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Lucky 7: Castain's 4 goals help Waterford snap Rowland Hall's state-record 2A title streak

Waterford’s Seven Castain, center, and her teammates celebrate their final goal against Rowland Hall High during the end of the second half of the 2A girls soccer state championship game on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy . (Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News)


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Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

SANDY — History will have to wait.

After falling short of a championship in each of the past four years, Waterford faced a daunting task — a giant of a program, the Ravens even admitted — to sending their seniors out with a title.

One senior in particular stood out.

Seven Castain scored four goals as the Ravens stunned four-time defending champion Rowland Hall, 4-3 Saturday afternoon in the Class 2A state championship at Rio Tinto Stadium.

The top-seeded Winged Lions (13-4) were aiming for their fifth consecutive state title — a mark that would've broken a tie atop the Utah High School Activities Association record book for the longest title streak in state history.

Castain brought it down with her fourth goal of the match in the 75th minute.

"We've been working on that play with all my teammates for a while," said Castain, who scored her seventh goal against Rowland Hall in her senior season. "I knew at some point we were gonna get that goal, whether it was from me or from one of my teammates. They're all amazing."

It would've taken a special team or player to end that streak.

Fortunately for the Ravens (15-2), they had that player in Castain — the only child whose parents named her after the Biblical meaning of "perfection" and "completeness" — who struck a shot from the left side of the penalty box in the 75th minute to give Waterford its first state title since 2016.

"The last time we were here, their class was freshman — and we lost. To come back their senior year to Rio Tinto, after we had a chip on our shoulder from that game, it's picture perfect," Waterford coach Kimiko Miyashima said. "We couldn't ask for anything more."

Waterford and Rowland Hall High School compete in the 2A girls soccer state championship game on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy .
Waterford and Rowland Hall High School compete in the 2A girls soccer state championship game on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy . (Photo: Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News)

Waterford and Rowland Hall have combined for each of the past six state titles in 2A, and nine of the last 11. Many of those have come against each other, too.

"It's definitely a rivalry game. You can hear our fans; they go at it, too," said Castain, who has committed to TCU. "It's a fun game, and it's expected that everybody's going to be scoring at one point. It's always going to be a tight game.

"It's the most amazing feeling in the world, and especially to win in my senior year with my best friends."

Castain tallied the only goal of the first half on a fifth-minute tap-in to lift the Ravens to a 1-0 edge at the break.

The state's leading goal scorer doubled the advantage in the 44th minute, just the third time since Sept. 9 that the Winged Lions have allowed multiple goals in a match. The goal also gave Castain the UHSAA record for most goals in a season, a mark that stretched to 71.

Judge Memorial's Toni Ouellette held the previous record of 68 goals scored in the 1989 season.

But the four-time defending champs wouldn't go away, either.

Mary Bocock rushed the goalkeeper to pull one back for Rowland Hall in the 46th minute, and Camryn Kennedy equalized with a 40-yard blast just before the hour mark.

"They're a great team," said Castain, whose team lost twice during the regular season — to Rowland Hall. "It's always a tight game, and I'm grateful for an amazing game.

"That was probably one of the best games I've ever played against an amazing team."

Still, Castain wasn't done.

The lucky striker stepped up to the penalty spot after the referee signaled for a foul in the box in the 62nd minute, then slid a shot that caromed off the arm of the outstretched goalkeeper, then the right post, and finally the back of the net to give Waterford a 3-2 advantage.

Even that wasn't enough, though.

Paige Connery whipped a left-footed shot from distance on frame to equalize in the 66th minute, and the teams played into the final 10 minutes when the title was decided.

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