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DLN ALL-AREA: Girls Soccer 1st Team, 2nd Team, Honorable Mention & Coach of the Year

First Team Forwards

EMMA GRAY, Great Valley

A two-time All-Stater, Gray led the Patriots to the C-M American title and was the division’s player of the year. The senior amassed 11 goals and four assists, including four game-winners. “Emma was our most explosive forward again this year,” said acting head coach Tom Doyle. “Every game she was matched against the opposing team’s best defender.”

McKENZIE COLEMAN, Conestoga

A transfer student from New Mexico, Coleman had an excellent debut for the Pioneers, scoring 20 goals and dishing out 11 assists in 2019. She was selected to the All-Central League first team as a forward. “(Coleman) combined tremendous strength and speed, with great touch on the ball as well as a hammer of a shot,” said ’Stoga coach Ben Wilson.

ALAINA McLAUGHLIN, Bishop Shanahan

The senior wrapped up her career with 13 goals and 10 assists, giving McLaughlin 43 career varsity goals. She was the Eagles’ leading scorer for three seasons and is a two-time All-League pick. “Alaina was a standout in every game even though most teams man-marked her,” said Shanahan head coach Ken Schmidt. “She used a combination of speed and physicality to impact all facets of the game.”

CAROLINE McDONALD, Downingtown East

Just a sophomore, McDonald has already garnered two All-Ches-Mont first team honors. In 2019, she was the league’s leading scorer with 22 goals and 18 assists, and was the runner-up in the voting for C-M National MVP. “Caroline was one of the highest scorers in the entire state,” said her coach Craig Reed.

SARA DARLINGTON, Unionville

A junior forward, Darlington was one of the most dangerous weapons in the Ches-Mont. She scored 12 goals, added 10 assists and was a first team All-Ches-Mont American pick for the second straight year. “Sara is a dynamic and athletic player who has a motor that never stops,” said her coach Joe Ratasiewicz.

ALEX WILSON, Unionville

A go-to player for the Indians, Alex Wilson led Unionville in scoring with 14 goals and nine assists. The junior scored six game-winning goals and was a first team all-league selection for a second straight year, as well as the American Division MVP runner-up. “Alex is a technically sound player whose energy and drive makes her a standout,” said her coach Joe Ratasiewicz.

First Team Midfielders

HAYDEN WILSON, Unionville

A dynamic junior midfielder, Hayden Wilson registered nine goals and 11 assists and is a two-time All-Ches-Mont pick. She notched two game-winning goals in district action, which propelled the Indians into the state playoffs. ”Her tactical awareness is superior and coupled with her technical abilities makes her a threat any place on the pitch “

MADDIE BYRNE, Villa Maria

A senior co-captain, Bryne was a first-team All-AACA pick in 2019. She totaled seven goals and seven assists, and will be playing at the University of Scranton next fall. “Maddie is an exceptional center midfielder with excellent field vision, tremendous technical ball skills to go along with a high motor,” said her coach Gary Christopher. “She is a relentless defender and team leader.”

LAUREN REIMOLD, Downingtown East

The lone freshman to earn All-Ches-Mont honors, Reimold was an effective box-to-box midfielder. She scored 10 goals and delivered 16 assists. She was one of the driving forces for the Cougars, who won the overall Ches-Mont league crown.

First Team Defenders

CALISTA COURTNEY, Conestoga

The backbone of a defense that allowed just one goal in the entire PIAA Tournament, which ended in the State 4A Championship Game. A first-team All-Central League honoree, Courtney chipped in with 15 goals and 10 assists this fall, and is being recruited by several Division I programs. A four-year starter, Courtney is described by her coach Ben Wilson as the team’s most versatile player.

EMILY BUCKNER, Downingtown East

The two-time Ches-Mont National MVP, Buckner was the 2018 Daily Local News Player of the Year. Buckner was an excellent defender who was also heavily involved in the Cougars’ attack. She was a first team All-State selection. “Emily was the best player in the Ches-Mont and one of the top players in the state,” said her coach Craig Reed.

ALLIE LEWIS, Westtown

A dominant defender who also has offensive skills, Lewis scored eight goals and added five assists. The junior has already committed to play collegiately at Division I Virginia Tech. Lewis was widely considered the top player in the Friends School League. With her help, Westtown allowed just two goals against all league foes. “Allie is probably the most dominating center back in FSL history, and everyone knows it,” said her coach “She is a superstar.”

First Team Goalkeeper

ASHLEY BUCHHEIT, Downingtown East

The Cougars captured the Ches-Mont crown in ’19 thanks to an excellent defense, and Buchheit was the last line of resistance. In conference play, Buchheit conceded just five goals in all. “Ashley was voted the top goalkeeper by the Ches-Mont coaches,” said Craig Reed, her coach.

SECOND TEAM FORWARDS

VERONICA YONCE, Great Valley

ELIZABETH COGAN, Great Valley

JAMIE PERKINS, Avon Grove

KATE GORDON, West Chester Henderson

GABBIE HOFFMAN, West Chester Rustin

SECOND TEAM MIDFIELDERS

JESSIE ROSSER, Kennett

MADDIE GRECO, Downingtown West

AMELIA WINTERS, Oxford

RILEY BOYD, West Chester Rustin

SECOND TEAM DEFENDERS

MAREN DOUGHERTY, Downingtown East

RILEY CANTANDO, West Chester Henderson

LORYN WALKER, Bishop Shanahan

MARY DEITCH, Great Valley

HONORABLE MENTION

Conestoga: Sophie Koziol, Reese Henderson.

West Chester Henderson: Mary King, Julia Bixler.

Bishop Shanahan: Emily Longenderfer, Ellie Udo.

Downingtown East: Ella Marrollo, Meg Buckner, Rebecca March, Bridget Riley.

Downingtown West: Ava Rightmire.

Avon Grove: Maddie MacDonald, Meggan Kristman.

Coatesville: Allison Ringsdorf.

Villa Maria: Hannah Young, Grace McLees, Peyton Coron.

Great Valley: Lauren Birchler, Gillian Younce, Rose Bleahan.

Unionville: Jackie Hug, Hanna Firment, Julia Capparella.

West Chester Rustin: Grace Plona, Jama Keefer.

Kennett: Jordan Barish, Katie Lacosta.

Oxford: Dulce Villagomez, Olivia Voss.

Westtown: Emily Coe, Bridget Fitzpatrick.

West Chester East: Delaney Pickerd.

Conestoga: Annabel Schwartz, Kristi Dirico, Caroline Klaiber.

Coach of the Year

Ben Wilson, Conestoga

The Conestoga girls came tantalizingly close to authoring a storybook finish to the 2019 soccer season. After several years of postseason disappointment, ’Stoga advanced all the way to the PIAA 4A State Championship Game before falling to Boyertown, 1-0, in double overtime.
It’s a far cry from where the program was when Ben Wilson became the head coach after a 2015 season, when the Pioneers won just five matches. In all, Conestoga went 20-4 this fall and won the tough Central League crown for the third year in a row.
“I was disappointed not winning the final, but the big thing was getting the team past the first round of states and show we could make a deeper run,” said Wilson, the 2019 Daily Local News Coach of the Year.
“This year just kind of came together. We had the experience and the team to just take care of business.”
With Wilson leading the way, ’Stoga has evolved to fit the strengths of the roster, going from defensive-minded to attack-oriented over the past few seasons. In 2018, the Pioneers won the District 1 title but faded quickly in states. This year, Conestoga was third in the districts but rebounded to make a run at the state crown.
“We had the best all-around attack we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Wilson explained. “In the past we were more of a defense-first team. This season we were more attack-minded and even played three back on defense most of the time.”
— By Neil Geoghegan

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