Eagles soccer enjoying historic year entering the playoffsOct 04, 2021 01:44PM ● By Daniel Olsen
By Daniel Olsen | [email protected]
After an undefeated season so far, the Skyline High School girls soccer team is soaring high. The Eagles are looking to win every game as their team has never gone undefeated in a season before.
“I knew it would be a good year but didn’t know how good it would be with players transferring schools,” head coach Yamil Castillo said. “One good player was trying out for our team in her senior year. I heard good things, but didn’t know how good she’d be. We scheduled a tough preseason and won all four of our games.”
That player is none other than Lily Boyden. She decided to play her senior year after playing on her La Roca club soccer team her first three years of high school.
“It’s my senior year and I wanted the experience of playing on a high school team,” Boyden said. “I have a sister who is a sophomore on the team. Everyone encouraged me to join the team.”
Boyden has accepted an offer to play for the Cougars. For the local BYU fans, that’s not their Cougars in Provo. She is going to be playing for the Washington State Cougars in the PAC-12 Conference.
“One of the biggest things that has helped our team is having a positive mindset,” Boyden said. “We believe that we can do it. We keep in mind that we have been having a good season. We try to not be cocky. We play how we are playing and do not underestimate teams.”
At 28 goals scored, Boyden is second on the 5A scoring charts and fourth in the state. She has made all the difference in Skyline being one of the frontrunners for state with the undefeated Eagles clinching a region title.
When it comes to their main rivalry, Skyline was especially dominant. They won both regular season matchups over the Olympus Titans by a combined score of 7-0.
“Everyone brings their best to play us because of our winning reputation,” Castillo said. “Before going to play Olympus, we talked to the team and said they are going to beat themselves unless they start trusting each other. The girls came with the cheer “Together” and they wear shirts with that word to remind them that they need to play as a team. Our team has been so much better since.”
Barring a major upset, Skyline should be the top ranked team in 5A heading into the playoffs. That doesn’t mean the second biggest classification in the UHSAA is without talent though. There are several teams gunning for that top spot.
“We beat a good Bonneville team and they finished second in the last two years,” Castillo said. “Last year Olympus beat them. Two years ago we beat them. Timpanogos can also be pretty strong. We have to mentally prepare ourselves to be ready to face anybody. Anyone can beat anyone when it comes to the playoffs.”
The Eagles’ biggest strength is their depth. They are a versatile team that has been able to handle substitutions well when needed. This helped them defeat each team by two or more goals with the exception of an early matchup with East High that ended in penalty kicks and the final game of the season, a 1-0 win over Brighton.
Another star player, fellow team captain Ali Swensen, is the second leading scorer on the team with 12.
So far, Boyden has scored 28 of her team’s 61 goals. Her sister, Annie Boyden, also scored a goal as an underclassmen. The two sisters have combined for 11 assists.
“I have a deep and talented team,” Castillo said. “When my girls are getting too confident I let them know. If they aren’t a team player then they can be replaced at any time. It’s nice to be able to put someone in if one player is having an off day.”
Under Castillo, Skyline were 5A state champions in 2019. Before that, their last title was in 2015 over Timpanogos when they were in 4A. Castillo was leading the team back then too. The team is the only remaining undefeated girls soccer team in Utah among all classifications.
“Coach Yamil is a great coach,” Boyden said. “He is super nice and welcoming. He knows what he’s doing and has gotten us to this point. The reason we are so good is because of him. He makes sure we are all friends with each other.”
Castillo is confident that his team can accomplish the goals they have set for this season.
“Our first goal was to win the region championship which we did,” Castillo said. “We want to go to Rio Tinto to play in the finals. Hopefully by the time people read this, we are making a deep run into the playoffs if everyone gets ready. The Skyline soccer team has never had an undefeated season. It’s hard to do.”