Mountain Vista girls claim soccer championship

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Mountain Vista has been the state’s top-ranked Class 5A girls soccer team all season and for good reason.

Coach Theresa Echtermeyer has a team dripping with talent from college-bound seniors to elite underclassmen.

Anything less than a state championship would have been a disappointment.

Megan Massey made sure the Golden Eagles didn’t leave Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on May 22 disappointed as she scored a goal with 4:13 gone in overtime to give Mountain Vista a 1-0 victory over Continental League rival Rock Canyon in the Class 5A state championship game.

“It was a hard season,” said Echtermeyer. “I think everybody just thought we were a shoo-in. It was not as easy as people thought. Tonight was really a battle.”

It was a clash of the arguably the two best teams in the state and a match that almost everybody had anticipated for the state championship.

Rock Canyon finished the season 16-2-1 and both its losses were dealt by Mountain Vista, which wound up 20-1 with its lone loss coming to Pine Creek in a game which many of the Golden Eagles regulars didn’t play.

The championship game was stopped early for 59 minutes for a lightning delay and the teams played on even terms with Rock Canyon goalie Julia Henning and Mountain Vista keeper Torell Stewart making key saves to keep the game deadlocked.

Mountain Vista put pressure on the Jaguars' goal near the end of regulation and the Golden Eagles’ Mallory Pugh had two good goal chances in the final 2:50 of regulation but could not connect.

“To hold that team scoreless for 80 minutes is pretty darn good,” said Rock Canyon coach Mat Henbest. “We were holding on by the skin of our teeth at the end. You keep giving them opportunities and they are going to get one home.”

Massey, a sophomore, scored her team-leading 16th goal and couldn’t describe the shot.

“I have no idea,” she said. “I had to double check to make sure it went in. I love being part of the Mountain Vista tradition. It would have been extremely disappointing not to win this game especially with such a talent team like this.”

Mountain Vista captured its third state title in the past nine seasons.