Carson High’s girls soccer team enjoyed one of the best seasons in school history, racking up a 16-1-1 record en route to a second straight Sierra League title and a regional semifinal appearance.
As a result, all 11 girls received some sort of post-season honor, and Greg Lehman walked away with Coach of the Year and Valerie Sue Meyer was named Defensive Player of the Year.
Lehman has guided the Senators to back-to-back titles, so it seemed only natural he win the award.
“It is always an honor when (coaches) vote for you,” Lehman said. “You show up and do your job. The girls worked hard all year from our summer program right through to tryouts and the regulars season. The girls worked hard and they all bought into what we were doing. It was a fun year, and I really enjoyed being around the girls. It was a good group.”
Meyer, one of the top players in northern Nevada, anchored a defense that allowed just nine regular-season goals in 16 contests, and just one more in two playoff matches.
“She did a great job back there,” Lehman said. Meyer, who scored two goals this year, appears headed for Saint Mary’s College in Moraga. She missed a game toward the end of the season to take her official visit to the school.
Forward Mallory Otto led the team with 15 goals and midfielder Galilea Cid added three en route to first-team honors. Cid’s main role was controlling the midfield along with Yanitzia Perez.
“She can smell the goal,” Lehman said of Otto. “She anticipates where the ball is going to be, and that is a big reason whey she scored a lot of goals. Galilea worked very hard along with Yanitzia to control the middle.”
Bella Wakeling, who played both forward and midfield, midfielder Sophia Ruedy and defender Hailey Palotas were all second-team picks. Lauren Hudak, Perez, Molly Otto, Brynn Lehman and keeper Vanessa Camarena were honorable mention selections. Wakeling scored seven goals, which was third-highest on the team.
“Bella didn’t score as many goals this year, but she put pressure on teams no matter where she played,” Lehman said. “Hailey did a great job back there with Valerie Sue in the middle of our defense. I thought all 11 of the starters should have been first or second team.”
Lehman said Camarena is talented enough to be a field player next season.
Top honor for Garrett
Senior Peter Garrett, Carson’s top defender, nabbed Defensive Player of the Year honors. He was a main reason why CHS allowed just 16 goals in 19 games (14-5 record).
Forward/midfielder Guillermo Hernandez (9 goals), midfielder Alejandro Gonzalez (4 goals) and defender Jaime Saldana (2 goals) were first-team picks.
Forward Eddie Porter (9 goals), midfielder Ernesto Lamas (1 goal) and defenders Osvaldo Gomez (5 goals) and Christian Martinez (1 goal) were second-team selections. Danny Manzo was an HM pick at midfield.
“He was a big part of our defense,” CHS coach Frank Martinez said. “He’s worked really hard the last three years.
“There were a couple of games where he made a few mistakes, and I talked to him about it. He got it down the last few games. In the playoffs he was key.”
Martinez thought his other defenders (Martinez, Gomez and Isael Lopez) were good enough to make first team.
“All four really played solid the whole season,” coach Martinez said. “Christian had a good year, and Osvaldo can play anywhere we need him. He might be my best overall player.”
Hernandez and Porter both scored nine regular-season goals.
“I thought it was well deserved,” Martinez said. “I wish he wanted to play forward instead of midfield.
“Jaime ran up and down the field. He worked very hard.”
Martinez graduated 11 seniors, but returns Gomez, Guillermo Perez, keeper Efren Ramirez, Lopez and Christian Martinez.
“We have a pretty good core group of players coming back,” Martinez said. “I’m happy with our season, and I’m looking forward to next season.”
Dayton’s Gomez first team
Victor Gomez, who scored 17 goals and handed out six assists, was a first-team all-league selection for 3A soccer.
Gomez helped the Dust Devils to a 6-2-2 division record. Coach Luis Melgarejo is in the running for Coach of the Year. Two coaches failed to show up at the all-league meeting, and their votes are needed to break the current tie.
Defender Jonathan Torres, keeper Gabriel Dums (68 saves, blocked 2 PKs and allowed 21 goals), forward Riley Fetters (4 goals, 1 assist) and Jorddy Diaz (7 goals, 3 assists) were second-team selections. Defenders Marco Torres and Bryan Aguilera, and midfielders Jason Duran and Isaac Guadarrama were honorable mention selections.