Kearns girls soccer team ready to defend Region 2 titleAug 25, 2021 12:17PM ● By Greg James
Senior Myriam Zamora scored five goals last season and is expected to fortify the middle of the field this season for the Cougars. (Photo courtesy of Kearns historian.)
By Greg James | [email protected]
Kearns High School’s girls soccer team is ready to defend its Region 2 title.
“These girls are fighters,” Cougars’ head girls soccer coach Jennasee Robison said. “They have all been through a lot. They are not seen for what they are. People think that this is just Kearns, but they have fought through that. They have proved people wrong. They say, ‘You are right, we are Kearns, but we are just like the rest of you.’ We are strong and we work hard. Summer workouts went really well. We lost some key girls to graduation, and in our one game, so far the girls are trying to find that flow again.”
The soccer season opened with a tough loss to Clearfield 5-0. Despite the first-game loss, the team is returning from a successful season last year.
Kearns captured its first region soccer title in 20 years last year. Key wins over its crosstown rival Hunter helped secure the championship.
“We are trying to find some girls to slide into those leadership positions,” Robison said. “It has been really nice to see the girls bond together. We just have not had the time—tryouts, two practices and then a game.”
Senior forwards/midfielders Mia Dallof, Elizabeth Napoles and Myriam Zamora are expected to be a big part of the team this season.
“These are girls we expect to control the center for us,” Robison said. “They know how to find the connection pieces and see the whole field. That is their job, to make sure they communicate with the defense and forwards and hold the structure of the team on the field.”
Napoles scored seven goals last season, as did fellow senior Stephanie Chavez; Zamora netted five.
“We need to clean up some of the mental aspects of the game,” Robison said. “We don’t want to tear ourselves down.”
The Cougars have implemented a new formation for the season.
Junior Jazmine Espinosa spent most of last season in goal. She compiled four shutouts, and Robison expects her to maintain that intensity.
“She is a really good goalkeeper,” she said. “Lots of high school girls elect to play keeper. At the end of last season, she took a list of things to her goalie coach and club team, things to work on. She worked hard and made a few changes in the offseason.”
Utah State High School Activities Association officials made changes to its regions that take effect this season. Region 2 is similar to last year with the exception of the addition of Roy High School.
“Our region is still a tough place to play,” Robison said. “Some teams that were strong are not as strong, but teams that were weak are a little stronger. The addition of Roy to the region is not much different than in the past. We just need to get it out of our heads. We are just as good as they are. We need to see how it is out on the field. We cannot fall into ourselves when we make a mistake. We need to reset and go back out and fight hard again.”
Even with the changes to its region. Kearns will still play rivals such as Hunter, Taylorsville and Granger.
“We love the local teams,” Robison said. “I think that is what is fun about the region we are in. We have close teams. The kids know each other, and we have played so many times.”