Photo by Mykah Heaton

The 2017 season did not start as planned for the UVU women’s soccer team, as it lost four of its first five games, three of them in heartbreaking overtime fashion. Still, this doesn’t seem to be stopping sophomore midfielder Breanna DeWaal.

Having played in all eight games of the season so far, DeWaal leads the WAC in shots with 40 and shots per game. She is also ranked fifth in the WAC for goals in the season with three thus far.

“I feel good [about leading the WAC in shots], and I hope I can put a few more away,” DeWaal said. “I’ll continue to try and get some opportunities this season.”

The Sandy native is one of four children. Her father Mathew DeWaal set a Guinness World Record for a round-the-world bicycle trip in 1984.

She earned first-team all-state honors while playing for Alta High School and helped her school reach a regional title in 2015. Afterward, DeWaal wanted to stay close to home, leading her to commit to attend UVU.

“I wanted to stay in-state, and I loved the coaching staff,” DeWaal said. “I loved the team. They were all super nice and it all just felt right.”

In 2016, DeWaal was one of 26 players invited to participate in the U-19 Women’s National Team camp in northern California.

As if that experience alone wasn’t enough, DeWaal was also one of only nine high school players in the nation invited to be part of the national team camp. After two more U-19 camp invites in 2016, DeWaal made the roster for the first-ever international matches in New Zealand. She helped her team go unbeaten (2-0-1), playing in two of the three matches.

With this experience under her belt, she made the transition to the colligate level. DeWaal made an immediate impact when she stepped onto the field, leading the WAC with 67 total shots, 23 shots on goal, four assists and four goals. This season, she’s on pace to break her shot and goal totals as she continues to progress in the Wolverines program.

“I would love to play in the NWSAL [after college],” DeWaal said. “If the opportunity arises, I know that I want to keep playing soccer, so we will see how far this takes me.”

Before that, UVU and new head coach Chris Lemay hope that DeWaal can help take the Wolverines to new heights in reclaiming the WAC title, which they last won in 2015.