Like last season, the Region 7 girls soccer championship is likely to come down to a few key matches. And, like last season there are three heavyweights prepared to battle it out for the top spot.
Orem, last year's co-champion and 4A state champion, is younger this year. But, that hasn't been an issue so far. The Tigers are undefeated through their first seven games and haven't allowed a goal yet this season.
Where most of Orem's scoring revolved around a couple of players a season ago, the goals have been a lot more spread out this season, with Maggie Plothow, Kaci McNeil, and Tanisia Wilson all sharing the bulk of the load.
"If we spread it around, that makes everybody have to respect everybody on the field," said Tigers' coach Ed Louder. "I think we have six, seven, eight girls who can score."
Springville, the other co-champion from 2007, is aiming to have a breakout year at the state level, but has its hands full in region first. The Red Devils haven't had the strongest of preseason schedules, but they have scored a scary number of goals an average of more than six per game. Alexis Eaton already has 10 on the season.
"We're going to be a tough team," said Springville coach Ryan Swanson.
It will be a fascinating matchup when that high-flying Springville attack runs into Orem's air-tight back line.
At first glance, Mountain View looks like it could repeat the pattern it followed last year. The Bruins dropped off the radar early with some preseason losses, but were one of the hottest teams in the state by the time the playoffs rolled around.
An unforgiving early schedule has led to an unimpressive record, but Mountain View is already 2-1 in region play and can't be ignored by the other two favorites. Athletic goalkeeper Aja Domingo might be the best in the region, and Shaylayne Janis is a handful in the midfield.
The Bruins won't have the luxury of sneaking up on anyone this year, but will almost certainly have a say in the final standings.
Provo looks like the other likely playoff team in the region. Forward Amber Wadsworth will draw most of the attention from opponents, but the Bulldogs' level of success will likely be determined by how well their back line develops.
Timpview's methodical possession game fits its turf field well, and will force teams to play very smart and efficient.
Tooele and Payson are still building.
Predicted Order of Finish