Perry High School splits 6A soccer state championships

In his fifth season as Perry boys soccer coach, Jason Berg earned his first state championship and celebrated the victory with family. (Photo by Haley Smilow/Cronkite News)

The Perry boys soccer team, a five-seed in the 6A state championship tournament, finished as the last program standing after earning an upset against No. 2 San Luis. (Photo by Haley Smilow/Cronkite News)

Perry junior goalkeeper Carson Pridie recorded a shutout in the biggest game of his soccer career at the 6A state championships. “It was unreal,” he said after the win. (Photo by Haley Smilow/Cronkite News)

The Xavier Prep girls soccer team won its third consecutive state championship title Saturday with a 4-1 win against Perry High School. (Photo by Haley Smilow/Cronkite News)

​​MESA – ​​MESA – At the 6A state championship for boys and girls soccer, Perry High School had representatives for both fighting for trophies.

On the boys side, the No. 5 Perry Pumas pulled off a shocker with an upset of No. 2 San Luis High School, 2-0, after the Pumas girls team lost 4-1 earlier in the day to undefeated No. 1 Xavier Prep High School.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Caden Dosmann, a junior striker for Perry. “It’s always been so unlikely, but we did that.”

Perry’s girls soccer team finished 17-4 and 3-1 in the 6A premier division. The program’s only division loss in the regular season came against the Gators en route to earning a No. 3 seed in the state championships.

In the first round of the tournament, Perry knocked off Gila Ridge High School with a huge 8-0 victory. The Pumas cruised to wins in the next two games against Pinnacle (4-0) and Highland (2-1), before setting up a rematch against Xavier in the finals.

Saturday’s game at Dobson High School got off to a quick start when Xavier Prep senior co-captain Larkin Thomason scored in the fifth minute from close range, but Perry turned the tides. Sophomore Ashlyn DeLemos found the back of the net in the 33rd minute off a header for a game-tying score.

Related story

The Gators came out strong in the second half, backing up their No. 1 ranking and spotless record. Forward Eva Allen paced the team with two goals, including a screamer from 20 yards out, in a 4-1 final.

“It’s the best feeling in the world,” Thomason said about winning the state championships. “This team means the world to both me and Bella (Leonard) and we just love everything about this atmosphere.”

Xavier Prep senior co-captain Bella Leonard added that the win showed that consistency, perseverance and grit can lead to a title.

“It’s a statement to everyone on our team and how hard every single person has worked,” Leonard said.

Perry’s boys soccer team wasted little time in its title win, scoring an opening goal just a couple minutes into the game when senior forward Hudson Deutsch toe-poked the ball into the goal – his 11th of the season. San Luis wasn’t as fortunate against the Pumas defense on 27 shots.

Coming out of halftime, Perry found another quick goal from junior forward Tyler Haren off a throw-in from sophomore Aidan Yen to seal the deal.

Perry coach Jason Berg called the win felt euphoric, and junior goalkeeper Carson Pridie agreed after his shutout performance.

“It was unreal,” he said. “It’s amazing.”

Haley Smilow HAIL-ee SMI-low (she/her/hers)
Sports Broadcast Reporter, Phoenix

Haley Smilow expects to graduate in May 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism. Smilow, who is currently covering sports in Phoenix, is also interning with the Diamondbacks and has previously interned at the Phoenix Magazine, AZTV and Phoenix Rising.