At the end of every Pacific League girls lacrosse season, coaches from the league, which consists of West Ranch, Crescenta Valley, Glendale, Westridge and La Canada highs, get together to name their all-league teams as well as the offensive and defensive player of the year.
When it came time for Wildcats coach Leesa Chelminank to nominate Audra Kim for Offensive Player of the Year, she didn’t have to make much of an argument.
“I didn’t have to,” Chelminank said. “Everyone knows Audra. Everyone fears Audra. Everyone pretty much designs their game when they play West Ranch around how they can defend against Audra.”
Kim, who just completed her senior season with West Ranch, was first on the team in terms of goals and assists, with 71 and 32, respectively.
Six other Wildcats were named to an all-league team.
Hope Jin, Bella Gervasi and Hannah Bushing all received first-team honors. Sam Soto and Sophia Fisher were named second team and Audrey Yu earned honorable mention.
“As much as I love (Audra) being in the limelight,” Chelminank said. “I think it’s important to know that in order for Audra to get the goals that she needed to get this season, it was the players on the team that gave her the ball and they had to fight hard to get it.”
It’s hard to deny the impact the UC Davis-bound Kim has had on the team, though.
She moved to West Ranch from Virginia the summer before her junior year, where she played lacrosse since seventh grade.
“When I came here, it was (West Ranch’s) second season, and we’ve just grown so much from even that second season going into a third season,” Kim said. “Everyone started playing as a team. I really wanted to focus on the lacrosse team bonding this year.”
In addition to leadership, Kim also brought her strong shot and dodging abilities as well as her desire to make well-executed passing plays, or “pretty plays,” as Kim calls them.
“Audra has definitely brought a higher skill level, which has kind of pushed the girls to work to be at her level,” Chelminank said. “It’s definitely changed the vibe as far as where the girls set their goals.”
The Cats finished 8-11 this season.