The Herald’s 2024 top athletes in tri-county boys and girls soccer

The Rock Hill Herald’s 2024 Athletes of the Year in boys and girls soccer features several all-state nominations and college commits.

Area coaches nominated athletes for consideration.

Here are the Athletes of the Year in high school soccer, with stats and highlights provided by coaches and MaxPreps.

Girls soccer best XI

GK: Gabriella Gudeman, Sr.; Clover

Gudeman’s play between the sticks played a major role in Clover winning its first state title. The Converse University commit allowed only two goals during Clover’s postseason run.

DEF: Elizabeth McAllister, Sr.; Clover (All-State selection)

Another key senior in Clover’s state championship campaign, McAllister was one half of a defensive partnership that created one of the toughest backlines in the state. Clover allowed only 16 goals all season.

McAllister scored six goals and added an assist this season and was named to the Clash of the Carolinas — an All-Star game matching up the best senior high school soccer players from North and South Carolina on June 15.

DEF: Jordan Roberts, Sr.; York Prep

York Prep’s girls soccer team had its best season since the program became an SCHSL member four years ago, and a major component of that was its defense, allowing only nine goals in the regular season. Roberts was the team’s ‘Defensive MVP’ en route to earning all-Region honors, scoring two goals with an assist this season.

DEF: Payton Kennedy, Sr.; York Prep

Kennedy put up 11 goals and 11 assists and was named an All-Region player for a York Prep Team that went 14-3-2 this season and advanced to the third round of the playoffs.

DEF: Anniston Newton, So.; Nation Ford

Newton lined up at forward and fullback for Nation Ford this season, leading the team with 18 goals to go along with three assists.

MID: Sarah Sexton, Sr.; Catawba Ridge (All-State selection)

Sexton finished second in the state and tied for 14th nationally with 35 assists to go along with 16 goals for a Catawba Ridge team that finished as undefeated region champions and advanced to the third round of the postseason. The Furman commit earned All-State and Region Player of the Year honors for her play.

MID: Zoie Kempf, Sr.; Indian Land (All-State selection)

Kempf was a star in the midfield for Indian Land as it advanced to the third round of the playoffs. The Arkansas State commit’s scored 23 goals with 15 assists and earned All-State honors and a spot in the Clash of the Carolinas.

MID: Waverleigh Hash, Jr.; York Prep (All-State selection)

Hash finished the year with 15 goals and eight assists for the Patriots this season to earn All-State and Region Player of the Year honors.

FW: Kyleen Bents, Sr.; Catawba Ridge (All-State selection)

Bents led Catawba Ridge with 40 goals, tied for fifth in the state, to go along with 10 assists. The East Carolina commit earned All-State honors this season.

FW: Marilia Nieves, Sr.; Clover (All-State selection)

Nieves, a University of Kentucky commit and member of the Puerto Rico U-20 women’s national team, scored 18 goals with two assists for the state-champion Blue Eagles and earned All-State honors.

FW: Kaylynn Faile, Fr.; Buford

Faile led Buford in goal involvements, chipping in 20 goals and 16 assists for the Yellow Jackets’ 16-5-1 record — the program’s best since 2017.

Honorable mentions

GK: Peyton Pierson, Sr.; Catawba Ridge

DEF: Madison Sharrai, Sr.; Chester

DEF: Erin Wood, Sr.; Indian Land

MID: Gracie Robinson, Sr.; York Prep

MID: Sophia Banzon, So.; Nation Ford (All-State)

FW: Hannah Davis, Jr.; Buford

FW: Carolyn Tessardi, So.; Legion Collegiate

Boys soccer best XI

GK: Liam Prenderghast, Jr.; Catawba Ridge (All-State selection)

The junior earned All-State honors as Catawba Ridge won at least 18 games for the fourth-straight season. Prendenghast averaged 3.6 saves per game for the Copperheads.

DEF: Carson Brice, Sr.; Andrew Jackson (All-State selection)

Brice, a University of Alabama-Birmingham commit, starred at center back for the Volunteers, earning Region Player of the Year and All-State honors. Brice was also selected to play in the Clash of the Carolinas.

DEF: Trenton Palumbo, Sr.; Clover

Palumbo was one half of a center back duo at Clover that helped the Blue Eagles to an undefeated region title and a trip to the state quarterfinals. Palumbo chipped in two assists for Clover en route to being selected for the North-South Game at T.L. Hanna on June 22.

DEF: Zander White, Sr.; South Pointe

White, a Virginia Wesleyan commit, was a standout for South Pointe’s soccer team this season, earning a roster spot for the Clash of the Carolinas.

MID: Cory Lownds, Sr.; Clover (All-State selection)

Lownds was a senior co-captain for Clover this season, scoring five goals with a team-high 13 assists. The Winthrop commit earned All-State honors and a Clash of the Carolinas roster spot.

MID: Ryan Seitz, Sr.; Fort Mill (All-State selection)

Seitz earned All-State honors as a key figure in Fort Mill’s first 5A state title. Seitz scored nine goals with two assists for the Yellow Jackets.

MID: Jeremy White, Jr.; Catawba Ridge (All-State selection)

White earned All-Region and All-State honors with Catawba Ridge with eight goals and seven assists for the Copperheads this season.

MID: Tyler Schwartz, Sr.; Indian Land (All-State selection)

Schwartz led Indian Land in goal involvements this season, ranking second on the team with 21 goals and leading the team with 26 assists.

FW: Braden Gritz, Sr.; Fort Mill (All-State selection)

The leading offensive force in Fort Mill’s title-winning campaign, Gritz led the team with 25 goals this season, including 11 goals in five postseason games. Gritz earned All-State honors and a spot in the Clash of the Carolinas.

FW: Joshua Zawlocki, Jr.; Catawba Ridge (All-State selection)

Zawlocki earned All-State honors as the leading scorer for the Copperheads, scoring 20 goals to go with nine assists. The junior was also named Region Player of the Year.

FW: Dalen Massey, Sr.; Lewisville

Massey created over half of Lewisville’s 52 goals this season, leading the Lions with 23 goals and nine assists. The senior earned a spot in the North-South Game.

Honorable mentions

GK: Nicholas Gritz, So.; Fort Mill

DEF: Gavin Muschik, Jr.; Legion Collegiate

MID: James Jenkin, Sr.; Clover

MID: Paul Meyers, Sr.; Nation Ford

FW: Landon Sykes, Sr.; Clover

FW: Grady Pierce, Sr.; Clover