A big goal Edina girls' soccer coach Katie Aafedt set before senior Sophia Boman this season was, well, more goals.
Don't feel obligated to always dish the ball to a teammate, Aafedt challenged the ego-free Boman. Take over the game.
Boman, already one of the state's top midfielders, did as instructed. The end results were 18 goals for Boman, triple her previous season best, and 73 goals for the Hornets, 23 better than last season.
For Boman, the Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year, a little encouragement made a big difference.
"I felt like if coach was fine with me taking it myself that I should be more OK with it," said Boman, who has verbally committed to the Gophers. "Because I never wanted to be regarded as a ball hog. That's what I was most afraid of. So when she said that, I felt more free to take it on the dribble farther."
Teammates co-signed Boman's new approach.
"They'd be like, 'You know you can beat anybody out there. Just take it yourself,' " Boman said.
The youngest of three soccer playing sisters, Boman got her start at oldest sister Lara's practices in California. Their father, Steve, coached the elementary school kids and brought toddling Sophia along.
"He's swing me around and have me kick the ball even though I really couldn't walk," Boman said.
The family moved to Duluth and settled in Edina when Boman was in kindergarten. She made the state tournament with middle sister Maria in 2017. Minnetonka knocked Sophia's team from the section playoffs last season and this season.
The undesired ending didn't sour the journey. A higher-octane offense trigged a 12-1 start to the season and put Edina atop the coaches' rankings in various weeks.
Boman, one of four captains, guided her team on and off the field.
"We returned 10 of 11 starters and Sophia did a great job of keeping all of our big personalities happy," Aafedt said. "She was always positive and intense."