Beaverton's Rice, Jesuit's Pederson voted Metro League's Girls and Boys Players of the Year
With both the Beaverton and Sunset girls soccer teams making it to the state semifinals and Jesuit entering the playoffs as the state's No. 1-seed, it's no surprise that the three dominant teams claimed nine of the first team's 13 spots and 16 of the 25 combined first and second team honorees.
State runner-up Beaverton put three girls on the first team, including senior forward Emily Rice who was voted the Metro League Player of the Year. Beavers head coach Jennifer Kirwan had nothing but good things to say about Rice and her value to the team and program.
"She deserves this," Kirwan said. "She's been an exceptional leader on and off of the field for her teammates these past four years. She lifts her teammates so much when she plays and she gives so much of herself in terms of commitment and value. I'm so honored to have had the opportunity to coach her."
Joining Rice on the first team were teammates, senior midfielder Audrey Johnson and senior goalkeeper Brielle Fernando.
Beaverton finished the season 15-3-1 overall and advanced to the state final before losing to Grant 4-3 in overtime. For here work guiding the Beavers, Kirwan earned Coach of the Year honors and attributed much of her success to her assistant coaches: Philippe Thuillier, Maya Udani, Kaylee White and Isaac Arreguin. But at the same time, spoke to the competitive nature of the league and its coaches as a motivating factor in her and their accomplishments.
"The coaches of the Metro League are incredible people and I have the utmost respect for them," the coach said. "Coaching in this league has opened my eyes to where I am and where I want to be. I love how competitive this league is and it is attributed to the hard work and dedication that each coach brings to their program. I appreciate very much this recognition."
Sunset, who finished 12-5-1 overall, finished tied atop the Metro League regular season standings, and made it to the state semifinals before losing to Grant, too put three girls on the first team, including: senior defender Malea Cesar, senior midfielder Natalie Calahan, and sophomore midfielder Ellie Felt.
Jesuit first-teamers included standout senior midfielder Taylor Krueger, along with junior defender Eva Grunkemeier and sophomore midfielder Abby Cox.
Other first team selections included: Mountainside's junior forward Nina Rhode and senior midfielder Emma Rogers, Southridge junior midfielder Morgan Moffett, and Westview junior forward Alexis Maureen.
Second team honors went to Beaverton's Natalie Drotzmann, Macy Deckert, and Hannah Rice. Aloha's Charlotte Brown and Chelsea Navarro. Jesuit's Claudia Rose and Naomi Alvarez. Mountainside's Hana Sawan and Sierra Nees. Sunset's Parisa Burke and Siera Edwards. And Southridge's Julia Pinnell.
The following players were honorable mention: Kelsey Cordon Aloha, Meg Unruh Beaverton, Allison Tattar Mountainside, Grace Manriquez Southridge, Tessa Mild Sunset, Savanna Kleine Westview, and Issabelle Cory Mountainside.
On the boys side, Jesuit and Mountainside led the way with three first team honorees, while the Mavericks tallied five combined first and second-teamers.
Jesuit junior forward Drew Pederson earned Player of the Year honors, scoring 18 goals for a team that finished 14-4 overall and won the Metro League before dropping a 1-0 match with West Linn in the state semifinal.
Crusaders head coach Geoff Skipper said that Pederson will be the catalyst for a young Jesuit team that should again be formidable next season.
"I had a really strong sophomore group on the junior varsity that will fill in for guys who are leaving," Skipper said. "We should be strong again next year. I'm not guaranteeing anything, but there's some good, strong, and smart players coming back."
Joining Pederson on the first team were: Ryan Mehlschau Mountainside, Trevon Hamilton Beaverton, Andrew Turner Sunset, Lowen Manriquez Botelho Southridge, Gabriel Rincon Westview, Alexander Velikan Mountainside, Josue Dololores Lopez Aloha, Brady McClellan Jesuit, Spencer Carle Jesuit, Jose Rivera Espindola Beaverton, Mahad Malik Mountainside.
Second team honorees were: Sasha Borisyuk Southridge, Arjun Mokashi Sunset, Jeffrey Diaz Westview, Connor Baird Mountainside, Zach Neuls Mountainside, Dan Velazquez Beaverton, Saan Chang Westview, Michael Russak Sunset, Miles Chen Southridge, Aaron Lopez Sunset, Noah Rivera Beaverton.
Honorable mention: Diego Garcia Westview, Alen Vejo Aloha, Luc Insley Jesuit, Shinjiro Metzger Sunset, Ben Kushner Southridge, Zak Simmons Jesuit, Niko White Southridge.
Mountainside's Tom Lathrop was voted Coach of the Year for guiding the Mavericks 12-4 overall record and trip to the second round of the state playoffs.
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