Herald All-Area Girls Soccer Team

jdill@bradenton.comApril 17, 2014 

Daryl Bell, sr., Southeast

To her credit: Bell bagged more than 30 goals with her explosive game, one that made her a focal point of every opposition. Despite having a target on her back in every match as Southeast's top threat, the senior still flourished and was a key to the Seminoles reaching the Class 3A-District 9 championship game.

Anna Brusco, sr., Cardinal Mooney

To her credit: Brusco's penchant for scoring -- she ended up with 24 goals -- was vital for the Cougars this season. She was one of three players to end up with more than 20 goals this season, but her playmaking skills with corners and set pieces were integral this term. Brusco's talents didn't go unnoticed as she'll suit up for Florida Atlantic next season.

Sierra Dickerson, soph., ODA

To her credit: A multi-sport star for the Thunder, Dickerson's favorite sport is soccer. Her best moment this season came when she honored her mother's birthday. Dickerson, a defender, asked to be moved up the pitch after halftime of a game against Imagine School of North Port. The Thunder held a comfortable lead, and Dickerson scored twice and had an assist after moving to midfield and forward in the game.

Kayla Gray, sr., Braden River

To her credit: Gray scored 26 goals and had four assists. Her presence in the Pirates' lineup created a tough task for opposing defenses. Gray's considerable skill also led to her selection by the Jamaican Women's National Team for the CONCACAF Under-17 Championships last winter.

Kristi Jones, sr., Saint Stephen's

To her credit: In her final year with the Falcons, Jones led all scorers with 10 goals while adding nine assists. Jones was an influential player on the pitch for head coach Eric Howell this year. Her skill and flair enabled the Falcons to reel off a 13-1 record between the regular season and district tournament. Saint Stephen's won the district title, but fell to visiting Fort Myers Evangelical Christian in heartbreaking fashion after the two sides could not resolve things in regulation.

Alex Latham, sr., Lakewood Ranch

To her credit: The Mustangs' goalkeeper was an integral part of the postseason run that ended in the state final four. Lots of credit went to the stout defense, which included Herald All-Area Player of the Year Juliana Guida and fellow first-teamer Lindsay Martinez, but Latham was special in her own right. She allowed just four goals, and was dynamite in keeping three straight clean sheets before the Mustangs fell to eventual Class 4A state champion Melbourne in the state semifinal.

Lindsay Leskinen, soph., Saint Stephen's

To her credit: Still an underclassmen, Leskinen flashed veteran-type skill in tallying nine goals. One year after the Falcons lost former All-Area Player of the year Hannah Howell, there was a need to find a scoring threat to replace the Georgetown freshman in the lineup. And Leskinen did that alongside fellow first-team selection, Kristi Jones, as Saint Stephen's advanced to the region quarterfinals as a district champ.

Lindsay Martinez, sr., Lakewood Ranch

To her credit: One-half of what Lakewood Ranch head coach Guy Virgilio termed his twin giants, Martinez formed a strong nucleus in the heart of the Mustangs' defense. And that back line was nearly impenetrable as the Mustangs conceded 10 goals this past winter that ended in the state semifinals. Martinez even scored three goals while adding eight assists from her defender role -- a rare combo and one that gave her a place as a first-team selection.

Jasmine Rosales, sr., Cardinal Mooney

To her credit: The senior defender was a four-year starter for the Cougars and put forth a Franz Beckenbauer-like effort as Mooney's sweeper. She wasn't a one-trick pony, either. Rosales showcased her versatility by scoring nine goals as the Cougars dominated their district and played at the opposition's end time and again.

Elizabeth Shirey, sr., Braden River

To her credit: Playing on the left side of the midfield, Shirey took on an iron man approach this season for the Pirates. She played every minute of every game, logging some serious miles in the process. It paid dividends for Braden River, which had the unfortunate task of competing alongside rival Lakewood Ranch in the same district. Shirey tallied 16 assists and added five goals, both standout numbers for a midfield general.

Sarah Wasser, sr., Manatee

To her credit: Wasser was the bread and butter for Manatee this past season, controlling the middle of the park like a maestro. Wasser's leadership led the Canes to a district title and a region semifinal appearance. She also trained her soccer skills at IMG Academy. The combination of that club experience and her time with the Hurricanes is sending Wasser to the University of North Florida next year.

Honorable mention

CARDINAL MOONEY -- Rose Amato, jr.; Skylar Jungers, frosh.

SOUTHEAST -- Mallory Robinson, sr.

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Delaney Riggins, sr.; Talia Falco, jr.; Hannah Miller, soph.; Julia Ortiz, soph.; Sophia Falco, frosh.

OUT-OF-DOOR ACADEMY -- Abigail LaGasse, 8th.

MANATEE -- Michaella Krebser, sr.; Meredith Roberts, soph.; Rebecca Byrnes, jr.

BRADEN RIVER -- Isabella Martinez, sr.; Olivia Bright, sr.

PALMETTO -- Ashton Knopf, sr.; Faith Rewis, sr.; Tanya Campos, soph.

-- By Jason Dill, Herald sports writer

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