing seven goals in the first half alone. The Titans added one more in the second half for good measure in their second-largest margin of victory of the season (shared with two other games: an 8-0 win over Highland on Sept. 15 and a 9-1 victory over Highland on Aug. 18). Ward scored three times in the win, and Bullock and Neff added two more. Brynn Fisher contributed a goal as well.
On Oct. 13, a second-round matchup with East proved to be much more challenging. Olympus prevailed 1-0, and the close game shouldn’t have been surprising. Though East was 6-7 in Region 6 and finished in fifth place, it played Olympus tough during the regular season. Olympus got by with a 2-1 win at East on Sept. 29. In the postseason tilt, Ward scored in the first half, and the defense once against kept the opposition’s offense at bay.
The two foes were familiar with one another, with the Titans scoring a pair of tight wins over the Spartans in the regular season. The region rivals went to shootout on Sept. 3, with Olympus outkicking the Spartans 3-1 in the penalty kicks. On Oct. 1, the Titans edged Murray 4-3 in the regular season finale.
Incidentally, Murray ended Olympus’ season last year in a 2-1 win in the second round of the 5A tournament. This year’s 5A state title game is set for Oct. 23 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Editor’s note: The Olympus girls soccer team advanced to the state championship game defeating Murray High 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium on Oct. 20 and then defeated Bonneville 1-0 in the state championship match (after the City Journals print deadline).