Syracuse • There doesn’t appear to be a stage that is too big for Syracuse freshman Caroline Stringfellow.
She accounted for both of the Titans’ goals Thursday afternoon in their 2-1 victory over Pleasant Grove in their Class 6A girls’ soccer state quarterfinal.
Stringfellow entered Thursday’s action with 25 goals this season, third most in the state.
It didn’t take long for her to add to that number.
Stringfellow took a ball down the right wing and shot it past the Pleasant Grove goalkeeper for the first score in the opening minute of the match.
Ashlyn Hall was credited with the assist on the goal
“Our team possessed and passed the ball well,” Stringfellow said about the first goal. “And I was able to find a gap.”
“It was huge,” Syracuse coach Taylor Allen said about the early goal. “The nice part is got it the way we wanted. We created the situation.”
Syracuse had an opportunity to add to its lead in the following minutes, but the Titans couldn’t capitalize.
“We missed a few good opportunities,” Allen said. “We had three or four opportunities. We seem to score in bunches.”
Still, Stringfellow said the early goal set the tone for the match.
“It brought us all up,” she said. “And it brought the other team down.”
SYRACUSE 2, PLEASANT GROVE 1
• Freshman Caroline Stringfellow scores both goals to lead the Titans to the state semifinals.
• Sophomore Ashlyn Hall earns an assist on both Syracuse goals.
• Syracuse will face Bingham in the semifinals.
The Titans maintained momentum until the 25th minute when a yellow card was issued on Syracuse goalkeeper Gabby Sequra, which set up a penalty kick for the Vikings.
Pleasant Grove’s Bry Carson converted the kick past Syracuse senior goalkeeper Brooklyn Stringfellow, who had to come on in place of Sequra because of the yellow card.
And while the Vikings built momentum in the late stages of the half, it was the younger Stringfellow who swung it back in favor of the Titans.
Caroline Stringfellow added her second goal of the match with less than a minute to play in the opening half, this one coming from the left wing. Hall, who entered with 17 assists this season, added her second one in the match with a ball played down the left wing.
“I knew I had to get the second shot in because of the the penalty kick,” Caroline Stringfellow said.
And while both teams exchanged scoring opportunities in the final 40 minutes, neither team was able to find the back of the net.
The Titans advanced to Tuesday’s state semifinal match against Bingham at Juan Diego. The Miners defeated Davis 3-2 in another 6A quarterfinal.
“It feels really good,” Caroline Stringfellow said. “I really want to win the state championship.”
For a player who is new to playing on a big stage like a state tournament, Stringfellow is taking it all in stride.
“I’ve been having fun,” she said. “I’ve been able to have fun with my sister and all of my friends.”