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3A girls' soccer: Juan Diego finally tames Snow Canyon
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Draper • Emily Pascua could hear all the talking that Snow Canyon's goalie was doing in an attempt to psych her out before her penalty kick.

Pascua wasn't having any of it. She instead focused on the ball and sent a kick into the lower left corner, giving Juan Diego a 1-0 lead. The Soaring Eagle went on to defeat the Warriors 2-0 in a Class 3A girls' soccer state quarterfinal Saturday.

"I heard her, but I was just totally focused in my head," said Pascua, who was fouled inside the penalty box. "I was trying to focus on where I was and kept telling myself to look at the ball. I had total confidence I was going to make it."

Sierra DeHart added a goal following a corner kick in the second half for Juan Diego, which advanced to the state semifinals Friday at Jordan. The Soaring Eagle avenged a quarterfinal loss to Snow Canyon last year and another defeat in August.

While the two-goal lead came in handy, Juan Diego (11-4-3) coach Simon McFall and his players were anything but relaxed.

"Two goals is the most dangerous score in soccer," McFall said. "You never know how it's going to play out. They're still scratching away. It was a character win for us. It shows that character matters, and we demonstrated that today.

"We had a freshman [DeHart] and a sophomore [Pascua] score. It was a good moment for them to step up and seize the opportunity."

The game was scoreless until Pascua's penalty kick in the 32nd minute. Snow Canyon (8-7-2) missed a chance to tie just three minutes into the second half when Jennifer Stewart took the ball down the right side and shot back to the left. Juan Diego keeper Melanie Mecham dived to deflect away the ball and preserve the lead.

"I could tell she wasn't going to go near post," Mecham said. "I dove and it was right in my hands. We wanted to get them early and use our speed against their backs. We played them twice already and lost, so we wanted to come back and win."

Mecham, who didn't play goalie until her sophomore year, showcased her athleticism. The senior, who also plays basketball for the Soaring Eagle, is the school's all-time leader in shutouts with 23.5.

"It helps a lot," Mecham said about her athleticism. "When there's a really hard shot, I have the ability to move quickly. I've caught on a lot the last three years."

Juan Diego made it 2-0 in the 68th minute when Holli Chapton's corner kick found DeHart, who booted it into the net while falling to the ground. —

State tournaments

Class 5A

Tuesday's state semifinals

at Juan Diego High

3:45 p.m. • Brighton vs. Fremont

6 p.m. • Viewmont vs. Lone Peak

Class 4A

Tuesday's state semifinals

at Juan Diego High

11 a.m. • Mountain View vs. Timpanogos

1:15 p.m. • Skyline vs. East

Class 3A

Friday's state semifinals

at Jordan High

3:45 p.m. • Dixie vs. Park City

6 p.m. • Cedar City vs. Juan Diego

Class 2A

Friday's state semifinals

at Jordan High

11 a.m. • Waterford vs. Delta

1:15 p.m. • Millard vs. Summit Academy —

Storylines Juan Diego 2, Snow Canyon 0

R Melanie Mecham adds to her school record with the shutout.

• The Soaring Eagle's win avenges a loss earlier this season as well as a setback in last year's postseason to the Warriors.

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