By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
The numbers always have been staggering for the Bishop Amat High School girls soccer team, but numbers don’t win CIF-Southern Section championships, that takes something from within.
Bishop Amat, after ruining an undefeated season with a semifinal loss in 2010, returned and finished in dramatic fashion in 2011. Not only did the Lancers (28-2) capture the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 championship, it defeated top seed Ayala 1-0 in the final, a school that had crushed the Lancers 6-1 earlier in the season. (To continue click thread).
COACH OF THE YEAR: Ruben Gonzalez, Bishop Amat
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: April Juarez, Bishop Amat, Jr.
Forward: Khalalah Todd, Northview, Sr.
Forward: Makenzy Doniak, Ayala, Jr.
Forward: Amie Jepsen, Glendora, Jr.
Midfielder: Yazmin Montoya, Bishop Amat, So.
Midfielder: Lauren Stupin, Los Altos, Sr.
Midfielder: Victoria Camaj, St. Lucy’s, Jr.
Midfielder: Lizbeth Rodriguez, Sierra Vista, Sr.
Defender: Alyssa Cabral, Bishop Amat, Jr.
Defender: Alicen Wright, Ayala, Sr.
Defender: Jesse Gener, Bishop Amat, Jr.
Goalkeeper: Rachel Jones, San Dimas, Sr.
Forward: Maribel Duran, San Dimas, Jr.
Forward: Haille Worrell, Bonita, Sr.
Forward: Natalie Rivas, Bishop Amat, So.
Midfielder: Shannon McKee, San Dimas, Sr.
Midfielder: Tara Cofer, Los Altos, Sr.
Midfielder: Amber Marani, Walnut, Jr.
Midfielder: Alexandra Wilson, Glendora, Jr.
Defender: Kellie Creese, Bonita, Jr.
Defender: Hannah Leu, Walnut, Sr.
Defender: Alexandra Quincey, St. Lucy’s, Sr.
Goalkeeper: Jesse Vargas, Bonita, Jr.
Amat coach Ruben Gonzalez, whose team has a combined record of 55-3-2 and 223 goals scored against just 26 against the past two years — finally topped it all off by delivering the school its first girls soccer title in history.
Not only was Gonzalez named the Division 3 coach of the year, but also earns the Tribune coach of the year award.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to accomplish that championship,” Gonzalez said. “I came to Amat four years ago with hope of changing the culture of the program. It’s a process and the process finally paid off in everything we were teaching and working at.”
Amat junior striker April Juarez, who saved the season with a game-tying goal in the final minutes of regulation on the road against Granite Hills in the semifinals, which allowed the Lancers to go on an win 2-1 in sudden-death overtime, has been selected the area girls soccer player of the year for the second consecutive season.
Juarez, also the Division 3 player of the year, finished another stellar season with 40 goals and 21 assists to be among the Southern Section’s most productive offensive players.
“She’s just an amazing player,” Gonzalez said. “Last year she kind of snuck up on teams but this year a lot of the other teams’ game plans were geared on trying to stop her or contain her, and she was still able to have another terrific season.
“For our team, that attention she gets opens opportunities for so many others. That goal she scored in the semifinals was a big-time goal, but I think her presence in the playoffs was a huge reason we won too.”
The Tribune first-team includes a trio of forwards that had eye-opening individual campaigns, paced by Northview senior striker Khalalah Todd, who is on her way to New Mexico State.
Todd was the state’s second-leading goal scorer with 48, while also finishing with 17 assists to help the Vikings tie for a Valle Vista League title.
Todd’s 132 career goals left her just four shy of cracking the Southern Section’s top ten career goal scoring list — a list Todd surely would have cracked had she not been out nearly all of her sophomore year with a knee injury.
Ayala’s Makenzy Doniak was arguably the area’s most feared striker, a dangerous blend of speed, quickness and ball-dribbling skills. She finished with 18 goals and 10 assists for the Sierra League champion Bulldogs, helping them reach the Division 3 final.
Doniak was also named the Sierra League co-MVP and named to the Division 3 first team.
Glendora forward Amie Jepsen was also named a first-team forward after helping the Tartans to a 17-6-4 overall record and third-place finish in the competitive Baseline League.
Jepsen finished among the area leaders in scoring with 20 goals and 15 assists.
Los Altos senior midfielder Lauren Stupin, on her way to Cal state Fullerton, leads the first-team midfield that also include’s Bishop Amat sophomore Yazmin Montoya, Sierra Vista senior Lizbeth Rodriguez and St. Lucy’s junior Victoria Camaj.
Stupin, who won back-to-back Miramonte League most valuable player honors as a sophomore and junior, helped the Conquerors to their third straight league title in the new Hacienda League.
Stupin, a CIF-SS Division 3 second team selection and Hacienda first-team pick, finished with 23 goals and 13 assists.
Amat’s Montoya is one of the area’s best defensive midfielders, but also has a knack for scoring and a huge reason the Lancers celebrated a CIF title.
Montoya was named to the Del Rey and Division 3 first-teams after finishing with 13 goals and 17 assists.
Rodriguez, who helped the Dons win a Division 7 title in 2010, had a great senior year in helping the Dons win the Montview League title, with Rodriguez earning player of the year and Division 6 first-team honors.
Rodriguez scored 18 goals with 23 assists for the 19-3-1 Dons.
Camaj helped St. Lucy’s finish in a second-place tie in the Sierra League with Claremont, and the Regents finished 10-7-2 overall. Camaj’s stellar play was not just awarded with an area first-team selection, she was also named the Sierra League Co-MVP with Doniak, and was named to the Division 3 first-team.
Bishop Amat junior Jesse Gener, Alyssa Cabral and Ayala senior Alicen Wright were named first-team defenders. Cabral and Gener were part of a defense that allowed just 17 goals all season, including helping the Lancers to a 1-0 shutout in the championship game.
Both Cabral and Gener were also All Del Rey and Division 3 first-team picks.
Wright, on her way to Texas Christian University, was named to the Sierra and Division 3 first team after leading a Bulldogs defense that allowed just 23 goals against stellar competition.
San Dimas senior Rachel Jones was named the goalkeeper of the year after helping the Saints on an improbable run to the Division 6 championship game.
Jones finished with 14 shutouts and posted two shutouts in the playoffs while allowing just four postseason goals, two of which came in a 2-0 loss in the Division 6 championship to St. Margaret’s. Jones was named to the Valle Vista first-team and Division 6 second team.