Prep girls’ soccer: Davis’ Ireland Dunn wins All-Tribune MVP

First Published      Last Updated Aug 19 2015 09:19 pm

MVP » Davis forward has one more year left to further her legacy after leading Darts to a state championship.

Kaysville • As the seconds ticked off the clock in the second overtime of Davis' Class 5A state tournament semifinal game against Brighton, Darts coach Souli Phongsavath was resigned to the game being decided in a shootout.

Then, with 12 seconds left, something amazing happened.

Junior forward Regyn Youngberg found midfielder Ireland Dunn with a pass. Dunn blasted it into the net and Davis earned a trip to the 5A finals, where the Darts would defeat Lone Peak to secure the state championship.

That was just one of many plays over the course of the season that helped earn Dunn The Salt Lake Tribune's girls' soccer Most Valuable Player award.

"She is always dangerous when she is on the ball," Phongsavath said about his junior star. "She is always a threat to score or to set somebody up. Teams had to game-plan for her at all times and be aware of where she was at on the field at all times."

Youngberg said Dunn is good in big games.

"She is good with the ball and she can make space for herself," said Youngberg. "She gets good opportunities in front of the goal."

"She is a good leader," added sophomore midfielder Mikayla Colohan said. "She always can step up and make a difference in the games. She might not have always had a game-winning goal in the last second, but she can make a good pass. The way she plays, she makes opportunities for us."

Dunn, who was diagnosed with diabetes as a 10-year-old, scored 18 goals and had 16 assists this season in leading Davis to a state title. She has committed to the University of Utah — one of eight Davis starters to commit to a Division I soccer program.

Asked about the goal against Brighton, the ebullient Dunn exuded enthusiasm.

"That was crazy," she said. "We were tied against Brighton with 12 seconds left. Regyn passed the ball outside of 18 feet. I turned and shot it. It was the best feeling of my entire life. Everyone was so happy to be going to Rio Tinto Stadium."

To say that Dunn is committed to soccer is an understatement. She plays year-round, whether for her competition club team that plays out of state, the Darts or, now, as Utah's only representative on the U.S. National Team for girls under the age of 18.

"There is never a break all year," she said. "I don't need one. If I had a break, I wouldn't know what to do."

Teammates and her coach describe Dunn in different ways.

"She doesn't lead vocally," said Phongsavath. "She was a junior, and we had a senior captain. She is a great leader by example. In big games, the other girls were nervous and had doubts. Ireland never felt like that. In the biggest games we had, Ireland came up with big-time plays."

Youngberg said her friend has a crazy side.

"She does crazy things," said Dunn's long-time friend. "She is always looking for a good time."

Colohan said Dunn is funny.

» Next page... Single page



Inside » More All-State

» See who joins Davis’ Ireland Dunn on the All-Tribune Team. › XX

» Check out the state’s prep girls soccer coaches’ All-State Volleyball picks for Class 5A, 4A, 3A and 2A. > XX