For the seventh straight year, West Valley Preps watched enough soccer to put together a credible all Northwest Valley team. Here it is:
F – Ellie Johannes, junior, Northwest Christian
F – Tatum Thomason, senior, Liberty
F – Leslie Duarte, junior, Centennial
MF – Belle Floyd, senior, Northwest Christian
MF – Jamie Brandon, sophomore, Centennial
MF – Paige Garcia, senior, Willow Canyon
MF - Katie Willoughby, senior, Liberty
D – Keali Foster, junior, Sunrise Mountain
D – Kiley Connery, senior, Liberty
D – Makenzi Wisley, senior, Northwest Christian
GK – Aliyah Garret, senior, Sunrise Mountain
F – Maegen Hill, junior, Centennial
F – Hayley Horner, freshman, Paradise Honors
F – Kristen Puels, junior, Millennium
F – Mia Loher, sophomore, Shadow Ridge
MF – Juliana Reyes, semior, Millennium
MF – Schaye Sisk, sophomore, Sunrise Mountain
MF – Cassidy Sims, junior, Estrella Foothills
D – Karly Morkunas, senior, Millennium
D – Ava Campbell, senior, Northwest Christian
D – Izzy Blanco, senior Shadow Ridge
GK – Anisa Smith, freshman, Paradise Honors
Ellie Johannes, junior, Northwest Christian — Repeating as West Valley Preps player of the year was more difficult than winning that award last year. Johannes, the state 3A player of the year, had difficult competition on several fronts, namely state 6A player of the year Tatum Thomason. Johannes gets the nod for the consistently spectacular finishing, even though Thomason played considerably tougher competition in Arizona's big school conference. Johannes once again led the state in goals, with an eye-popping 56 scores in 17 games. She also led the repeat 3A champion with 17 assists, lest you think she was only Northwest Christian's finisher. Johannes is already signed with the University of Indiana and on her way to some big things at the next level.
Tatum Thomason, senior, Liberty — The catalyst for the Lions' best ever season and first 6A semifinal appearance, the University of Washington-bound striker was fifth in the state with 39 goals. That total was eight more than her closest peer in 6A, and Thomason also finished second in the conference with 20 assists. She and fellow senior Katie Willoughby made Liberty upon joining their high school team in January 2021 after two years in the national developmental program.
Sean Fallon, Sunrise Mountain — We easily could have run it back with 2021 winner Jeff Penzone and runner up Kyle Pooler - or simply reversed the order and given Pooler the nod for getting the Lions to their first semifinal of any conference in school history. But something special was happening in 5A. Entering the playoffs, Fallon and his team were having a solid but unspectacular season - losing the Northwest Region title showdown to Centennial and getting a #12 seed in the playoffs despite having knocked off #6 Millennium.
Marc Shrake, Centennial — At first glance the final results for Pooler and Penzone seem more impressive - a third 3A state title in 4 years, and a first No. 1 ranking and Final Four spot, respectively. But where a program has come from matters too. And how it played to get there is also important.
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