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Mtn. Ridge places 5, Allegany 4 on All-Area girls soccer 1st team

Feb. 28—Area champion and state semifinalist Mountain Ridge placed five on the All-Area girls soccer first team, and four other schools slotted players on the squad as selected by the area's head coaches.

The Miners, who finished 16-2 and advanced to their fifth Final Four, were ranked No. 1 in the final Area Top 5, followed by region finalist Allegany (10-5-1), Northern (11-3-1), Hampshire (12-4-1) and Southern (7-8-1).

The poll was comprised of area sportswriters Kyle Bennett, Alex Rychwalski, Jeff Landes and Jordan Kendall (Cumberland Times-News), Trevor King (Garrett County Republican), Nick Carroll (Hampshire Review) and Chapin Jewell (Mineral News Tribune).

The All-Area field was determined by area head coaches at a meeting following the season.

All award winners, who are automatic first-teamers, have been covered in previous separate stories.

Mountain Ridge seniors Sydney Snyder (Player of the Year) and Lexi Simpson (Defensive Player of the Year) headed a field of five Miners named to the first team.

Allegany junior Avery Miller (Offensive Player of the Year) and senior Shylah Taylor (Goalkeeper of the Year) are joined by two other Campers on the top squad.

Northern, Hampshire and Southern had two first-teamers each.

The other three Miners on the first team are senior forward Meredith Munday, junior midfielder Isabella Robison and freshman goalkeeper Taylor Lamberson.

Allegany sophomores Ellena Nelson, a defensive midfielder, and Myia Miller, a midfielder, were selected for Allegany.

The first-teamers from Northern were junior forward/midfielder Emma Hostetler and junior defender Isabella Yoder.

Hampshire's picks were sophomore forward Della Knight and senior goalkeeper Hailee Jenkins, and junior defender Ashlyn Leader and senior forward/midfielder Abby Butina made the squad from Southern.

The second-team forwards were Bishop Walsh senior Autumn Hoppert, Fort Hill junior Nevaeh Bunbasi, Frankfort junior Kendall Kelly, Mountain Ridge freshman Fiona Ruddell and Allegany sophomore Ella Shade.

Seniors Izzy Blomquist of Hampshire, Lydia Nelson of Northern and Danielle Brobst of Southern are the midfielders, and the second-team defenders are Mountain Ridge junior Jazmyn White, Allegany junior Sierra Campbell, Hampshire sophomore Bailey Saville and Keyser junior Abby DelSignore.

The honorable mentions are sophomore Keyser goalkeeper Hadley Courtney, sophomore Mountain Ridge forward Allie Knieriem, junior Frankfort goalkeeper/defender Emberlyn Knotts, senior Fort Hill goalkeeper Lindsey Ternent, junior Northern midfielder Mckenzie Upole, senior Bishop Walsh defender Lydia Vassiliadi and senior Allegany defender Avery Wallace.

Meredith Munday

Munday was a force for Mountain Ridge from her position as an outside striker. The four-year varsity performer had 12 goals and 13 assists in her final campaign, earning first-team honors.

Munday also landed on the All-Western Maryland Athletic Conference first team.

"Meredith did an excellent job," Mountain Ridge head coach Todd Snyder said. "She not only was able to find the back of the net, but she also distributed so well from her outside position. A great deal of our attack went through her side of the field, and she was a major factor in why we were so successful in attacking on her side. It will be difficult to replace her contributions next season."

Della Knight

The Class AAA All-State honorable mention and All-Potomac Valley Conference Division 1 first-teamer tallied 11 goals and eight assists for the Trojans — scoring five times against Class AAA competition.

"Our most rounded soccer player," Hampshire head coach Troy Crane said. "Lord willing, if she stays healthy she will be our school's most decorated player in our history."

Emma Hostetler

The area's leading goal scorer exploded for 30 goals, doing so in just 13 games, and she dished out three assists.

Hostetler was an obvious pick for her third straight All-Area nod and a first-team All-WestMAC selection.

"Emma is a natural scorer who absolutely refuses to give up," Northern head coach Gregg Hostetler said. "Despite being the focus of every defense we play, she always finds a way to contribute. It's rare to find a player who plays with her heart and aggression with the skill to back it up. We aren't the same team without her."

Abby Butina

Butina scored 17 goals and added two assists as the focal point of Southern's attack, and she also slotted on the All-WestMAC first team.

"Abby was the driving force of our offense, she scored or assisted on 50% of our goals this year," Southern head coach Devin Smith said. "She was a versatile player that we used to attack in the center, the wing, or through the midfield.

"Abby always worked extremely hard and was a tough player for opposing teams to mark in the box as she made dangerous runs and finished opportunities for us. She ended her senior season on a very high note and will be missed."

Isabella Robison

A three-year starter and two-time All-Area selection, Robison garnered seven goals and seven assists in the Miners' midfield.

Robison also landed on the All-WestMAC first team.

"Izzy plays with so much heart and determination," Snyder said. "She controlled the middle of the field for us, often starting the attack, but kept opposing offenses out of our defensive end. So much of our success over the last three years can be attributed to the play of Izzy in the midfield."

Myia Miller

The sophomore, one of four underclassmen on the All-Area first team, used her athleticism and feel for the game to make an impact in Allegany's midfield.

Miller ended the year with eight assists and three goals and also made first-team All-WestMAC.

"Myia's IQ for the game makes her an all-around threat, from controlling the field, set pieces and throw-ins her presence can be felt on every level of the game," Allegany head coach Mat Schartiger said.

Ellena Nelson

Nelson, another Allegany sophomore, made it four Campers on the first team, making her presence known with defense. Nelson had a goal and three assists.

"Ellena can control the tempo of the game," Schartiger said. "She became a staple in the middle of the pitch for our team. Defense, offense, distribution — she could handle it all and make it look flawless."

Isabella Yoder

Yoder was one of the staples on a Northern defense that started the season with five consecutive shutouts and allowed just six goals during the regular season.

The junior also made the All-WestMAC first team.

"'B' is one of the smartest players I have seen, but doesn't get the recognition she deserves because she's not a flashy player," coach Hostetler said. "She is always where she is supposed to be, plays the correct angles, and cleans up just about any mess that gets through the rest of the defense."

Ashlyn Leader

Leader, who was also named first-team All-WestMAC, was the vocal leader of a Southern defense that had three shutouts in 2023.

Leader finished with two goals and an assist.

"Ashlyn was an extremely vital piece to our defense," Smith said. "We put a lot of responsibility on her this season and she exceeded the challenge. Ashlyn is a very smart player and was our vocal leader from the back. She was excellent at winning the ball, not getting beat, and also covering for others.

"She was a sideline to sideline player who was always in position to challenge the ball or provide cover. She has a close touch that allows her to win the ball, make a move, and find someone with a pass to start pushing the ball upfield."

Taylor Lamberson

The lone freshman on the All-Area first team racked up 10 shutouts in her first high school season.

Lamberson only had two games allowing multiple goals (the state quarterfinals and semifinals), and surrendered just 12 goals in 18 games. With 53 saves on 65 shots on goal, Lamberson had an 81.5% save percentage.

"Taylor did a phenomenal job in the goal this year," Snyder said. "She played every second of every game as a freshman. Even though her numbers were not eye popping, she made some big time saves throughout the year for us.

"If Taylor continues to improve like she did over the course of the season, she could go down as one of the best keepers in Mountain Ridge history."

Hailee Jenkins

Jenkins was a frequent snub by West Virginia state media, finishing as just a Class AAA honorable mention her senior season, but Hampshire and its opponents know just how impactful the goalkeeper was.

Jenkins had nine shutouts playing a difficult schedule on the Eastern Panhandle — three against Class AAA schools — and was an All-PVC first-team selection.

"Hands down the best goalie in our school's history," Crane said. "Hailee is one of the best goalies I have seen in nin years. She has defined all odds — and those odds were deep."

Editor's note: An older version of this story did not include senior Allegany defender Avery Wallace as an honorable mention. The omission has since been corrected.

Alex Rychwalski is a sports reporter at the Cumberland Times-News. Follow him on Twitter @arychwal.