Edina forward Taylor Williamson keeps pushing the boundaries of her friendship with Eden Prairie defenseman Lauren Boyle.
Last week’s Class 2A, Section 2 championship game marked the second time this season Williamson scored to beat the Eagles in overtime.
“With her it’s like, ‘You just keep doing this, don’t you?’ ” Boyle said with a laugh. “There’s really no stopping her right now.”
Hockey coaches felt likewise, casting large numbers of votes to cement Williamson’s selection as the Star Tribune Girls’ Hockey Metro Player of the Year. Edina coach Laura Slominski lauded Williamson as “the kind of player I’ll only get to coach once in my career.”
Williamson fueled Edina’s first state tournament appearance since 2012 by scoring six of her team’s 10 goals in the section playoffs. Heading into Thursday’s quarterfinal game against Buffalo, Williamson has tallied 36 goals and 20 assists.
Boyle, who dealt with Williamson three times in each of the past two seasons, saw a different player this winter.
“There are a lot of girls with talent that give you a run for your money, but Taylor can end a game,” said Boyle, an All-Metro first-team selection who will play at Ohio State next season.
A December concussion knocked Williamson out of four games and showed Slominski “how much we missed her in the locker room as well as on the ice. We have a pretty young team, and there is a presence about Taylor. She knows the right things to say at the right times, and the kids are so attentive.”
The concussion was the second of two recent injuries. Hip surgery last May kept her out of competition for about six months. Doctors shaved the ball of her right femur and stitched a partly torn labrum. Williamson spent six weeks on crutches and lost about nine pounds of muscle.
“I was kind of getting freaked out wondering when I was going to get better,” she said. “That was the most I’ve ever been away from the game. But I matured; I found I’m stronger and more determined than I thought.”
Though she estimated playing at “85 or 90 percent” this season, Williamson gained a more full skating stride after surgery and as a result, became faster.
“This year she beat some of our best defensemen cleanly,” Boyle said. “That’s eye-opening.”
Williamson will add to her family’s legacy at Minnesota next season. Her grandfather, Murray, was an All-America winger for the Gophers. Her father, Dean, played three seasons in maroon and gold.