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All-Foothill League Girls Soccer Team: Smith-Banas leads honorees

Saugus senior named Foothill League Player of the Year

Posted: February 29, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 29, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Saugus defender Serena Smith-Banas is the third Centurion in a row to be named Foothill Player of the Year. Saugus defender Serena Smith-Banas is the third Centurion in a row to be named Foothill Player of the Year.
Saugus defender Serena Smith-Banas is the third Centurion in a row to be named Foothill Player of the Year.

After completing a run to its third straight Foothill League title in 2012, the Saugus girls soccer team was well-represented among the coaches’ choices for all-league honors.

Led by Player of the Year Serena Smith-Banas, the Centurions have seven players on the teams.

Smith-Banas, who will continue her soccer career at Texas Christian University next season, led a strong defensive unit that only gave up more than two goals in a game on two occasions.

Offensively, Smith-Banas notched 10 points, with three goals and four assists — but it was her defensive abilities that stood out above the rest.

“It is (great to recognized) and working up to it all the other three years, it’s good to reach your goal because that’s a goal I’ve had,” she said.

The selection marks the third straight year a Saugus player has won the honor, after Shasta Fisher in 2010 and Colleen Ortega in 2011.

More than her own accomplishment, Smith-Banas was excited for her team as a whole.

“It’s exciting because we earned it this year,” she said. “And it’s a good feeling knowing that all the people that deserve to be on the list can be.”

Appearing on the first team for Saugus is Angie Weiner, Lizzie Rivas and Nicolette Cascione.

Second-place Hart saw senior defenders Danica Morgan and Kelsey Steck make the list, along with junior Hailey Jenkins.
Hart enjoyed a strong season in which it ended Saugus’ 20-game league unbeaten streak with a 2-1 victory on Jan. 31.

Valencia, which rebounded from a 2-1 loss to Golden Valley on Jan. 27 to finish third in league, was represented on the first team by two of its youngest players — freshman goalie Nicole Joseph and sophomore Eryn Spencer.

West Ranch, which made its first playoff appearance in program history this season, had two players on the first team in seniors Kendall Moskal and Kylee MacArthur.

Like the Vikings, Canyon saw strong play this season from a freshman goalie, and Meghan Kennedy was rewarded for her efforts with first-team honors.

Joanna Lagunas rounds out the first team as Golden Valley’s lone representative. The Grizzlies enjoyed their best league season in program history this year, finishing with their first league victory in school history and two ties with Canyon.

Each team had two representatives on the second team, led by Saugus sophomore goalie Maddie Hebert and junior Monica Allen.

Allen made the team despite missing the final four league matches with a torn ACL. Prior to her injury, Allen led the team in assists and had one of the most feared throw-ins in the league.

The Indians had two underclassmen on the second team in freshman Jenny Chavez and sophomore Destinney Duron.
For Valencia, Rebecca Harrison and Brooklyn Stevens made the list, along with West Ranch seniors K.T. Koury and Hailey Reynolds.

Canyon senior Courtney Holliday and sophomore Sarah Cipperly were also named to the second team, and Golden Valley’s Colleen Fleming and Samantha Jennings rounded out the team.

The honorable mentions included juniors Kaila Sargema of Canyon, Michela James of Golden Valley, Taylor Venegas of Valencia and Valerie Mercado of West Ranch, along with Hart sophomore Georgie Nielsen.

Rounding out the list is Saugus senior Stacey Atwater, who was in the midst of a remarkable season — scoring 16 goals in her team’s first 12 games — but suffered a broken collarbone and missed the squad’s final six league matches.


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