Hard work pays off for Murray girls soccer, reaches state semisOct 26, 2020 03:49PM ● By Ryanne Riet
Junior forward Kyah Karr winds up to cross the ball to a teammate. (Justin Adams/City Journals)
By Ryanne Riet | [email protected]
Murray High’s girls soccer team has had quite the year despite this being a season unlike any other.
This year, the girls have accomplished 12 wins out of 15 games. The three loses came during games that resulted in either overtime or a shootout.
“It has been a positive and negative experience this season,” said head coach Brady Smith. “The negative side is we have changed all of our processes to follow and adhere to recommendations from the state and local governments.”
Processes that have been put in place are wearing masks at all times, except when out on the field playing, using hand sanitizer frequently, taking temperatures at each event, and practicing social distancing at all times.
“The positive in all this is I don’t know of a year that soccer has meant more for my players,” said Smith. “They enjoy the team aspect greatly and we have been fortunate to participate this season.”
The pandemic has hit sports programs hard this year, players are feeling the pressure of the troubles and unrest that is so heavy everywhere in the world right now.
They continue to strive for greatness and give their program everything that they have.
Hard work and a winning team spirit have paid off for Murray girls soccer this year since they have made their way to the state tournament.
In round one of the state tournament, Murray faced Cottonwood High’s lady Colts, winning the game 8-1.
“I think we want all the girls that participate in our program to grow as players and develop into incredible young adults,” Smith said. “The theme of this season has really been to appreciate every opportunity we have to play this incredible game.”
In round two of the state tournament, Murray took on Maple Mountain, winning the game 4-1.
The quarterfinals saw the Spartans defeat No. 1 seed Viewmont in double overtime 1-0.
Along with all the craziness this year, Murray girls soccer team has produced not only wins on the field, but, wins in personal growth as well.
The team this year is home to Sammie Sofonia, a junior that is leading 5A with 39 goals.
“We are excited that we have made a run in state,” Smith said before their quarterfinal game. “They are an extremely talented group that have created great connectivity on and off the field this season.”
Murray took on Olympus in the semifinals at Rio Tinto Stadium. 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.
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.