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From the sidelines: Haley Johnson deserves to be the 5A MVP
Oct 30, 2013 | 1375 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Shain Gillet

Clipper Sports Editor 

Every year after the girls’ soccer season ends, a number of local newspapers put out their own list of who should be a Most Valuable Player for the season, the league, the playoffs, and just about every other category under the sun.

Most of the lists revealed by said newspapers stipulate that many of the chosen players were voted by the coaches of each of the classifications. The respective papers then throw in their own formula in order to tabulate who should be the MVP of each classification.

The MVPs are typically chosen by the team that takes home the state title, and that’s fair.

After all, it’s difficult to determine an MVP if a team loses.

This year, I’m imploring coaches to vote for Viewmont goal keeper Haley Johnson as 5A’s MVP.

I understand that this may sound like a biased opinion, and part of it is. But if people take a really good look into the kind of season she had at the net for Viewmont this season, I think I might be able to get some people’s extra attention.

A first look into her statistical season will show that she had 11 shutouts in 15 games, which was only bettered by Alta’s Julienne Gentry by half a game (that’s right, half a shutout somehow counts as a shutout). 

She also recorded those shutouts in one of the toughest girls’ soccer regions in the state, Region 1, in her first full year at the net.

Still not impressed? OK, let’s dive a little deeper.

Aside from Johnson facing the toughest region schedule this season, she also went up against two of the highest-scoring teams in the state this year РDavis and the aforementioned BrightonР a total of four times.

She allowed six goals, and four of them came in one game.

Against the Bengals, the second-highest scoring team in 5A this year, Johnson was a half away from pushing the title game into overtime. Against the Darts, the third-highest scoring team, she allowed one goal.

If that’s still not good enough, just look at what she did in the playoffs.

On the road against higher-seeded Hillcrest, Johnson was able to hold off the Huskies while her teammates picked up two goals to push the game into overtime, where it was eventually won by Viewmont.

In the semi-finals, I watched as she made one diving save after another against Lone Peak, preserving a shutout before Kaitlyn Palmer scored the goal that got the Vikings back in the title game for the fourth-straight year.

And if you missed her performance in the title game against Brighton, you missed one heck of a gutsy, gritty performance on her part.

Yes, the Vikings lost the title game, and yes, there might be someone out there that could be a little more deserving of an MVP vote here and there.

In my book, her performance throughout the season should be second to no one.

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