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All-Delco Girls Soccer: Districts run lands three from Haverford on first team

Haverford midfielder Annalena O’Reilly, here fending off Penncrest’s Kara Mullaney in a regular-season game, scored 16 goals as the Fords advanced to the District 1 Class 4A quarterfinals. (DFM File)

In addition to Player of the Year Olivia Dirks, the All-Delco team includes:

Alison Durfee, Haverford: The senior goalkeeper capped four years as the starter by taking the Fords on their deepest districts run in program history. Durfee was in net two years ago when the Fords notched their first districts win; as a senior, she piloted the Fords into the District 1 Class 4A quarterfinals, shutting out Upper Dublin away from home and then tipping top-seeded Owen J. Roberts in the shootout in the second round, the Fords prevailing 3-0 in penalty kicks after Durfee made 13 saves over 110 scoreless minutes. In 22 games, Durfee allowed just 18 goals, keeping 11 clean sheets.

Penncrest’s Sarah Hughes, seen playing forward in the District 1 Class 4A semifinal against Souderton, switched from defense to up top midseason and sparked the Lions’ run to the PIAA quarterfinals. (Gene Walsh — Digital First Media)
Penncrest’s Sarah Hughes goes to pass near Souderton’s Payton Rachel Croll October 30, 2018.

Sarah Hughes, Penncrest: An All-Delco defender last year, the center back’s switch to forward energized the Lions’ season en route to a return to states for a third straight year (this time in Class 4A) and a first states win. The Lions scored just five goals in their first 10 matches (outside of a 7-0 win over Upper Darby); with Hughes up top, they scored 11 in their last five regular-season matches to storm into districts as the 20th seed, then routed No. 13 Hatboro-Horsham, 4-0, behind a Hughes brace. The Lions upset No. 4 Central Bucks West and No. 5 Downingtown West in districts, then toppled District 4 champ Williamsport in the states opener. Hughes, an All-Central pick, finished the season with five goals and four assists and helped a Lions defense that allowed 18 goals in 25 games. Hughes will continue her career at Dickinson College.

Rebekah Cunningham, Haverford: The senior defender forged a formidable pairing with Britt Riegler in back-stopping a defense that allowed 18 goals in 22 matches. Cunningham was at the center of it, her steady clearances and sure-footed marking limiting opponents as the Fords advanced to the District 1 Class 4A quarterfinals. Cunningham also scored a goal and, as a prime set-piece server, delivered four assists. Cunningham was an All-Central selection.

READ: The full list of All-Delco honorees

Laila Payton, Episcopal Academy: The rangy center back controlled the middle for the Churchwomen, leading them to the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association title in penalty kicks over Baldwin. Payton paired with fellow junior Lauren Cunningham in a daunting center-back tandem, Payton providing the height and defense-marshaling voice to match Cunningham’s speed. She added a pair of assists on the season. Payton has committed to Old Dominion.

Just a sophomore, Strath Haven midfielder Maggie Forbes, right, scored six goals and six assists to earn her second straight All-Delco nod. (Pete Bannan — Digital First Media)

Rylie Butler, Ridley: What the senior midfielder lacks in size, Butler made up for in smarts and tenacity. As the Green Raiders’ holding midfielder, she served as the key fulcrum between a senior-laden defense and a young but talented attack that guided the Green Raiders to their first ever District 1 tournament appearance and an 11-win season. With Butler repelling threats in midfield, the Green Raiders surrendered 21 goals in 19 games. Butler contributed four goals and five assists, including the only goal of the Green Raiders’ season-culminating win over Bensalem to ensure the districts berth.

Maggie Forbes, Strath Haven: Just a sophomore, the midfield dynamo makes her second All-Delco appearance. She helped power the top seed in the District 1 Class 3A tournament with six goals and six assists, pulling the strings deep in midfield for a club that allowed 15 goals in 19 games despite a sophomore- and junior-heavy roster. Forbes set up the only goal of a 1-0 win over Haverford and scored the overtime winner against Harriton. She accounted for both markers in a 2-1 win over Springfield. Forbes was named first-team All-Central and to the Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association All-State team.

Episcopal Academy’s Anna Salvucci, right, attempts an overhead kick against the defense of Baldwin’s Alexandra Phelan in the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association final. With 13 goals and nine assists, Salvucci earned a second straight All-Delco nod. (Pete Bannan/Digital First Media)

Raina Kuzemka, Episcopal Academy: The junior midfielder earns her second All-Delco nod, part of a dynamic unit that led the Churchwomen to 13 wins and the PAISAA championship. Kuzemka’s versatility limited her stats to six goals and seven assists, but it benefited EA as a whole, the All-Inter-Ac pick dropping deeper to shore up the middle of the pitch rather than occupying the pure attacking mid role she flourished in last season. Kuzemka set up Dirks’ game-winner with five minutes to play in the second meeting with Baldwin, scored twice in the PAISAA semifinal win over Springside Chestnut Hill and had the equalizer to salvage a draw with SCHA in the regular season.

Anna Salvucci, Episcopal Academy: The senior teamed up with Dirks to comprise a devastating 1-2 attacking punch. The two-time All-Delco and All-Inter-Ac pick just edged Dirks on the final stats tally with 13 goals and nine assists. Both found ways to impact games, Salvucci via a deft touch and technical ability to carve out the tiniest of niches in the crowded part of the field. She had a goal and two assists in a matchup with Radnor and in the first meeting with Agnes Irwin. She notched braces against Hun School and Hill School and had a hand in both goals in beating SCHA. In the PAISAA final, she set up Dirks’ opener, scored in the second half from Dirks and converted a penalty kick in the shootout as the Churchwomen prevailed. Salvucci will continue her career at the University of Connecticut.

Garnet Valley’s Alyssa Saito, left, dribbles around Strath Haven’s Grace Samaha in a regular-season game. Saito scored eight goals and five assists this season.(Pete Bannan — Digital First Media)

Alyssa Saito, Garnet Valley: The technical midfielder was the principle animator of Garnet Valley’s attack. She led the team with eight goals and added five assists to earn a spot on the All-Central team. Saito scored twice and set up a goal in the Jaguars’ early September win over Rustin, added the game-winner against Springfield and set up Regan Nealon’s late winner in a match vs. Ridley. The senior will continue her career at Haverford College.

Annalena O’Reilly, Haverford: The senior two-time All-Delco was the heart of the Fords’ run to the District 1 Class 4A quarterfinals. The do-everything midfielder assumed a more expansive role that in years past, often dropping deep to help the Fords control midfield. Still the Fords’ main offensive threat, she scored 16 goals and four assists. The All-Central first-teamer had the only goal in the districts upset of Upper Dublin and converted in penalties to lead the Fords past top-seeded Owen J. Roberts in the second round. O’Reilly will continue her career at Drexel University.

Paige Mastripolito, Archbishop Carroll: The senior forward was among the Catholic League’s leading attacking lights, scoring 13 goals and nine assists. She recorded hat tricks against Bishop McDevitt and St. Hubert in early-season league games and added two goals in a win over Chichester. Mastripolito, a first-team All-Catholic pick, will continue her career at Bryn Mawr College.

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