All-Area Soccer Teams<br>THE GIRLS
File photo by Eric Lusk
HANNAH Stanfield, CVHS, Region MVP
It’s no surprise then that this year’s all-region and all-state lists featured plenty of players from Camp Verde, Mingus Union and Sedona Red Rock.
That long list made picking the first-ever Verde Valley Newspapers’ All-Area Soccer Team pretty tough. There were plenty of worthy candidates, but because soccer teams line up with 11 on a side, we narrowed down our first team to 11 boys and 11 girls.
Another 22 booters comprise our honorable mention list.
Without further ado, here’s the lineup:
Hannah Stanfield (CVHS): The senior anchored the region champion Cowboys on defense, playing most of the season at sweeper – the last player before the goalkeeper.
West Region coaches thought enough of Stanfield’s strong play to vote her the league’s Player of the Year. She also earned first-team all-state status – the only girl from the area to reach that distinction.
Angel Allen (CVHS): The junior has been a varsity starter since her freshman year. One of the fiercest competitors on the team, Allen served as the Cowboys’ "quarterback" – making the offense go from her center midfield spot. She earned first-team all-region status.
Rochelle Williams (CVHS): The freshman striker inherited the scoring role left by 2003 graduate Chantel Reimer. Williams led the Cowboys in goals (25-plus) and could be the one player to threaten Reimer’s season and career scoring records at the school before she graduates. Williams also was first-team all-region.
Megan Reddell (CVHS): The senior was the third of the Cowboys’ first-team all-region selections. She proved a hassle for opposing teams trying to move the ball through the midfield with her stingy defensive play. She could also score or dish out assists when needed.
Lily Schmidt (Sedona): Scorpion coaches have raved about Schmidt since she was a freshman. Now a senior, this defender/midfielder played a big role in taking Red Rock to its first-ever state championship game. Schmidt finished her career as a first-team all-region selection and made all-tournament at state.
Keely Badger (Sedona): The Scorpions lost an all-region goalie when Taylor Harmon graduated last spring. Badger, a sophomore, stepped in and proved just as tough to get past. She trained in the goal against Sedona boys players and that paid off as Red Rock made its late-season run to the 2A-3A title game.
Rachel Surber (Sedona): Before opposing forwards could take shots on Badger, they had to go through Surber first. The senior earned first-team all-region this season and also a spot on the state all-tournament team.
If she’s assigned to mark you on defense, expect to work extra hard to get the ball or a good look at the net.
Emily Denison (Sedona): This three-sport star (also basketball and track) made second-team all-region in soccer. She played on the outside and used her speed and stellar athletic skills to make the Scorpions one of the toughest teams in the state.
Aileen Blair (Mingus): The Marauders’ leading scorer netted 18 of her team’s goals this season. If Blair got behind the defense, her speed and skills made a score very likely. She earned honorable mention all-Grand Canyon Region as a freshman and made the first team this go-around.
Sarah Dixon (Mingus): Like Stanfield at Camp Verde, Dixon spent most of the season playing sweeper. Her defensive prowess earned her a spot on the Grand Canyon Region’s second team. Dixon was one of the few players to avoid the injury bug that plagued the team all winter.
Ashley Brower (Mingus): This gritty sophomore played much of the season on offense but moved back to defense during some late region games to combat opponents’ speed.
Brower, an honorable mention all-region pick, has tremendous upside and could develop into one of the team leaders next winter.