Sara Callister felt she had something to prove.
After missing all of her junior season thanks to a torn knee ligament, the Golden Valley senior wanted to show she could still be one of the area's elite strikers.
Rediscovering the pace to devastate defenses, Callister racked up a league-high 20 goals and 19 assists. That gave Callister a hand in well over half of the Cougars' goals (57).
The rest of the league took note, naming her the Central California Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
"I definitely came in feeling like I had to play my hardest every game," Callister said. "Missing last year was tough and I wanted to show myself that I could get back to where I was.
"Coming into the year I wanted to have a high scoring average, I wanted to be named the Offensive Player of the Year and I wanted to win the CCC.
"I got all three, so it was a pretty good year."
GV head coach said his star striker was a little hesitant at first on her surgically repaired knee, but after league started she was back to her old self.
"By the time league started, you'd have never known anything had been wrong," Shaw said. "It took her about a month to get her touch back and find her comfort level.
"Once she did, every defense in the league had to focus on slowing her down."
One of the few teams able to have success against Callister was Atwater.
The Falcons held her without a goal in three encounters on the year. A big portion of the credit for that goes to sweeper Yesenia Gonzalez.
The junior anchored the league's stingiest defense and was named the CCC Defensive Player of the Year.
All of the league's top awards were swept by Merced County representatives, with Buhach Colony senior Taylor Briggs taking home the Goalkeeper of the Year award and GV head coach Lee Shaw earning the Coach of the Year nod.