Herriman • Hauroa Morgant’s first language is French. His favorite word in English, though, is “victory.”
“I always want to win,” the Juan Diego Catholic High School senior striker said earlier this week. “That’s my mentality. That’s how I think. That’s the thing that makes me be ... like that today.”
That “victory” mentality has shown up all season and translated into cementing his name in the state record books for boys’ soccer.
Rewind to last week. Morgant and the Soaring Eagle were in the middle of a 9-0 rout of Grantsville in the second round of the 3A state tournament. It was May 3, and Morgant was enjoying yet another prolific scoring game, the kind his team and its opponents have grown accustomed to seeing all season.
When Morgant scored his second goal of the game, he left the field to celebrate. He had 41 goals on the season — a number everyone believed was the state’s new record.
Only Morgant wasn’t so sure.
Before the game, he’d found an article saying the single-season UHSAA record was actually 43, set in 2014 by Mahonry “Titi” Chichia of American Leadership Academy.
Still, he had no way of knowing if that was accurate. Nobody could have found Chichia’s mark in the official record book: it wasn’t there until the UHSAA was alerted to the error this week. So Morgant played the game thinking the record stood at 40.
“I didn’t know that the record was 43,” Morgant said. “I just playing in the second half and I scored a hat trick.”
The big moment would come with less fanfare than his 41st goal. Junior Denzel Gonzalez had a breakaway, but crossed it in the air to the diving head of Morgant. Once the senior put that goal — his fifth of the game — in the back of the net, it suddenly meant more than every other goal. It was his 44th.
Morgant, originally from Tahiti, moved to the United States in 2021. He only played half of last season because he needed to return to Tahiti to tend to a family matter. So entering this year, he said he wanted to make a mark and prove to people that Tahitians are worthy of praise and attention.
“I felt like this year was mine,” Morgant said.
While Morgant’s prolific scoring propelled Juan Diego to a nearly perfect season, his team was forced to play without him Wednesday against Manti in the 3A semifinals. He received a second yellow card for excessive celebration against Grantsville, which led to an ejection and a suspension in the next game.
Morgant felt sad he couldn’t help his team, but it delivered without him in a 2-0 victory over Manti. Sophomore James Fitzpatrick and junior Daniel Gutierrez scored the goals for Juan Diego, with junior Jacob Alvarez assisting Fitzpatrick.
Gutierrez said everyone thinks Morgant is the whole team due to his high goal count, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Still, there was a sense the Roaring Eagles wanted to take care of business so their best player could have a chance to compete in the final.
“He wanted to play so bad today, but now we know he’s gonna bring it double next game,” Gutierrez said.
Boys’ soccer tournament
St. Joseph will faces Maeser Prep in the title game on Friday at 1 p.m. at America First Field.
The undefeated team from Ogden advanced by beating American Heritage 5-0 on Wednesday. Maeser Prep beat Waterford 8-1 in their semifinal matchup.
Juan Diego will play Morgan on Friday at 4 p.m. at American First Field in Sandy.
Morgan beat Ogden 1-1 (6-5) in a penalty shootout on Wednesday. It was the first time since 2008 that Morgan won a game over Odgen in boys’ soccer, regular season or playoffs.
Green Canyon will play Mountain Crest in the championship game at 7 p.m.
Green Canyon beat Dixie 2-0 on Thursday to advance to the championship round. Mountain Crest prevailed over Crimson Cliffs with a 3-1 victory.