Heights senior soccer player Selby Polley has 42 goals this season, a fact that's not surprising considering her track record.
The surprise has been in how the usually selfless player has nearly doubled her previous high of 22 set in 2007.
"I realized I had more potential and needed to step it up for my team," Polley said. "Maybe sometimes be a little more selfish and take it to the goal instead of sometimes passing it off more."
Polley's approach has helped her reach individual and team goals. She is signed to play in college at Baylor and she has the Falcons in the Class 6A quarterfinals. Heights plays at Garden City tonight.
With the pressure of her senior season looming, Polley played in hundreds of games during the winter with "six or seven club teams" to prepare.
"I just tried to get a ton of soccer in," she said.
The result has been a vast improvement by a player who was an All-Class selection in 2009. Her greatest assets are her speed and field vision.
"She's one player that I would never say couldn't do anything," Heights coach Steve Parks said. "She works harder than anybody and leads by example. Based on how hard she works in practice and in games, I would never count her out of anything."
Parks has often described Polley as being under the radar because she's a year behind notable goal scorers such as Whitney Berry from Goddard or Maize's Tia Stovall and Leah Talley.
This season, Polley hasn't shared the spotlight with anyone, though she said she took the lack of attention in previous years as a momentary slight. She made the All-Metro team in 2008 but not last season.
"At first I did (take it personally)," Polley said. "Then I thought about it and I have my scholarship, and that's the big thing I've been working for. To have my picture in the paper, probably in the big scheme of things, isn't a huge deal.
"I realized I just needed to work harder and prove that I deserve (honors) like that."
Polley's career year has come in spite of defenses paying her relentless attention and the lack of additional scorers for the Falcons. The team's other top player is a defender, Rebekah Ramstack.
Polley still takes pride in getting her teammates involved, but the Falcons wouldn't be closing in on a 6A semifinals trip to Olathe without her unmatched production.
"What makes her a good goal scorer is she's just hungry for the ball," Northwest coach Bobby Bribiesca said. "She works hard off the ball, and it takes two or three defenders to really put a stop to her."