Ceres High’s and Central Valley’s girls soccer programs had a combined 11 players earn all-league honors for their outstanding play this winter.
Abigayil Prado, Arianna Diaz, Natalie Corbin, Kristina Corbin, Erica Vieira, Lillian Blevins, Jessie Blevins, Giulia Puonzo and Jasmine Ravelo were rewarded for leading the Bulldogs to a second-place finish in the Western Athletic Conference standings (10-3-1).
Prado, a senior, was voted Defensive Most Valuable Player of the WAC during the league’s year-end head coaches meeting at Johansen High School on Feb. 7.
“She was a crucial defensive player on the back line,” head coach Hannah Menk said. “She was a brick wall. She was the glue that held the team together.”
Prado was team captain the past two seasons.
“Since I coached her for three years, I’ve seen her hard work and dedication pay off,” Menk said. “She’s one of the best defenders we’ve had. She was consistent in everything she did in practice and games. She was the most vocal player on our team. She had high standards for herself and her teammates.”
Diaz, Natalie Corbin and Kristina Corbin were named to the WAC First Team.
Diaz, a junior left outside wing, led Ceres High in scoring.
“You could tell this is her sport,” Menk said. “She’s a club player. She has a good soccer IQ. She just knows the game.”
Natalie Corbin and Kristina Corbin contributed at outside defensive left back and attacking right midfielder, respectively.
The Corbin sisters are seniors.
“They’ve matured a lot,” Menk said. “They never give up on the field. They’re fast. They’re great at slide tackling. They’re very technical players with the ball. They pushed each other and their teammates.”
Vieira, Lillian Blevins and Jessie Blevins were selected to the WAC Second Team.
Vieira, a senior, started at defensive center midfielder.
“She was great at free kicks and placing the ball,” Menk said.
Lillian Blevins, a junior, starred at goalkeeper.
“She was more confident,” Menk said. “She wasn’t afraid to knock some girls down when receiving the ball. Her one-versus-one got better.”
Jessie, Lillian’s younger sister and a freshman defensive center back, performed like a veteran.
“You could not tell she was a freshman,” Menk said. “She has such good game composure. She’s very athletic and strong. She can play any position.”
Puonzo and Ravelo were honorable-mention selections.
Puonzo, a foreign exchange student from Italy, was a utility player.
“She did exceptionally well,” Menk said. “She’s a scrappy player.”
Ravelo, a senior, contributed at forward.
“She really improved a lot,” Menk said. “She worked hard.”
Daniela Rodriguez and Angie Medrano, Central Valley’s team captains, garnered all-Central California Conference recognition.
The CCC’s year-end head coaches meeting was held at Buhach Colony High School on Feb. 13.
Rodriguez, a junior offensive midfielder, was named to the CCC First Team.
“She was a big part of the team,” Hawks’ head coach Miguel Larranaga said. “She never let me down. She was very consistent throughout the whole season. She was a leader.”
Rodriguez tallied a team-leading nine goals, to go along with three assists.
“She’s very good at looking for open spaces and through passes,” Larranaga said.
Medrano, a senior utility player, earned second-team, all-league accolades.
She was also named Central Valley’s CCC Sportsmanship Award winner.
Medrano totaled six goals.
“I trusted her and believed in her,” Larranaga said. “She never let me down. She’s a really good player. She never gets tired. She never gives up. She’s a fighter.”
Medrano started on defense at the beginning of the season.
“I had to move her up to forward because of injuries,” Larranaga said. “She stepped up. She tried so hard. She didn’t score a lot of goals. But the pressure she put on other teams gave some relief to our midfielders and defense.”
Medrano was a four-year varsity player.
She was voted WAC South MVP sophomore year.
“I’m very fortunate to have a player like that,” Larranaga said. “I wish I had more of those players. She’s very committed. That’s what you need in high school.”
Shorthanded Central Valley placed fifth in the CCC standings with a 5-7 mark.