Alaskan Attacker: Foraker helping lead USU Soccer

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Utah State Women’s Soccer is currently having a strong 2021 season. After being picked to finish seventh in the Mountain West Conference this season, the Aggies surged to a 7-1-1 record in non-conference play and currently have a 3-3 record in conference play. This success cannot be without the help of senior forward Jordan Foraker.

Foraker scored two game-winning goals in back-to-back conference games against Nevada on Sept. 24 and UNLV on Sept. 26 to lift the Aggies to their first 2-0 conference start since 2016. Her efforts earned her Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week.

The goal against Nevada was particularly dramatic. In the 86th minute, with the Aggies tied 1-1, Foraker received the ball off a cross from senior Ashley Cardoza and put it in the net for the game winning goal. Lifting her team to victory is something she’s no stranger to doing.

Foraker, born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, was a three-time all-conference player in high school. According to her bio provided by USU Athletics, she played at South Anchorage High School, where she won two state championships. She was also a five-time Alaska Olympic Development Program selection.

“I started playing when I was five years old. I also did gymnastics at the time,” Foraker said. “It got to the point when my parents said I needed to choose between the two. I chose soccer and started playing soccer year-round.”

Foraker grew up a typical Alaskan native, enjoying being outside, camping, hiking, and hanging out with friends and family. She noted the thing she loves most about Alaska is the nature surrounding her.

With a population of just 731,545 people, Alaska is one of the northernmost parts of North America. It’s biggest city Anchorage — Foraker’s hometown — is 1,448 miles away from the nearest major city in the continental United States, Seattle. By contrast, Anchorage is nearly 2,000 miles away from the North Pole.

But despite its ruralness and high latitude, the overall competitiveness and popularity of soccer in Alaska is respectable.

“It is definitely growing,” Foraker said. “It is probably not the same as it is in the rest of the states cause we do not have many people. We have some good teams that travel around to get competition.”

Foraker came to Utah State in 2017 after she was recruited by former Aggie assistant Trevor Wachsman.

“It was actually kind of a last-minute thing. I was playing in a tournament in (the)

Salt Lake area the summer before my senior year of high school,” Foraker said. “Trevor was there and saw me there playing, so I got in contact with him, and everything kind of just fell into place.”

Since coming to Utah State, Foraker has started in 13 games, with all 13 coming in the last two seasons. Earning Academic All-MW and MW Scholar Athlete Honors every year as an Aggie and Joe E. & Elma Whitesides Scholar Athlete in 2018 and 2019, Foraker’s last-minute decision to come to Utah State has made a difference.

“Jordan has been a breath of fresh air on and off the field,” said head coach Manny Martins. “She is a very smart and technical player. It’s impressive how smart she is about the game, even playing in a small market. Strongest part of her game is her commitment to the details of her roles and responsibilities.”

Foraker has become a more important player for the Aggies as the season has progressed.

“Obviously as the season started we brought a different approach and different style of how we play,” said Martins. “I think it took a moment for her to go through the adjustment period but she has now been a regular contributor for us. She has evolved to a player who has played with more intensity but maintained her technical quality while playing at a high level which is hard to do.”

Foraker credits coach Martins for coming in and helping her enhance her technical ability. “

He has given us a lot of feedback on specific technical and positional feedback,” Foraker said. “So it has been helpful when he films all practices and the games and he will break things down for you.”

She has loved her time as an Aggie and living in Utah, but will always be an Alaskan at heart. “I don’t love when it is 95 degrees here so I (prefer) Alaska,” Foraker said.






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