The All-District 8-6A girls soccer teams were recently announced, and Belton led the way for area squads with three superlatives.
Senior Mattie Krenek was awarded co-midfielder MVP with Waco Midway’s Melanie Castelan, junior Erica Anderson was named defensive MVP and sophomore Gracie Green was the goalkeeper MVP.
Regarding Krenek, their lone senior captain and only one of three seniors on the 2016-17 squad, Lady Tigers head coach Wendy Knight believed the midfielder set a great example for the team moving forward.
“For us in the midfield, she was such a vocal presence and a demonstrator of what the Lady Tigers soccer program is,” Knight said. “The group we had was really young; we had nine sophomores and three freshmen on varsity this year. She showed them what’s expected because she knows what’s expected.
“She was able to share that, guide that and show them what it means to be a senior captain, what is expected of a senior captain and what is expected of seniors. She’s such a well-rounded, great kid that she was able to guide them and mold them into what we want our athletes to be like by the time they get to her place.”
Anderson was Belton’s other captain. The junior, recovering from an ACL injury suffered last year, was unable to play until the middle of 8-6A play, but she immediately stood out upon return.
“Against some of the best teams in the state, she was a standout on the field,” Knight said. “It’s just a testament to the type of player she is, the caliber of player she is and what she brings to the table — and she’s a leader. The kids follow her, she keeps our defense organized and she’s a vocal leader in the back for us.
“We called her, last year, an impenetrable wall, and people know it. She’s impossible to get past.”
Green, the Lady Tigers’ young goalkeeper, has grown leaps and bounds from where she was as a freshman, and Knight knows she’s only going to get better.
Green put on a show on March 8 in a scoreless tie in a big league tilt at San Angelo Central.
“We really needed that game to have a chance for the district championship,” Knight said. “We really needed to win that game, and she definitely filled her half of that bargain. She made sure to keep the ball out of the back of the net and made some spectacular saves.
“She recorded, I think, 11 shutouts in district play, which is fantastic. She’s definitely deserving — she did some great things for us and just being a sophomore is huge. She’s going to continue to bring a lot to the plate for us as far as leadership and everything else out of the back.”
Belton was 14-5-2 and 11-2-2 in league play to finish second and reach the Class 6A postseason, where it earned a 4-1 bi-district victory over Cedar Hill before falling 5-1 at area to Southlake Carroll, which reached the regional final and was defeated 2-0 by Keller.
District MVP went to Midway junior Emmalie Albers, offensive MVP was awarded to Central junior Addison Bonaventure, and Midway freshman Sammie Brown was named newcomer of the year.
The following is a complete list of the 8-6A first- and second-teamers:
Alexis Quirino, Jr., Central; Alison Navarro, Jr., Belton; Aliyah Marsh, Soph., Central; AndreaAlmendarez, Sr., Shoemaker; Ariana Wilson, Jr., Copperas Cove; Ashley Posey, Sr., Midway; Briana Caudle, Jr., Central; Chloe Cavaness, Sr., Harker Heights; Chloe Davis, Fr., Belton; Georgia Fair, Sr., Midway;
Harlie Wiley, Soph., Belton; Jaylyn Davis, Jr., Killeen; Kailey Walker, Jr., Copperas Cove; Kayla Donovan, Soph., Harker Heights; Kennedy Clark, Sr., Midway; Lourdes Moreno, Sr., Ellison; Mikaylee Pope, Soph., Central; Nicole Evans, Jr., Copperas Cove; Rachel Ramm, Soph., Belton; Tegan Wilson, Jr., Central; Tyshiree McGough, Soph., Ellison.
Adamarie Moreno, Jr., Central; Bailee Russell, Jr., Midway; C.T. Montez, Soph., Central; Daniella Barrantes, Fr., Ellison; Destiny Savini, Sr., Killeen; Emma Stinson, Sr., Belton; Gabrielle Griffin, Sr., Copperas Cove; Georgia Helein, Fr., Belton; Izzy Rhodes, Soph., Belton; Jasmine Earls, Sr., Shoemaker; Keegan Stewart, Soph., Ellison; Kelsey Wallace, Soph., Central;
Maddie Harris, Soph., Belton; Megan White, Soph., Central; Melinda Balades, Sr., Copperas Cove; Melodie Balades, Soph., Copperas Cove; Mia Morales, Sr., Harker Heights; Miriam McCormick, Sr., Midway; Sydnie Dehoyos, Jr., Central; Taylor Neilson, Jr., Midway; Victoria Bella, Sr., Harker Heights.