Ali Forsberg, Viewmont
A wildly successful season and a trip to the finals was nothing new for senior Ali Forsberg.
Forsberg made her mark yet again this year, turning heads with her amazing scoring ability and knack for feeding her teammates the ball.
The speedy Viewmont forward has been among the 5A elite for the last two years and finished her high school career with an extraordinary season. She scored 28 goals, had several assists, and led her team to Rio Tinto for the second year in a row.
"It was really awesome to go back there (Rio Tinto) again," she said. "We wish the game would have gone the other way, but I'm proud of the girls and how we played."
Forsberg was second in the state for goals scored. She scored six in one game during the regular season, and it's likely she would have scored several more over the course of the year had the mercy rule not taken effect in so many of the Vikings' games.
"She's a goal-scorer," coach Eric Landon said. "She identifies situations and is able to make things happen. She has always been really fast with the ball."
Landon saw Forsberg's potential as a freshman and was starting her by the end of that first year. Her competitive nature and desire to score set her apart.
"I am a really competitive person," Forsberg said. "I really love to score."
On top of her scoring power, she's an all-around team player capable of taking on different roles.
"She knew she wasn't going to do it all by herself," Landon said. "She was able to play the ball to other players and help everyone else be successful. She puts her teammates before herself."
The Vikings breezed through Region 2 unscathed and finished with an overall record of 18-2. Their only defeat, other than the championship final, came in the early preseason and they went undefeated for 17 straight games after that loss.
Despite falling victim to Alta at Rio Tinto last month, the Vikings beat the Hawks when they met in the preseason and Forsberg scored two goals in the victory. The championship rematch was well-matched, despite the loss.
"We knew we were good enough (to get to the championship)," Forsberg said. "I had mixed feelings at the end of the game, but we did all we could do."
Forsberg will make a name for herself on the college level next fall, as she has committed to play for the University of Utah on an athletic scholarship.
Jamie Harward, Timpanogos
The Timpanogos Timberwolves picked up their second consecutive 4A state title with senior soccer star Jamie Harward acting as the glue in the midfield.
She ran the show for the Timberwolves on many levels and refused to stay off the field when three stress fractures threatened to end her high school career five weeks early.
Harward started the season with one fracture and was playing on three by the end of the season.
"I thought, 'It's my senior year.' Nothing is going to stop me from playing soccer," she said. "I figured if it's a fracture, it's a fracture and I'll get it checked out after. I wasn't going to sit out."
Lucky for the Timberwolves, the senior captain was able to finish out the season and led them to another state championship alongside fellow captain, Lexie Henrie.
Harward was one of two seniors and her role was crucial to the team's success.
"She kept the team organized on and off the field," coach Natalyn Lewis said. "She was our link from the defense to the offense and was really a target for us whether it was shooting or getting the ball to the goal-scoring position."
The versatile midfielder was able to control the pace of the game as she fed her teammates and put the ball into the net when the opportunity arose.
The Timberwolves lost two of their main scorers last year and Lewis looked to Harward to fill an important role.
"She was our point player for attacking out of the back," Lewis said.
"Probably every other goal came off an assist from her, if not more. She works incredibly hard."
Harward was well deserving of the satisfaction she felt when hoisting the championship trophy.
"It was the best way to end my senior year," she said. "We set the goals of taking region and state, and we did both. It's as far as we could have gone. We didn't miss out on anything because we went all the way."
Now that the season is over, the tenacious achiever can be found hobbling around Timpanogos in a boot, nursing her injuries in preparation for her freshman season at the University of Utah.
Harward accepted a scholarship to play soccer for the Utes and will begin her college career next fall.
"She set that goal for herself when she was pretty young and she reached it," Lewis said. "She's just a phenomenal young lady. She knows exactly who she is regardless of what's going on around her. She's someone you'd want your daughter to look up to."
Cassie Hanson, Ogden
Cassie Hanson played a big role this year for the Ogden High girl's soccer team. She stepped up and led the squad to an undefeated regular season (12-0) and a 3A state championship.
According to coach Jason Steiner, Hanson seemed to do everything right.
"Whether she was scoring goals or getting the assists, she was doing it right," Steiner said. "She was very dependable all year and played almost every minute of every game. We knew she was someone we could count on."
Hanson was voted speaking captain by her teammates and she credits that responsibility as a reason to why she came up big for the Tigers.
"I was honored and humbled," she said. "I knew I had to step it up, reach my potential, and be an example. It helped me to complete that role."
Hanson scored 20 goals and ranked sixth in 3A scoring. Not only did she have a gift for getting on the scoreboard, she snagged 16 assists and created scoring opportunities for her teammates.
"We really tried to focus on the team rather than on the individuals," Hanson said. "We didn't focus on getting individual rewards. I wouldn't have gotten a lot of those assists if I didn't focus on putting my team first."
The philosophy worked well for the Tigers as several girls contributed to the scoring throughout the season. According to coach Steiner, Hanson directed the high-scoring offense and did everything right as a leader.
"If someone did something wrong out there, she was there encouraging them," he said. "She made sure everyone was prepared and made sure everyone was working hard during practice."
Hanson stood at the helm of a powerful offense and finished off the season with an offensive player of the year award for Ogden.
Steiner couldn't have been happier with her performance and cited her as a key reason the team made it as far as they did.
The championship ending at Rio Tinto iced the cake for the senior.
"It was a big goal the whole season because we knew we had the potential," she said. It was such a surreal feeling. I felt tons of emotions because I was sad that high school was ending, but I am excited for the new doors to open."
Jeannie Woller, Waterford
Waterford goalkeeper Jeannie Woller had the tournament run of a lifetime as she held a strong defensive position in the goal and claimed a shutout in each and every playoff game en route to the 2A crown.
According to coach Tim Dolbin, the feat was anything but lucky. "That wasn't just chance," he said. "Having a great goalkeeper in the net made it possible."
Dolbin credited Woller with being the verbal anchor for the Raven defense.
"I'm a big talker off the field and I never really shut up," Woller joked.
"As a 'keeper, that's one of my strengths. I never stop talking on the field."
Woller liked getting a view of the whole field and helping her teammates out when she'd see an open run or pass. The skill served her well in the net as she directed the defense from the goal box.
"She's extremely outgoing and has a strong personality," he said. "She's not afraid to shout."
If the ball did get through the back line, Woller often had the ability to thwart the attack and come up with the big save.
She plays the position like she was born to do so, but Woller says it wasn't her first choice.Comment on this story
"I made my club team as a field player, which is funny because I was terrible," she said. "My coaches ended up giving me two options. They would either have to cut me or I would have to play 'keeper. I decided to play 'keeper and it was one of the best decisions I've made."
The decision has led to three state championships for the determined 'keeper and has ultimately given her the chance to play goalkeeper for Utah State University next fall.
"I'm going to have a lot of competition up at Utah State so I'll really have to work for it," she said. "If I work hard enough and win the spot, it will feel really great."