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Sports >  High school sports

Youth Sports Awards: Deer Park’s Livvy Moore caps historic career with girls soccer state title, player of the year honors

UPDATED: Mon., June 20, 2022

Deer Park striker Livvy Moore scored her 100th career goal in October, midway through the Stags’ historic campaign. She scored 13 more down the stretch as her senior season wrapped up eight games later with a State 1A girls soccer title.

The shared goal that eclipsed her personal 113 career goals was the state championship trophy that is now staged inside the trophy case of her high school in perpetuity.

“It was a surreal moment for sure,” Moore said. “It’s something since my freshman year we’ve always talked about with my freshman crew.”

Moore, a senior at Deer Park High School who scored 46 goals with 33 assists and earned State 1A co-player of the year honors, is The Spokesman-Review 2022 Small School Girls Athlete of the Year.

“It’s really awesome, I’m super grateful,” Moore said. “I know there are a lot of athletes, especially in Spokane who work hard. It really is an honor that I got this opportunity.”

As a freshman, Moore played with her two older sisters as the Stags took fourth place at the state tournament. Deer Park lost in the first round in 2019 and the 2020 season was wiped out due to the pandemic.

Before this past season, Moore leveraged her voice and decided to make it clear to her team what the 2021 season would hold for the squad.

“ ‘No, this is what’s going to happen and nobody’s going to stop us,’ ” she said before the season.

That conviction helped guide Deer Park to the 2021 title under coach Sean O’Neal, who is in his 20th season.

The Stags were ruthless in a 20-1 season, outscoring opponents 156-11.

“She’s just a great kid,” O’Neal said. “Always, always positive. Her team leadership and her voice, because she was more than just a captain, I mean, she just knows the game well. She sees the game well, she’s able to get the most out of every player on the field, even if she is struggling, which didn’t happen often.”

Part of the reason for her consistency was the way she worked on her skills. Heading out of her sophomore season, Deer Park was in need of a striker and when Moore was handed the news, she began to show up at 5:30 or 6 a.m. and just put shots on goal.

“Any goal that I ever gave her, she would just eat it up,” O’Neal said. “But just on the field, the stuff that she could do with the ball, draw so many defenders, and then have the field vision. Just a real special player that can’t be replaced.”

Moore also has played for the Spokane Sounders under head coach Kevin Moon for the last six years. She plays more of a midfield role for Spokane, rather than the lone striker spot she fills for Deer Park.

The Stags allowed her to press higher up, using her motor to wreak havoc on opposing defenses. For the Sounders, she operates in tighter spaces, pushing the ball from defense to offense and helping defend as well.

The different positions gave her a new perspective on the soccer field, and, she said, the challenge was enjoyable.

One of the other unique experiences she has added to her background is playing futsal underneath the Maple Street Bridge in Peaceful Valley. Futsal is usually played on a smaller court with around five players per team and forces athletes to work on their tight-spaces game.

It is faster-paced and players usually put under more pressure on the ball than in normal soccer.

Moore said when she started playing down there, the other players knew of her.

“They’re like, ‘Oh, we know who you are,’ ” she said. “Coming from a smaller town, I didn’t feel like I would be very well-known, but that’s kind of eye-opening that my outreach from my club is bigger than what I thought it was.”

Moore’s reach will soon naturally expand as she is committed to playing for the University of Oregon in 2022.

Going from 1A in Washington high schools to the Pac-12 is a massive jump to make.

“You would think of that to be something kids graduating from (Gonzaga) Prep or Mead and even then it would still be pretty eye opening if Oregon is the end result,” O’Neal said. “It is gigantic.”

The pandemic altered the normal recruitment process causing Oregon to watch a lot of film to get a feel for Moore’s game, rather than see her in person.

Moore is ready to clear the major jump by putting her head down and grinding, she said.

“I know that this is not going to be an easy transition. I think just keeping a positive mindset and being ready to put in the work because I know it’s not going to be easy.”

Moore leaves for Eugene on June 25, meeting up with the other incoming recruits to take summer classes to better adapt to campus life before the fall.

They are allowed to train with their strength and conditioning coaches, but they cannot practice with the team until August 3 when preseason starts.

“I’m nervous, but I’m also so excited,” Moore said. “I think they go hand in hand and this is something I’ve worked so hard for. It’s something I’ve always dreamed of doing. It’s mind-blowing to me that this is my reality.”

Both O’Neal and Moon expect Moore to seamlessly transition from their programs to being a Duck.

“In terms of her potential, it’s unlimited,” Moon said. “She’s got the next level engine. She’s not going to have an issue keeping up with the pace of the game. Now, she has to beat up players who are already there in order to get on the field her freshman year – but the Pac-12 is no joke, that’s a very high level – if there’s anyone who’s able to do that, it would be Livvy.”

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