With another season of girls soccer in the books, the East Sequoia League awards were released with Sierra Pacific leading the way in selections for a third year in a row.
Sierra Pacific’s Makayla Cawley and head coach Christa Smith were voted for a couple of the top honors. Cawley earned the Defensive Player of the Year award and Smith was voted the Coach of the Year for the second time in four seasons.
After making the Second Team last season, Cawley, a sophomore, commanded the backline for the Golden Bears with a strong foot to limit scoring opportunities for opponents, while also moving the ball into the offensive third with her free kicks.
With Cawley on defense, Sierra Pacific recorded eight league shutouts and allowed five goals, the fewest in league this season, according to MaxPreps. It’s the third year in a row Sierra Pacific led the league in goals allowed.
The Golden Bears have allowed a total of 17 goals over the last three seasons or 34 ESL games. That number averages out to 0.5 goals allowed per game — an insane defensive statistic.
Cawley is the second player in three seasons to earn the award after former Golden Bear Ashlyn Martinez won DPOY during the 2017-18 season.
Smith, who just completed her fourth season with the Golden Bears, has guided the program to unprecedented success.
In her four years at the helm, Smith has amassed a 60-24-11 record overall and a 30-9-6 record in the ESL. Both of those win totals are school records for a head coach. The previous record was held by former coach DelRay Dias who went 48-16-4 overall and 20-9 in league in three seasons.
And Smith continues to set new marks for the girls program. During the 2019-20 season, Sierra Pacific finished a perfect 12-0 in the ESL — a first in program history — and the 25 wins this past season were the most in a single season in school history.
The Golden Bears also had First Team selections in Olivia Fagundes, Kayla Sizemore, Emma Martella and Elizabeth Statler. Sizemore and Statler tied for fourth in league with nine goals each, while Martella scored seven and Fagundes finished with five.
Sizemore led the team with four multi-scoring games and Statler scored in eight of 12 league games.
All of their offensive production helped Sierra Pacific post a +42 differential, the second-best in the ESL.
Sierra Pacific also had Jazmine Nester, Amie Walker, Kaitlin Thayer and Kalea Oliveira voted to the Second Team.
The Golden Bears had a total of 10 selections, four more than any other team.
Sierra Pacific won an ESL championship for a third year in a row. They also qualified for the playoffs for a third consecutive year and were the No. 1 seed, but fell in the CIF Central Section Division IV semifinals 1-0 to No. 4 seed East Bakersfield.
The All-ESL selections for girls soccer included a total of 26 players. Others who earned top awards included Lindsay’s Isabella Duran who was the Most Valuable Player, Strathmore’s Izabella Baez for Offensive Player of the Year and Lindsay’s Nicole Barrientos for Goalkeeper of the Year.
Noe Garcia can be reached at (559) 583-2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noe on Twitter at @noecarlosgarcia.
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