For three years the story in Region 4 soccer has been the same: Lone Peak wins and everyone else battles for playoff spots.
The Knights have amassed a 29-1 record in region play since 2005, and have had at least a two-game cushion in the final standings every year. In 2008, the rest of the region is ready for a change especially perennial second place finisher Timpanogos. But, it will still take a big push to knock the 800-pound Lone Peak gorilla off the top of the hill.
If early results are an indication, this might be Timpanogos' best chance yet to upset the Knights. The T-Wolves have some impressive wins against quality opponents, and return a good nucleus of talent.
"Defensively we've got everybody back, so I expect us to be pretty solid," said Lone Peak coach Mike LaHargoue. "We've still got some things to do."
Lone Peak has not been as dominant early on as in previous years, but that is due more to inexperience than a lack of talent.
This much is certain, the annual grudge matches between the Knights and T-Wolves will be as interesting as ever this season. But, there could also be a third team in the mix in Lehi.
Timpanogos' big weapon is its offensive firepower. Angelica Dickson and Marissa Nimmer are both quick, deadly finishers. Goalkeeper Alexa Anderson has some experience under her belt and will be tough to beat this season.
Lehi performed admirably in its first year in 5A in 2007, and is hoping to make a push for a top spot this year.
The Pioneers have allowed only two goals in six games, Kyleigh Royall looks like one of the region's top scoring threats.
Will it be enough to unseat the defending champions?
That will probably depend in large part on how long it takes Lone Peak to develop and gel as a unit. Lora Katzenbach is the team's experienced leader along with goalkeeper Raven King. One thing the Knights are missing is an established go-to scorer. A 20-goal forward is not a necessity, but will force them to change the way they attack.
American Fork wants to be a playoff contender and has Nikki Ybarra and Kaycee Mansfield as a capable scoring tandem.
The region only gets three playoff spots this year, making life harder for the Cavemen, along with Pleasant Grove and Spanish Fork.
Both the Vikings and Dons hope to be improved this year, but are still long shots to move up in the standings.
Predicted Order of Finish