Notes on soccer teams as playoffs approach

January 22, 2014 by Jose Garcia, AZPreps365

The winter soccer regular season is almost over. 

But before it ends, checked in with some of the teams that are still in the hunt for a playoff berth for girls. Below are notes on some of those teams. 

The state soccer bracket show for boys and girls will run on Jan. 31 from 2-4 p.m. on


Arcadia: Megan Hawkins scored three goals and had two assists in team’s victory over Apache Junction. Hawkins has 11 goals and seven assists in past four games. … All-State midfielder Annie Sherman hasn’t played yet due to an injury but might rejoin the club “soon.” … Team lost freshman sensation Kennedy Williams to an injury in December. … Team still has co-captains Kate Staudenmaier, a “dominant” center defender, and center midfielder Missy Dominick, and another reliable player, senior goalkeeper Abby Schneider.

Basha: Team has already set team record for wins with 14, goals scored (54) and assists (66). … Team’s depth has allowed it to play without injured ASU-bound Jazmine Mader and Austin Overson, who have been injured this season. Nineteen different players have scored this season.

Boulder Creek: Program shooting for hosting its first ever playoff game. … Natalie Stephens (ASU commit) leads team with 18 goals. … Kyle Escobedo (Oklahoma), Meghan Strang (Air Force Academy), Brooke Denesik (Cincinnati), and Shelby Stewart (Utah) have also committed to a 4-year school.

Cactus Shadows: Team learned a tough “mental” lesson last week when it lost 2-1 to Sunnyslope. … Bridgett Sabonash, a senior forward, has 11 goals and eight assists. … Lexi Moest has 12 goals and nine assists. … Anika Brock, a senior defender, anchors a defense that has only given up three goals in section matches.

Catalina Foothills: The girls struggled to play to their potential early in the season, coach said. But team has played consistently pretty well since penalty kick loss to Notre Dame in Horizon Huskies Tournament of Champions. … Aleah Strength and Aminah Settles have each scored 19 goals. … Junior Emily Parker is first on the team with nine assists and has scored 11 goals.

Chaparral: Team was 7-4-3 overall, 5-1-2 in division despite losing eight senior starters from last year’s team. … Olivia Struckman leading the team with 10 goals, 8 assists. “Our defense and goalkeeper have really come together and are playing well as a team in the back,” coach said.

Hamilton: Team was 12-5-1 overall, 6-2 in section despite “not playing its best” soccer yet. … Juniors Kylie Minifield, Jamie Salas, McKaya Brown have each scored a team-high nine goals.

Highland: Team is 15-0-2 and receiving contributions from all over the field. … Amanda Witherow has 10 shutouts. … Bri Hatch has 6 goals and 5 assists, and Jackie Strom has 7 assists.

Notre Dame: Every player on the team has either a goal or assist. … Goalkeeper Meredith Reinhardt continues to “make it difficult for other teams to score on her.” … Kassidy Madrigal and Madison Shapiro anchor the defensive line along with Julia Taffuri and Michelle Mahoney. … Freshman Taylor Culver is tied with senior Rachel Jones for the team lead with nine goals.

Perry: “After playing in two tournaments and competing against high caliber opponents, we have started to show signs of what this team is capable of doing, game in and game out,” coach said. … Team has won five games since AZ Showcase, outscoring opponent 26-2 during current stretch. … Scoring leaders: Ansley Warner (6 goals, 6 assists), MaKenna Dunn (4 goals, 10 assists), Breanna Destefano (7 goals, 1 assist), Carly Sandsted (.71 GAA, 4 shutouts in league).

Pinnacle: Team is 14-2-3. Gabriela Stolan has 19 and 7 assists, and Jorian Baucom has 18 goals and 4 assists. … Eleven different players have scored a goal this season, and 12 different players have recorded an assist, including Amanda Dodd (9 assists).

Northwest Christian: Team’s leaders are senior captains Rachel Kortman (7 assists) and Aubrey Pond. … Team has so far accomplished 4 of its 7 goals. “We are very physical yet posses the ball and look for opportunities,” coach said. “We see ourselves as a top contender for the state championship.” … Thirteen of the team’s 19 players are sophomores or freshmen. … Freshman Jillian Johnson has 15 goals, Courtney Lankford has 14, and Maddie Wisely has 8. ... Freshman goalkeeper Emma Angell has a 1.24 GAA and 67 saves.

Phoenix Country Day: “My girls have played above my initial expectations and continue to improve each game to a point where I think we can keep ourselves in every game defensively and have enough weapons offensively that, if we capitalize on chances, could be a dangerous team,” coach said. … Team’s defensive leaders are Margaret Loncki, Karen Catano, Izzy Brothers, and goalkeeper Saira Purewa. … Sisters Jesse and Remi Purewal lead the team in scoring with six and nine goals, respectively.

Scottsdale Christian: Team is 7-2 in its third year as a program. Team chasing first playoff berth and first .500-plus record. … Team has 13 seniors. Defense, including goalkeeper Grace Schreyer, have been “rock solid.”

Scottsdale Prep: Scoring leaders: Miya Speeno (12 goals, 5 assists), Kathryn Jacobellis (11 goals, 6 assists), Josee Jacobellis (7 goals), Amber Miller (9 assists). … Team has only one senior. … “I am pleased by the dedication and character that my players have shown this year,” coach said. “Not only are they a skilled team, but they show respect to everyone, on and off the field.”

Seton Catholic: “Our season has been pretty successful (8-1) this year,” coach said. “I have the privelage of coaching a great group of girls that I call my family. They all work for each other and have a goal they want to accomplish, which is making it to state.” Reggie VanDevender and MJ Carreriers have score a combined 25 goals and 14 assists.

Yuma Catholic: Undefeated team is lead by sophomore Karla Navarra (25 goals, 14 assists), freshman Karen Melendrez (24 goals, 11 assists), and freshman Bryanna Wiley (9 goals, 3 assists). … Defensive line has three seniors, including Sydney Compton and Josie Quiroz. … Sophomore goalkeeper Aryza Olague has 49 saves and 8 shutouts.

Valley Christian: First-year coach has a “strong” midfield, with captain Keara Schromm (six goals, four assists) in the middle. … Outside midfielder Sophia Ames has eight assists and five goals. … Senior captain Natalie Spina leads the team with 11 goals. … Junior Ashleigh Lawton is the team’s top defender.  

Verrado: “We had some pretty significant injuries to some key players throughout the season, which caused us to adjust the formation a couple of times,” coach said. “But I’ve had several players step up and fill those roles.” … Team has a lot of seniors but young players have also stepped up this season.