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Sandy Journal

New stars emerging for Alta girls soccer

Sep 11, 2023 12:24PM ● By Josh McFadden

Few girls soccer teams in Utah can match the pedigree of the Alta Hawks.

Since the school opened its doors in 1978, the girls soccer program has won eight state titles, all of which came during a 13-season span between 1999 and 2011. The Hawks captured four consecutive state crowns between 2006 and 2009. So it’s not surprising to learn that the standard is high for the Hawks. 

The past several years have also seen many changes in the region makeup and the opponents Alta has played. This season is no different. The Hawks are now in Region 6 after having been in Region 8 the past few seasons. Previously, Alta played region games against Orem, Jordan, Mountain View, Timpview, Lehi and Timpanogos. Region 6 foes are Skyline, Brighton, East, Olympus, West and Highland. 

“We can compete with every team in our new region, but it is a new region, so every game is brand new,” head coach Kenzie Hyer said. “That makes it extra exciting.”

Through the first seven games, Alta had a 3-4 record, including a 1-2 start in region play. The Hawks had 17 goals and allowed 14 during that span. Hyer is looking for the offense to be more consistent and productive. 

“We need to score more goals,” she said. “Seems simple but it’s true. We are working the ball well throughout the whole field, great team defense, and taking shots. Now we need to increase our finishes.”

It’s not a shock that the Hawks have had some struggles this season. Alta had to say goodbye to some talented players from last season’s squad. This team is young and inexperienced. 

“We lost so much talent and starters from last year’s team,” Hyer said. “Most players are new to varsity and really getting the opportunity to step up and make a huge, positive impact.”

Despite the youth of this team, there are some great senior leaders headlining the team. Hyer praised senior defender Annie Heaton, senior defender Alaina Ogden and senior midfielder Emily Dachenhausen for their efforts on and off the field. Lizzie Cowdell, a junior midfielder is another player that Hyer pointed out. 

Heaton was second on the team in goals through seven games with four. Dachenhausen was the leader in assists at that point with five. Natalie Abba was the top scorer through seven contests with seven goals. Goalkeeper Biz Vietti had a 7-0 shutout of Highland on Aug. 14. 

Hyer has enjoyed this group, especially with how well they have gotten along and how coachable they have been. 

“This group of players are working on unity and team so much and so well,” she said. “It is fun to be around them every day. This team is such an amazing group of girls. They are a joy to be around and are consistently working hard to continue the legacy of Alta soccer.”

Alta finishes the regular season Sept. 28 against West. The 5A state tournament follows. Last season, Alta went 12-6 overall and lost to Timpanogos 3-2 in the second round of the playoffs. λ