Girls' soccer coach of the year: Viewmont's Emalee Tate
Emalee Tate didn't feel pressure when she accepted the coaching job at her alma mater.
But she did wonder if the Viewmont program was strong enough to replace all of the scoring, defense and leadership that helped the Vikings to runner-up finishes in 2010 and 2011.
New girls stepped forward, new stars were defined and the 2012 Viewmont soccer team finally kicked down the 5A championship door by defeating Alta 1-0 in double overtime.
"I give 100 percent of the credit to the senior leaders that filled in the gaps and led us when roles were still undefined early in the season," Tate said.
After the Vikings marched through their preseason with just one loss then went undefeated through the first half of their Region 2 schedule, Tate and her seniors decided to place more emphasis on daily goal-setting.
"Midfielders had goals, defenders had different goals, and our forwards had others," Tate said. "We just came up inch by inch with our goals rather than just riding out region play and waiting for our bigger goals."
The goal-setting trickled down to schoolwork, the team's preparation, and ultimately the team's performance.
Despite entering the playoffs with a 15-1 record, Viewmont still had one hurdle to overcome winning the big one.
The Vikings beat Weber 3-1 in their opener, held off Lone Peak in the quarters then dropped Davis in double-overtime to earn a third consecutive berth in the state title game.
It took 95 minutes and the efforts of an entire team, but when Ella Johnson converted Abbie Flandro's corner kick, Viewmont finally captured that elusive state title, its first since 1998.
"Everyone from top to bottom bought into what we were doing this year," Tate said. "We were focused all year, and I think the girls just wouldn't accept anything less than a title."
All-state girls' soccer team 2012
Talent doesn't trump everything. Winning takes more. Titles demand leadership and accountability. The MVPs and all-state players of the 2012 girls' soccer season understood this notion. Meet The Tribune's MVPs, first teams and second teams in each class: