For the sixth straight year, West Valley Preps watched enough soccer to put together a credible all Northwest Valley team. Here it is:
F – Ellie Johannes, sophomore, Northwest Christian
F – Sydney Rolfe, senior, Paradise Honors
F – Justyne Underwood, senior, Sunrise Mountain
MF – Belle Floyd, junior, Northwest Christian
MF – Tatum Thomason, junior, Liberty
MF – Gabby Sangillo, senior, Millennium
D – Keali Foster, sophomore, Sunrise Mountain
D – Makayla Thorvund, senior, Deer Valley
D – Whitney Wilson, senior, Northwest Christian
D – Grace Schaeffer, senior, Estrella Foothills
GK – Bethany Heater, senior, Northwest Christian
F – Katie Willoughby, junior, Liberty
F – Sara Jones, senior, Cactus
F – Ariana Leamons, senior, Millennium
F – Cassidy Sims, sophomore, Estrella Foothills
MF – Rachel Cooning, senior, Northwest Christian
MF – Paige Garcia, junior, Willow Canyon
MF – Jamie Brandon, sophomore, Centennial
D – Alhaya Nunez-Lozano, senior, Dysart
D – Sophie Konieczny, junior, Shadow Ridge
D – Dylan Ramirez, sophomore, Liberty
GK – AnneMarie Murphy, senior, Millennium
Ellie Johannes, sophomore, Northwest Christian — Sometimes a number stands out so much that little context or description is needed. Johannes finished with 51 goals. That not only led Arizona by a margin of 16 goals — over fellow West Valley Preps first teamer Sydney Rolfe — but was the third highest total in the nation, as tracked by Maxpreps. No matter how good the team surrounding Johannes was, and it was excellent, such a feat is remarkable. Considering this was Johannes’ first year playing for Crusaders, her dominant season is even more impressive.
Justyne Underwood, senior, Sunrise Mountain — Underwood is not listed among the state’s leading scorers as the Mustangs recorded stats from only two games. But it did not take long when watching a Sunrise Mountain game to realize she was the fulcrum and finisher for this defensive-minded counterattacking squad. Her speed and ability to strike set the tone for the program’s best season in more than a decade as Sunrise Mountain earned the No. 2 seed in 5A.
Jeff Penzone, Northwest Christian — Like Johannes’ goals it’s hard to argue with a 16-0 record, or a 137-7 advantage in goal scoring. Clearly, the Crusaders were dominant and deep in a way that 3A teams rarely can be. But a spotless record and wins of at least three goals in every match? That is a coach getting the most out of a very talented squad.
Kyle Pooler, Liberty — Ignore the Lions' 7-9 record. Three regular season wins turned into forfeit losses because a senior filled out the early graduation paperwork to graduate in December. The paperwork slipped through the cracks and she played a couple games before it was discovered. Plus junior Skylar Skelton, Liberty's leading scorer in 2020, tore her ACL in the season opener. Yet Pooler was able to lead the program to its first 6A playoff win, at Hamilton and gave runner-up Chaparral a game in the quarterfinals.