For the 2017 All-Area Girls Soccer Team, click here.
Before the start of the 2017 girls high school soccer season, Jackson senior Jadyn Edwards approached Timberwolves coach Sarah Smart with a request.
Edwards, who had spent the majority of her time during her first three prep seasons at a midfield spot, asked her coach to move her to a forward position.
It’s not every day that a player of Edwards’ caliber — she was a first-team All-Wesco 4A and a first-team Herald All-Area selection in 2016 — requests a position change before the start of her senior year. But Edwards did so because she felt it was in the best interests of the team.
“I had played a lot of forward on my club team,” Edwards said. “I knew that we lost Rikki (Myers, Jackson’s leading scorer in 2016, to graduation), and we needed somebody to fill that spot.”
Edwards believed she was the best person for that spot. Smart agreed with her.
The position change helped to define Edwards’ senior season. As an even more focal part of the Timberwolves’ offense, she posted another stellar campaign, tallying 18 goals and 17 assists.
“It was definitely a good switch in my mind. I was happy with the change because I was used to playing (at the forward position),” said Edwards, the Herald’s 2017 Girls Soccer Player of the Year. “Personally, I thought I played this season with the best of my abilities. I could’ve scored more goals, maybe, but our team stuck together and stepped up when it needed to. I’m proud of the season I had. It was a great last season, and it won’t be forgotten, that’s for sure.”
Edwards led the Timberwolves (15-3) to the Wesco 4A championship, a Northwest District title and a berth in the state playoffs.
Smart said Edwards became a complete offensive player in 2017.
“The gloves came off offensively for her this year. That’s where we saw noticeable gains. The focus was to get her the ball as much as possible,” Smart said. “She’s really creative with the ball. I’ve seen her beat five players on the dribble. Seriously, she can look like a surfer shredding a wave.”
Edwards, who has played with the Greater Seattle Surf club team for the past five years, has signed a letter of intent to continue her soccer career at the University of New Mexico.
“The coach there, Heather Dyche, was a huge part of my decision,” Edwards said. “She’s been an assistant coach for (United States) national teams, she knows the highest level, and she (emphasizes a style of play) that’s a perfect fit for me. The atmosphere there is great. I recently met with some of the players, and they were fantastic. (The program) can help me become a better player and person.”
Edwards would like to pursue a career in nursing, health science or biology, so she’ll most likely be taking plenty of science courses in college.
“Biology, chemistry, anatomy — all of those classes are connected, and I’ve enjoyed them throughout school because I’m interested in science,” she said. “I like it because there’s always a definite answer for things, always a reason for everything. Science explains things to me. I’d like to go into something where I can help other people succeed.”