When Arbor View girls soccer coach Jay Howard was tinkering with his defensive lineup during an early-season tournament, one player never changed positions: Kendra Wallace.
Wallace was a fixture at the heart of the Aggies’ air-tight defense and a key figure in Arbor View’s run to a second consecutive Division I state title.
For that, the junior was named Player of the Year in the Northwest League.
“Her greatest strength is she won so many balls before it even got into our defensive third (of the field),” Howard said. “As coaches, we noticed she’s always been a very good player. But in the past year she’s gotten a lot more focused on soccer. … She’s in better shape and she played with a better presence than she has the last two years.”
Arbor View allowed four goals in its first four games, and Howard altered his personnel during the Las Vegas Kick-Off.
With Wallace leading the way at the center fullback or “stopper” position, the Aggies gave up one goal — in a draw against Shadow Ridge in the regular-season finale — in their final 17 matches.
The Aggies (16-1-4) outscored their five playoff opponents 14-0, including a 2-0 win over high-scoring Bishop Gorman in the Sunset Region final and a 3-0 win over Carson in the state championship match.
“Since we switched our lineup and got everybody in their final spot, we got on such a good run as a team,” said Howard, the Northwest League Coach of the Year. “As the year went along and (Wallace) became more comfortable in her role, she became more assertive as a player. She stepped in and challenged for balls she wouldn’t at the start of the season.”
Shadow Ridge senior Dallas Gunny was named the Goalkeeper of the Year in the Northwest League.
Bishop Gorman senior Kaila Brinkman was the Player of the Year in the Southwest League after she scored 26 goals. Gorman’s Doug Borgel was named Coach of the Year, and Bonanza senior Samantha Haeick took Goalkeeper of the Year honors.
In the Northeast League, Silverado senior Danielle Parven, who had 23 goals, earned Player of the Year. Green Valley sophomore Kiyana Lopez was Goalkeeper of the Year, while Steve Bowden of Las Vegas was Coach of the Year.
Eldorado senior Kimberly Olivares was named the Southeast League Player of the Year and Foothill junior Rachel Kole took the Goalkeeper of the Year award. Cynthia Guzman of Foothill was the Coach of the Year.
On the boys side, senior Samuel Tapia of Division I state champion Eldorado was the Goalkeeper of the Year in the Southeast League. Liberty senior Danny Musovski, who topped his own state record with 58 goals, was the Player of the Year, while Eldorado’s Gerald Pentsil was the Coach of the Year.
In the Northeast League, Canyon Springs junior Jonathan Martinez earned the Player of the Year award, and junior Bryant Peralta of Green Valley was named Goalkeeper of the Year. Silverado’s John Cwik took Coach of the Year honors.
Palo Verde junior Nolan Sherwood, who helped the Panthers to their Sunset Region title and the Division I state final, was Player of the Year in the Northwest League. Senior Nathan Bohn of Arbor View took home Goalkeeper of the Year honors and Palo Verde’s Kevin Hagood was Coach of the Year.
Bishop Gorman senior defender Tristan Blackmon was the Southwest League Player of the Year. Cimarron-Memorial sophomore Richard Crews was the Goalkeeper of the Year and Cimarron’s Mark Bailey was the Coach of the Year after the Spartans won the Southwest League title and reached the Sunset Region final.
Contact reporter David Schoen at email@example.com or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ.