After perhaps the best season in the history of Highland girls soccer, a pair of Rams signed to play Division I soccer last week.
Senior forward Saydree Bell, who racked up 29 goals and 17 assists through the district tournament, announced Friday she was headed to Weber State. And midfielder Morgan Christensen, who scores double-digit goals, put pen to paper to continue her career on the pitch at Southern Utah.
That Highland has players headed to college is no surprise. The Rams were the top-ranked team in the 5A state tournament after winning their district tournament with a 16-0 record. Highland cruised to an opening-round victory at state but faltered in its final two games.
Still the Rams finished their incredible year with a goal differential of 95 to 11.
A big reason for Highland’s success was Bell and Christensen.
“I’ve played with the majority of these girls since I could walk,” Bell said. “I’ve never known any different teammates so it’s definitely going to be weird, but I’m excited to see what a lot of my other teammates accomplish in their next careers outside of Highland. I know they’ll be cheering me on just like I’ll be cheering them on regardless of what school they’re at.”
“I think our class is really skilled and the fact that all of us have the abilities to go play college sports is amazing,” Christensen added. “And, also, that maybe we’ll get to see each other or play against each other sometimes is going to be fun.”
The Rams’ midfielder grew up hearing about Southern Utah. Her mom ran track for the Thunderbirds and told Christensen about all the good things in Cedar City.
“When I had the opportunity to go there, I definitely scooped it up and said yes immediately,” Christensen said. “I know that they like my size. I’m a tall person. And also just my ability to possess in the midfield area.”
And, for most of her life, Christensen has been passing the ball to Bell.
A star on Highland’s soccer, basketball and track team, Bell is arguably the best girls soccer player in the area – if not the most-skilled all-around athlete.
“Being a multi-sport athlete for sure helped me in a lot of ways,” she said. “I think one way it really helped me was to connect with other players and be a versatile individual when it came to athletics.”
Though Bell’s dad, Troy, played football at Idaho State and her brother, Jayden, will do the same after his mission, Bell decided to trek south and join one of the better soccer programs in the Big Sky.
“I’ve always been in love with Utah, specifically all the programs in there. They were the first camp this summer that I went to,” she said. “I’m really excited. It all feels like it’s becoming reality for me. I’ve always dreamt of playing college soccer.”