Photo gallery: 2013 Whittier Daily News All-Area Boys Soccer Team
Player of the Year: CRISTIAN ROLDAN, El Rancho, Senior
Cristian Roldan saved the best for last as he finished his El Rancho soccer career on quite the high note.
The Dons’ top player scored 54 goals and delivered 30 assists as he helped lead El Rancho to both the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 and CIF-State Division I Southern California Regional championships.
Roldan, a senior forward, collected his share of awards, which included All-CIF Division 3 most valuable player honors and the Del Rio League’s MVP.
For playing a central role in El Rancho’s historic season, Roldan was named the Daily News Boys Soccer Player of the Year.
“It’s just a great feeling,” Roldan said as he looked back on the 2012-13 season. “We pulled it together in the end and we came out on top. Overall, it was a long season full of ups and downs. But like I said, the last games count the most and we were undefeated come playoff time.”
Roldan, who also won last year’s Daily News Player of the Year award, will soon take his game to the Pacific Northwest as he recently signed with the University of Washington.
“Once I got there, the vibe was nothing like I never felt before,” Roldan said of his decision to choose Washington. “I just felt at home once I visited the campus and played with the guys. The offer was great. The coaching staff is the best out there. The city of Seattle is a soccer city.”
Perhaps Roldan’s greatest highlight of the season came in El Rancho’s 3-2 overtime triumph over Century in the semifinals of the CIF-SS Division 3 playoffs. Roldan scored all three goals with his third coming in sudden-death overtime.
Roldan also scored a goal in the Dons’ 7-0 victory over Ontario in the semifinals of the CIF-State Division I Southern California Regionals.
“Overall, it was a successful season,” said Roldan, a four-year varsity player. “We made history at our school. It’s just remarkable and I will never forget that.”
Coach of the Year: DOMINIC PICON, El Rancho
Picon guided the Dons to a history-making season as they captured their first CIF-State Division I Southern California Regional championship, which came after they earned the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 title.
El Rancho, which finished the season with a 29-2-1 overall record and the Del Rio League championship, took home the regional crown by defeating top-seeded San Clemente 3-0. The victory also marked sweet payback for the Dons, who fell to San Clemente 2-0 in the first round of the 2011 regional tournament.
For his efforts, Picon was named the Daily News Boys Soccer Coach of the Year. He also won the award last year.
Picon, who also was named the All-CIF Division 3 coach of the year, also coached the Dons to their second CIF-SS divisional title in three years. El Rancho won the Division 3 crown by defeating Channel Islands 3-2.