By Nikash Nath
For The Signal
Foothill League girl’ soccer coaches recently voted their selections for All-Foothill League teams.
The West Ranch Wildcats finished first in the Foothill League play, finishing an abbreviated regular season with a record of 7-1-2, making it no surprise that a Wildcat also was named Player of the Year.
The coaches named West Ranch’s Cassidy Imperial Pham as the league’s top player, and she was joined by teammates Leanna Kane, Olivia Suarez and Rachel Watler as Wildcats who made first-team All-Foothill League.
Saugus also had three girls make All-League first team: Ryan Shepherd, Nya Baccelli and Presley Williams.
West Ranch junior forward Olivia Surez also earned All-CIF honors for her play this year, and she was also joined by a pair of Centurions.
Saugus was well-represented on the All-CIF teams with junior midfielder Ryan Shepherd and senior forward Nya Baccelli making the cut.
“Ryan will be back, she has the potential to be Foothill League player of the year next season. Division 1 schools were in attendance. There is lots of motivation for her and our team,” said Saugus head soccer coach Kevin Miner.
West Ranch (8-2-2) and Saugus (9-3-4) were the two teams from the Foothill League to make it to the Division 2 CIF Southern Section playoffs.
West Ranch’s season came to an end in the second round of the playoffs after losing to Etiwanda, 3-0.
The Saugus Centurions also had a stellar season, lasting all the way until the Division 2 CIF Southern Section title game, where they lost a tough match to La Mirada, 2-1.
“We went to the CIF championship game and lost in overtime. It was a heartbreaking game. The game opened up a wound that’s starting to heal,” Miner said. “The girls who were recognized were the reason why we were here. Ryan and Nya were leading goal-scorers, they were the two players other teams had to shut down. They work really well together. They were a driving force for our team. We were a different team in the playoffs.”
The coach said that, despite ending with a tough loss, there was plenty to look forward to for next season.
“With the girls we have returning we feel we have a really solid team; the girls are looking forward to building on the success. We will most likely be bumped up to Division 1. I think our girls will be up for the challenge and I’m looking forward to next year,” Miner said.