Hart High girls soccer’s Taylor Scott didn’t always play soccer. She started as a gymnast. But after too many broken wrists, her parents knew something had to change.
But it wasn’t until eighth grade that Scott got serious about the sport.
The progress that she’s made since then is the primary reason she’s this year’s All-Santa Clarita Valley girls soccer player of the year.
She’s the fourth consecutive Hart player to receive the honor.
“There’s no advantage (to starting late),” said Indians coach Guilherme Mitrovitch. “She’s an exception.”
“Taylor worked really hard for (this award),” he said. “I’m the coach that says start as early as you can and that’s my opinion. Taylor was able to make up for it with the amount of work she put into it.”
Similar to Scott’s career, her team’s 2016-17 season seemed to be on an upwards trajectory. Hart was unable to get a win in the Foothill League until its fourth game when it beat Golden Valley 4-0.
Scott was a major part of the upward trend. The goal was to be the league champion for the fourth year in a row – and go undefeated in the process. A goal that was achieved.
“Everyone was sad about our first few league games and the captains, we texted the girls and tried to tell them it’s going to be okay, we’re going to start doing better,” Scott said.
“And as soon as the Golden Valley game happened I think it just brought our hopes up and showed us that we’re good enough and we’re going to win.”
The forward finished the season with 14 goals and nine assists. Her favorite goal occurred against West Ranch. She scored the game-winning goal in the 62nd minute.
“We tied them for three years in a row, so that was a major goal and win,” she said.
She also had two important goals in the postseason, and both were of the game-winning variety.
First, she scored with two minutes left in the game against Long Beach Poly in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 playoffs. Then, she scored the golden goal in double overtime against Upland High in the second round of playoffs.
“She has that demeanor that’s a go-getter and he’s going to go and chase and fight and she’s not going to quit,” Mitrovitch said. “That’s one of her main qualities. She was so important for us all year long.”
Scott is set to continue playing soccer at Cal Poly Pomona next year and study kinesiology. She has further aspirations of playing professionally.
Either way, she’s impacted Hart soccer.
“Taylor and my senior classmen leave a legacy to the younger girls,” said Mitrovitch.
Hailey Billesbach, Saugus, Senior
As a goalkeeper, she suffered a concussion two weeks before Foothill League play began, but once she was cleared to play, Billesbach immediately made an impact. She had 66 saves in 12 games and came up big in her third game, which was a 1-0 shutout against Valencia, the Cents’ first win over the Vikings since Jan. 2015.
Allison Jacobs, West Ranch, Freshman
Talk about willing to do anything for the team. After playing defense for most of her soccer career, Jacobs stepped in to play goaltender for the Wildcats and did a fantastic job. Her height and athletic ability did her well, but her willingness to learn how to read balls and plays helped earn her 10 shutouts on the season.
Kayla Kukaua, Valencia, Senior
This is one player you don’t want to face in a penalty kick situation or shootout. Kukaua, a center back, could boot the ball as well as execute a killer header and helped the Vikings to the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 playoffs. She is set to play at Dominican University of California in the upcoming season.
Kiana Kukaua, Valencia, Sophomore
She may be the younger sister of Vikings senior Kayla Kukaua, but Kiana Kukaua isn’t living in the shadow of anyone. In the first round of the Division 2 CIF-SS playoffs against San Luis Obispo, Kukaua was one of four Vikings to nail a shot in PKs to earn the win and continue Valencia’s postseason run.
Kassie Matthews, Hart, Senior
Matthews was arguably the most experienced player on the Indians’ roster this year. With a team-high 17 CIF playoff games under her belt, she was a confident defender who helped her team to 13 shutouts this past season. She also had four assists on the season. Matthews will continue her soccer career with California State University, Northridge.
Claudia McKail, Canyon, Junior
McKail was always found near the goal for the Cowboys, often playing up to score one of her team-high 13 goals this season. She also added an assist for a total of 27 points. McKail excelled in setting up plays on offense and was always a target for opposing defenders.
Erin Meottel, West Ranch, Senior
Meottel was another sensational forward for the Wildcats with 11 goals and three assists for 25 total points. When playing across from teammate Aliyah Satterfield, the West Ranch offense could be pretty fearsome. Meottel had the only goal in the Cats’ tough loss to Hart and was key in the Cats’ postseason run, which ended in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs.
Taylor Moorehead, Hart, Junior
Taylor Moorehead is tough. Her physical presence and fearlessness on the field gave her the ability to win one-on-one battles and steal the ball from opposing players. She had 12 goals and eight assists this year and was one of the most experienced players on the team, accumulating 12 CIF game appearances by the end of the season.
Emily Perez, Golden Valley, Sophomore
With nine goals and four assists, Perez was one of the strongest midfielders out of all the Grizzlies and played a role in some close preleague games. Although Golden Valley went winless in league, Perez is an indicator of what we might be seeing from future GV teams.
Aliyah Satterfield, West Ranch, senior
With 19 goals and 12 assists on the season, Satterfield was an offensive workhorse for the Wildcats. She excelled in decision-making and had some serious chemistry with fellow striker Erin Meottel. She also scored the game-winning goal in West Ranch’s first-ever playoff win, which came against Agoura. Satterfield committed to Pepperdine for soccer last month.
Tori Waldeck, Hart, freshman
Although she missed out on playing time in the latter part of the season due to injury, Waldeck was one of the top scorers on the team with 10 goals and three assists. Not bad for her first year on varsity. Although she was one of the smaller players on the team, her speed and toughness made up for it.
Alyssa Aguilar, Canyon, Senior
Aguilar, who will be playing for CSUN next season, missed the first few games of the year due to a rib contusion. After she rejoined the Cowboys, she notched three goals and three assists.
Abby Ashlock, West Ranch, Senior
Ashlock was the vocal leader of the Wildcats and a relentless defender. She had two assists and took care of most throw-ins for West Ranch. She was particularly vital when the Cats’ back line was struggling with injury.
Brooke Chambers, Saugus, Sophomore
The Cents went from winless in league last year to a 3-3-4 record this year, and it’s thanks to players like Chambers. She had five goals and one assist for 11 points and makes next year seem all the more exciting for Saugus.
Chloe Edwards, Santa Clarita Christian, Senior
With 23 goals and 11 assists, Edwards was by far the team’s leading contributor when it came to scoring. She scored two goals against Trinity Classical Academy in the Cardinals’ last league game of the season, capping the team’s undefeated run in the Heritage League. Edwards will be playing at CSUN.
Kiara Gunn, Golden Valley, Senior
Gunn made a statement in the first game of preleague when she scored six times against Highland of Palmdale on Nov. 28. By the end of the season, she had scored a total of 11 goals and added three assists, making her the top scorer for the Grizzlies.
Mia Labrador, Hart, Senior
Labrador only got better as the season went on. As the games wore on, she became more and more confident, using her height to nab headers on defense and overall make more daring moves. She had three assists, two of which came in the postseason and was part of a defense that had 13 shutouts.
Autumn Moore, Valencia, Junior
Moore was a major component of the Vikings offense, as demonstrated in the Jan. 13 game against Golden Valley. She scored two of Valencia’s three goals in the shutout win, and did so in two different ways. Moore will be a top player on next year’s team, no doubt.
Rheana Patterson, West Ranch, Senior
When the defense was damaged by injury halfway through league, the Wildcats could count on a strong midfield, which was led by Patterson. She had six assists on the season and was huge in West Ranch’s journey to the playoffs.
Ashley Rens, Golden Valley, Sophomore
Rens was called the Grizzlies’ “best defender” by coach John Bogdan. She never showed up in the scorebook, but in Golden Valley’s five wins on the season, she and the defense allowed two goals or less.
Brooke Rickard, Hart, Junior
Rickard was a key midfielder for the Indians and helped the team master their game in the air. She broke her nose halfway through the season, but quickly returned to continue making contributions for the team. She ended the year with six goals and five assists and has appeared in 12 playoff games in her career.
Breeana San Lucas, Saugus, Freshman
Another young gun on the Cents team, San Lucas was a top contributor with four goals and three assists in 21 games in her first year on varsity. On Feb. 7, she scored the only goal in Saugus’ first win over Valencia since 2015.
Canyon- Isa Rector, senior
Albert Einstein Academy- Jacqueline Morrison, freshman
Golden Valley- Melissa Lagunas, senior
Hart- Victoria Ryan, senior
Saugus- Catalina Castillo-Lozano, junior
SCCS- Kalona Marr, junior
SCVi- Avery Bowen, junior
Valencia- Ashlyn Johnson, senior
West Ranch- Riley Villiers-Furze, senior