ADDISON COUNTY — A speedy Vergennes Union High School senior defender earned Player of the Year honors this fall, while a strong season by Mount Abraham landed more Eagles on the 2011 Addison Independent Girls’ Soccer All-Star Team than from any other of the four local squads.
VUHS senior sweeper Tabby Danyow earned Player of the Year honors for holding the fort for co-coach Dwight Irish and Peter Maneen’s injury-plagued Commodores. VUHS won just three regular-season games, but finally got virtually all its players back for two playoff wins. A senior midfielder and a sophomore striker join Danyow on the Independent team.
Coach Dustin Corrigan’s Eagles took a major step forward this fall, winning nine times and earning the No. 4 seed in D-II. Two Eagle seniors, a junior and a sophomore earned Independent recognition.
First-year head coach Wendy Leeds oversaw progress for Middlebury, a four-win regular season that featured improved technical play and was the program’s best in a decade. A senior and two juniors are honored here.
Coach Dave Brown’s Otter Valley squad won just twice, but finished the regular season well, with a tie and a win in the Otters’ final two games. A junior striker earned her second Independent nod.
Selections were made by observation, statistics and consultations with coaches. Choices were particularly difficult not only because many players were deserving in a balanced field, but also because injuries limited several talented athletes this fall.
Congratulations to the following:
TABBY DANYOW, VUHS SENIOR, PLAYER OF THE YEAR. Notes: Speedy, physical defender who roamed from sideline to sideline to disrupt opponents’ attacks ... Adept at reading passing lanes and at marking individually ... Fearless at playing the ball out of the air ... Made good decisions on when to clear away out of pressure and when to control the ball and move it up the field with purpose ... Scored in the penalty kick shootout in the Commodores’ home playoff win.
Maneen’s Quotes: “She was a rock for us in the back ... In my opinion she was the best player on the field every game we played ... She’s fast, tenacious, sees the field well, anticipates things. She’s smart ... She has to be one of the fastest players in the state ... She covers more ground in the back than any player I’ve ever seen ... She’s a great teammate ... She’s constantly supporting her teammates.”
EVY JACOBS, MOUNT ABE JUNIOR. Notes: Skilled, strong player who played well both at forward and at midfield ... Scored seven goals and added three assists despite missing three games and parts of others with injuries ... Excelled both at winning 50-50 challenges and at distributing the ball ... Has excellent touch on the ball and the ability to score from long range.
Corrigan’s Quotes: “She very strong on the ball ... She’s strong and poised ... She finishes very well, and has really gotten better at finding her teammates and finding attacking space ... She wins the ball and moves it into the best space, and if you give her space, she’s going to hurt you ... She’s becoming a leader on the team.”
RUBY DOMBEK, VUHS SOPHOMORE. Notes: Relentless scorer and worker who followed up her 10-goal debut season with another 10-goal campaign and added four assists ... Can strike from outside the box, but really has the knack of hitting a corner on the run or in traffic ... Runs well, has a soft touch on the ball, and challenges defenders when they possess.
Maneen’s Quotes: “People forget she’s only a sophomore ... She’s got a work rate that’s second to none ... That kid has one gear. It’s 100 percent whenever she’s on the field ... She’s got the speed to stretch the defense ... She’s got a nose for the goal ... She knows where to put the ball.”
NICOLE NORLAND, MOUNT ABE SENIOR. Notes: Senior scorer who led the Eagles with 10 goals, six of which were game-winners, and had an assist ... Probably possesses the hardest shot of any local player, and has the skills and savvy to get loose to shoot ... Moved into third on Mount Abe’s all-time single-season goal-scoring list.
Corrigan’s Quotes: “She scored a lot of big goals ... She’s got a great shot. She can nail that ball with her right foot ... She’s got really good feet. She’s really skilled on the ball... Around the goal she’s just really clever at finding some space to get a shot off ... She’s an incredibly hard worker ... She’s got very good feet and just a nose for the net.”
LAUREN NESSHOEVER, OV JUNIOR. Notes: Talented forward who led all local players in points and proved equally adept at scoring herself and setting up her teammates with 10 goals and eight assists ... Year-round player who has developed her skills playing club soccer ... Has the quickness and technical ability to take defenders on one-on-one, the field vision to distribute, and the ability to finish with either foot.
Brown’s Quotes: “She has tremendous speed with or without the ball ... Lauren was this season’s MVP ... She is a tremendous asset to the team ... I look forward to her playing for us again next season.”
LILY HAIGIS, VUHS SENIOR. Notes: Strong, fast and technically sound central midfielder who overcame injuries this fall to play as well as anyone at the end of the season ... Terrific ball-winner and distributor who helped key the Commodores late-season surge ... Recorded four goals and two assists despite missing almost five games ... Scored the winning penalty kick in the quarterfinal and the team’s only goal as VUHS gave D-II champion Milton its closest game of the playoffs.
Maneen’s Quotes: “She’s got tremendous speed and tremendous talent to go with that ... She can strike the ball with either foot ... She’s not afraid to get in there and mix it up ... When she’s on her game there’s no question we’re a better team ... She plays a lot of soccer. Soccer is her sport. She plays it year round. And she’s learned to keep it simple. She just does what needs to be done.”
BROOKE LOSSMAN, MOUNT ABE SENIOR. Notes: Speedy, tenacious flank midfielder who stepped into the attack and scored four times and created many chances by serving from the left side ... Versatile player who backed up at central midfield and stepped into goal for half a game and fared well ... Effective, hustling defender at midfield ... Helped set the tone for the Eagles’ success along with the other tri-captains.
Corrigan’s Quotes: “She’s probably our best player in the air. She can jump and can put her head on the ball ... She’s fast and she just plays with a lot of tenacity ... Most of what Brooke gets she gets out of hard work ... She was a senior captain on the team and was a really great leader ... She was first on all the right things all season long.”
RUBY BARNARD-MAYERS, MUHS SENIOR. Notes: Played a larger role as a center back for the Tigers as the season wore on and keyed a defense that allowed only two regulation goals in their final four regular-season games ... Made smart decisions with the ball, and read opposing advances and marked individual opponents well ... Also served as a leader on the back line, communicating to teammates on positioning and tactics, including effective use of offside traps.
Leeds’ Quotes: “It’s Ruby’s presence ... She really commanded that back line ... When they had Ruby behind them, things were better ... She has a great ability to take the ball off of the first touch and move it quickly ... She sees the field very well ... She knows when to step up and when to drop ... She is versatile and extremely coachable.”
ADDY CAMPBELL, MOUNT ABE SOPHOMORE. Notes: Stepped into a starting role at center back and helped lead a defense that surrendered only 17 goals in 15 games ... Reliable, poised defender and decision-maker with good touch on the ball and strong communication skills ... Showed quickness, good positioning and relentless ball-winning.
Corrigan’s Quotes: “She’s a good leader. She’s tough ... She understands the game very well and communicates very well. She keeps us organized in the back ... She’s got that poise in the back where she can play out of pressure ... She’s hard to get by ... I honestly can’t think of a time when she went in for a challenge and didn’t get the ball.”
LYDIA ALLEN, MUHS JUNIOR. Notes: Versatile, composed and skilled player who played well at central defense and, as the season progressed, central midfield ... Scored twice and assisted one goal, with the two goals coming against Milton and South Burlington, the Tigers’ toughest foes ... Has a strong leg and took most of the team’s restarts ... Adept at winning and distributing balls.
Leeds’ Quotes: “I could quite literally put her anywhere on the field ... She can do her job in the back and be an offensive threat against pretty skilled teams ... I would describe her as completely unflappable ... I never worry if I see a 50-50 ball and she’s the one who needs to get it ... She’s fast and solid ... She can carry the ball now just as well as she can distribute it.”
SYDNEY REIGLE, MUHS JUNIOR. Notes: Strong, solid goalkeeper whose offseason work paid off with an excellent fall ... Made 165 saves, many of them challenging, at an 88 percent rate ... Recorded five shutouts ... Unafraid to come off the line to deny breakaway bids or snare serves into the box ... Distributed well.
Leeds’ Quotes: “Sydney kept us in a lot of games this season ... She made some spectacular saves ... She is absolutely fearless ... She made dramatic saves stripping the ball from people’s feet on breakaways ... She made the decision about a year ago that this was something she was going to jump into with both feet and spend a lot of time working on in the offseason ... Her mental toughness has been instrumental to her success.”
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected]