Entering her senior season at nearby Rocklin High, Jamie Goodwin was unsure if she even wanted to continue to play soccer after high school.
Feeling burned out and "just over it", Goodwin was ready to hang up her jersey and focus on hitting the books.
"I was burned out, and just done with the game," said Goodwin, who captained the Thunder to the 2016 Sac-Joaquin Section Division I title game. "But as my senior year started to take shape, I realized I still loved the game. Sierra was close to home and has turned out to be a great fit."
A rejuvenated Goodwin parlayed two exceptional seasons with the Wolverines into a roster spot at the University of Utah where she will play in the powerhouse Pacific 12 Conference next fall.
"She's a special one," said Sierra head coach Jason Gantt. "And she'll definitely compete for the starting job in Utah. It's been incredible having her here and it obviously worked out great for everyone."
The Utes are consistent NCAA tournament participants and were ranked No. 20 in the 2017 United Soccer Coaches preseason poll, peaking at No. 17 over a span of six weeks before falling out of the top 20.
A team captain with the Wolverines, Goodwin was a two-time All Big 8 Conference selection and had a game-winning free kick to beat Delta 1-0, the fourth free-kick goal of her Sierra career.
Despite missing half the 2017 season with a torn shoulder ligament, Goodwin still captured Big 8 Defensive Player of the Year Academic All-American honors.
"Injuring my shoulder was tough, but it really made me realize how much I took soccer for granted," said Goodwin, who allowed just nine goals in 16 games in 2017. "Having to sit out was one of the hardest things I've ever done. It really showed me how much I love soccer and I'm grateful for the opportunity Sierra has given me to not only keep playing, but earn a great education as well."
Story by Scott Johnston