Madras girls land five on Tri-Valley Conference all-league list
For a program that had little success over the last decade-plus, the Madras girls soccer team didn't let past struggles affect its most recent season.
The Lady Buffs were talking playoffs before the season began, even though they hadn't made it there since the 2003 season. As it turned out, however, they had reason to be confident.
In a tight Tri-Valley Conference race, Madras battled to a 3-4-3 record, and 4-6-3 overall record, which was good enough for third place in league, earning them a play-in game against Yamhill-Carlton. And although the Buffs' season ended there, they turned some heads in the process.
Five Lady Buffs players received all-league recognition, while second-year head coach Shawn Darrow was named TVC Coach of the Year.
Leading the way for Madras was junior Erika Olivera and senior Alesha Freeman, who were both named to the all-league first team. As honorable mentions, senior Michell Galan, junior Monika Stacona and sophomore Cheydon Herkshan were also honored.
Olivera's junior campaign marked the third straight season she earned all-league honors. As the Lady Buffs' best playmaker in the midfield, Olivera scored six of the team's 13 goals for the season, including two goals apiece against Crook County in each team's regular season finale, as well as the play-in game against Yamhill-Carlton. She also set up numerous scoring opportunities for teammates throughout the season, showing her ability as a passer and ball-handler.
Freeman made good on her preseason goal to make the all-league first team. She hounded opponents from her center back position, and also had a knack for creating offense from her throw-ins.
Galan played a variety of positions during the season, but by the end of it, had established herself as a consistent defensive presence.
Despite not playing high school soccer before this season, Stacona was a natural center back next to Freeman. Her background as a basketball player lent itself well to learning defensive soccer concepts, and before long, Stacona was one of the Buffs' most trusted defenders.
And in the net, Herkshan's sophomore season kept the Buffs afloat, particularly early in the season when the team was still figuring itself out. Although Madras didn't keep track of saves, Herkshan made plenty of timely ones, several of which wiped away what appeared to be sure goals from opposing teams.
Herkshan and the Madras defense produced six clean sheets for the season. Judging from all-league selections, defense is where the Buffs excelled. Aside from Olivera, the remaining four Madras players to make all-league teams played defensive roles.
Olivera, Stacona and Herkshan are all set to return next season.
Tri-Valley Conference girls soccer all-league team
Player of the Year: Grace Campbell, senior, Gladstone
Coach of the Year: Shawn Darrow, Madras
Grace Campbell, senior, Gladstone. Amanda Seward, senior, Molalla. Sierra Cox, senior, Molalla. Erika Olivera, junior, Madras. Brianna Lewis, freshman, Gladstone. Alesha Freeman, senior, Madras. Emma Andrews, junior, Molalla. Mattie Myers, junior, Molalla. Cameron Cronin, senior, Gladstone. Sara McMichael, junior, Corbett.
Layel Parker, sophomore, Corbett. Audrey Walter, freshman, Estacada. Gracie Kasberger, junior, Crook County. Maddy Lisac, sophomore, Molalla. Emma Turner, senior, Estacada. Denali Nelson, sophomore, Gladstone. Karli Schaffer, senior, Estacada. Mally McCowen, senior, Corbett. Emma Hehn, junior, Crook County. Hayven Richardson, freshman, Estacada.
Katrina Stokes, freshman, Estacada. Halee McClaflin, senior, Gladstone. Rebecca Brewer, senior, Corbett. Jacia Pena, senior, Gladstone. Lillian Kurkinen, junior, Corbett. Monika Stacona, junior, Madras. Hannah Allegertto-Wolf, junior, Molalla. Annelise Hugo, freshman, Molalla. Hannah Rae, senior, Molalla. Renee Baker, senior, Gladstone. Katie Day, senior, Estacada. Michell Galan, senior, Madras.
First team: Alicia Schultz, senior, Molalla.
Second team: Hazel Hoffman, junior, Crook County.
Honorable mention: Cheydon Herkshan, sophomore, Madras. Brenna Pierce, senior, Estacada.