College of the Canyons women’s soccer had nine players named to an All-Western State Conference team. Out of those nine, six of those players competed in the Foothill League for prep soccer.
“I think Foothill League soccer really prepared me and other girls,” said Gracell Magnaye, a Valencia alumna who made First Team All-WSC. “There’s other good players, so hearing that I made First Team is crazy because there are other super awesome players who made it and it’s also an honor to be with them as well.”
Joining Magnaye (five goals in 18 starts) on the first-team list is fellow Valencia product Alexa Thornblad, who scored four goals and logged one assist at multiple positions this season. Golden Valley’s Giselle Alvarado and Crystal Sanchez, who went to Bishop Alemany, also made the list.
Hart’s Isabella Penaranda (one goal, one assist) made second team along with Canyon alumna Jenny Patino. Rounding out the second-team honorees was Alondra Solis, who had four goals and three assists this season for the Cougars.
Valencia grad Angelina Maldonado was named honorable mention at midfielder and Ana Spross was an honorable mention at goalkeeper with a 1.83 GAA and 93 saves this year.
Canyons had a rocky start to the season, going 2-7 in their first nine games. The Cougars were able to turn it around just before conference play began despite a plethora of injuries depleting the team.
“It was like, a hard start in the beginning but we powered through it,” Magnaye said. “Especially towards the end, we lost a few good players as well, but I think we all just powered through it and we all kind of just went with the flow and tried our best even if we had a tough season this year, which was a good thing.”
COC ended the year with a 5-1-2 record in conference and an 8-8-3 record overall to earn a berth to the CCCAA SoCal Regional Playoffs. The Cougars lost 2-1 in a road match against Antelope Valley in the first round.
Despite the loss, Magnaye was grateful for the experience. As she heads into her sophomore year with the goal of transferring to a four-year program, she has a new sense of motivation after this season’s success and her spot on the All-WSC First Team list.
“I always try my best so I feel even more motivated to do better and I want to win and get far into playoffs, too,” Magnaye said. “And hearing that I won First Team, I feel like I have to do even better next year.”