ADDISON COUNTY — Although the results for the area high school girls’ soccer teams varied this fall and none brought home banners, all four programs benefitted from outstanding individual efforts that are recognized here in the 2013 Addison Independent Girls’ Soccer All-Star Team.
This season two seniors who often competed directly against one another over the years deserved top honors: Mount Abraham defender Harlie Vincent and Vergennes striker Ruby Dombek are the 2013 Independent Co-Players of the Year.
Vincent helped anchor a strong defense for Coach Dustin Corrigan’s Eagles, whose 9-5-1 record came against the toughest local schedule around — three of their four non-league games were against Division I foes, including champion Champlain Valley. Three other Eagle seniors join Vincent on the Independent squad.
Dombek, despite missing time late in the season with an injury, helped Co-Coaches Dwight Irish and Peter Maneen’s young Commodores win six times, notably an overtime road upset of D-I No. 3 seed Rice. A VUHS junior and a sophomore also earned Independent recognition.
Coach Wendy Leeds’ Tigers started and finished strong. They won their first two games, endured a long losing streak and goal-scoring drought, and then came alive in the playoffs to win twice more and reach the D-II semifinals, the deepest playoff push of the four squads. An MUHS senior, junior and sophomore made the Independent squad.
Coach Dave Brown’s Otters won just once, but had many competitive outings despite a number of injuries and illnesses: Eight of their losses came by either one or two goals. A high-scoring senior merited a berth here.
Selections were made based on observation, statistics and consultation with the coaches. Congratulations to the following:
HARLIE VINCENT, MT. ABE SENIOR, CO-PLAYER OF THE YEAR. Notes: Three-year stalwart at center back for the Eagles who stepped into the attack to contribute four goals (two in the run of play and two on restarts) and three assists … Smart, speedy athlete with good skills developed as a central midfielder as a club soccer player … Read plays and defended individually well and passed smartly out of the back to start the Eagle attack.
Corrigan’s Quotes: “Harlie is fast, strong in the tackle and in the air, poised on the ball, and plays out of pressure well … She’d be an all-state central middie if that’s where we played her … She’s one of the best defenders in the state … She’s got a great touch on the ball … She makes good decisions … She’s just been a pleasure to have on the team … She’s definitely a leader on the team.”
RUBY DOMBEK, VUHS SENIOR, CO-PLAYER OF THE YEAR. Notes: Despite missing three games, capped her four-year varsity career with nine goals and six assists against the Commodores’ tough Lake Division competition … Finished with 33 goals, third in VUHS history, and a program-best 21 assists while leading the team in that category each year … Hard worker with good touch, the ability to strike the ball with either foot, and excellent field vision.
Maneen’s Quotes:“There’s not enough I can say about Ruby … Her last four years have been phenomenal for us … She doesn’t get enough credit for her unselfish play … She’s definitely a proven goal-scorer … She’s a fearless player … She’s a quiet kid, but she’s a leader by example … She loves soccer, and she’s working to do whatever it takes to help the team win.”
JESS FRAZIER, OV SENIOR. Notes: Fast, physical player whose determination and improved skills allowed her to score 13 of OV’s 21 goals this fall, while setting up several more … Especially challenged defenses by using her speed to get to through balls and long services into the box and winning 50-50 balls … Strong shot also made her dangerous from long range.
Brown’s Quotes: “She is someone who is just a threat up front, obviously with her speed, but she has also developed better touch on the ball … She’s just hungry for the ball … She worked hard, and she trained hard … She definitely stepped up and tried her best to carry the team.”
M.K. CHARNLEY, MT. ABE SENIOR. Notes: Skilled, tough four-year starter for the Eagles who played key roles this fall as a defensive central midfielder, both helping the Eagles in the back and transitioning the ball to offense … Good passer and ball-winner who stepped into the attack and recorded three goals and three assists … Team leader and tri-captain.
Corrigan’s Quotes: “She’s a strong, well-skilled central midfielder who plays with determination … She’s great on the ball in restarts … She helps us possess the ball, winning the ball and getting it down to get it to feet ... A lot of times the play will go through her … She’s got great feet and great touch on the ball.”
MEGHAN LIVINGSTON, MT. ABE SENIOR. Notes: Speedy, talented senior who led the Eagles with eight goals and four assists … Used her quickness and skill to put constant pressure on opposing defenses … Could finish or set up teammates … Tri-captain and three-year starter at midfield or striker who finished her career with 21 goals.
Corrigan’s Quotes: “She’s a great athlete all-around … She works extremely hard … At practice she’s always one of the most focused people. It’s a great model for the whole team… Her touch on the ball is tremendous … She was there to finish in a lot of games where we needed it.”
SOPHIA ABDUL-SATER, MUHS SENIOR. Notes: Fast, strong central defender who anchored the back of the Tiger defense for the past three years … Savvy player who helped the Tigers maintain their shape in the back and excelled at winning one-on-one battles … Had the skill and vision to transition the ball out of the back.
Leeds’ Quotes:“Sophia was the backbone of our defense … She showed good speed, smart defending and great work ethic … She’s extremely positive and hard working … Sophia is a team player … She started and played every minute of every game all season.”
ADDY CAMPBELL, MT. ABE SENIOR. Notes: Smart, reliable, three-year starter at central defense for Mount Abe … Stay-at-home defender with strong communication skills who helped the Eagles’ keep their shape in the back … Composed positional defender with a knack for being in the right place at the right time … Tri-captain and team leader.
Corrigan’s Quotes: “She’s a strong, steady leader in the backfield … Addy’s very vocal back there. She keeps us organized ... She just doesn’t make a lot of mistakes … She’s got that mindset to stay at home … She’s also great in the air … She’s strong on the ball and very poised.”
KATIE HOLMES, MUHS JUNIOR.Notes: Solid, tireless all-around central midfielder who raised her play at the end of the season and during the Tigers’ playoff run … Tough ball-winner and defender at midfield … Intelligent distributor with decent touch on the ball and a strong foot … Converted two pressure-packed postseason penalty kicks.
Leeds’ Quotes:“Katie’s calm and collected … She has a great foot … Katie has a wonderful attitude. She loves her team and her team loves her … Katie anchors the midfield … She is positive, hardworking and humble.”
KAREENA VORSTEVELD, VUHS SOPHOMORE. Notes: Rugged, relentless defender who showed great progress in her second varsity year … Improved her ball and distribution skills, defensive positioning within the team concept, and one-on-one defending tactics and patience … Strong, physical player who won more than her fair share of 50-50 balls.
Maneen’s Quotes:“The best thing about Kareena is she just does not stop. She goes from the first whistle to the end … She’s got the strength you look for in the back, and in the past two years she’s really developed an understanding of the game … She’s an aggressive player, and definitely became a smarter player this year.”
KELSEY SMITH, MUHS SOPHOMORE. Notes: Talented, versatile player who excelled both at central defense and midfield … Has a high soccer IQ and skill level, and competes hard … Can dictate play as a distributor when healthy at midfield, and reads opponents’ offenses well when in the back … Had her season cut short by injury for the second fall in a row.
Leeds’ Quotes:“She makes everyone around her a better player, commands play and makes things happen from wherever she is on the field ... She is a student of the game … She is fearless in her pursuit of the 50-50 ball … Her skill set is top notch, as are her commitment, work ethic and attitude.”
K.C. AMBROSE, VUHS JUNIOR. Notes: First-time goalie who stopped 88 percent of shots on her goal, not counting penalty kicks, 154 of 175 … Also stopped two of nine penalty kicks … Blessed with quickness and excellent hands, and the instincts to know when to come off her line to break up through balls or catch crosses — possibly due to her years as an accomplished striker … Extra props for sacrificing her preferred field role.
Maneen’s Quotes:“What can you say about a kid who is willing to give up her position on the field for what the team needs … Talk about a kid with natural athletic ability … She’s got great hands, but it was amazing to see how quickly she got comfortable in goal reading the play and anticipating … To see her do that given she had no experience in goal before the season was phenomenal.”
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at email@example.com.