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2013 All-SCV Girls Soccer: Valencia's Taylor Venegas, Rapid Ascent

Posted: April 4, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: April 4, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Senior Taylor Venegas was impressive on the offensive end for Valencia, scoring a team-high 14 goals - including scoring in six of the last seven games.

 

 

Taylor Venegas wasn’t the one you’d expect to stand out this season for the Valencia Vikings.

As a senior, Venegas was preparing to enter her second season on the varsity team, after playing a limited role as a junior.

She was on a team stacked with talented players, many of whom had been on the varsity roster their entire high school careers.

In contrast, when Venegas was a sophomore she was told her touch just wasn’t good enough to play at the higher level — so she stayed on JV.

Thankfully for Valencia, she wasn’t content.

She decided to take things into her own hands — joining the L.A. Premier FC club team her sophomore season, well later than most of her teammates.

And things took a positive turn this season.

Venegas found that finishing touch, leading the Vikings with 14 goals and earning All-CIF Division II First Team honors, the only player on Valencia to do so and one of just two players in the Foothill League on the list.

She was a workhorse who was always a threat to score.

And she only got better as the season went on.

She scored 11 goals during the regular season, including seven during league play.

She saved her best performance for last, scoring two goals in the Vikings’ CIF-Southern Section Division II quarterfinal loss to Sunny Hills.

The Vikings may have fallen short in the playoffs, but Venegas kept them in it with two hard-fought goals.

In the previous game she also provided the game-winning penalty kick, as the Vikings defeated Claremont 0-0 (5-4 in PKs) with Venegas scoring in the final round.

It wasn’t just the playoffs when Venegas came through.

She scored the game-winner on Feb. 5 against Hart, receiving a pass from teammate Samantha Simon and heading the ball into the back of the net in an eventual 3-1 win over the Indians.

That goal handed the Vikings their first outright Foothill League title since 2001.

And she one-uped herself in the Foothill League finale, scoring the game’s only goal in a 1-0 win over West Ranch that secured an undefeated Foothill League run for Valencia.

That game capped a run of four straight in which Venegas scored to end the league season.

Now, she’ll continue her soccer career at Biola University next season.

It’s no secret the Valencia Vikings’ roster was stacked this year, with nine players on The Signal’s All-SCV team.

Any number of players could have been named Player of the Year, but Venegas stood out from the pack.

And for that, she is The Signal’s 2013 All-SCV Player of the Year.

 

Venegas’ Season
— Scored a team-high 14 goals on the season.
— Scored in six of her team’s final eight games, including twice in the CIF-SS Division II quarterfinals.
— One of two Foothill League players on the All-CIF First Team.

First Team

Lindsay Bos • Valencia • Senior
Bos was the clear leader on the field for Valencia, excelling as a defender during her moments on the backline, and showing a knack for moving up into the midfield to aid in the attack. Bos scored five goals with seven assists.

Jenny Chavez • Hart • Sophomore
The sophomore forward was the definition of game-changer this season. Her size and strength made her a focus of every defense. She scored six goals and had two assists on the season.

Sophie Cortes • Hart • Junior
The small, speedy junior was a key piece of the Indians’ offense, attacking out of the midfield and scoring six goals and picking up one assist. Cortes was rewarded with All CIF-Southern Section Division II first-team honors.

Rebecca Harrison • Valencia • Junior
Soccer is a team sport, and no one exemplified that premise more than Rebecca Harrison. The junior led the league-champion Vikings with 10 assists and added seven goals of her own on her way to earning All-Foothill League Player of the Year honors and CIF-Southern Section Division II third-team honors.

Hailey Jenkins • Hart • Senior
Jenkins was a rock in the back for Hart this season from her centerback position. She also took free kicks for the Indians and scored two goals while adding three assists.

Meghan Kennedy • Canyon • Sophomore
Opposing coaches were almost universal this season in eyeing Kennedy as the single biggest reason for the Cowboys’ turnaround. The sophomore goalie had eight shutouts this season, allowing just 1.2 goals per game to go along with 104 saves.

Eryn Spencer • Valencia • Junior
No one works harder on any given day than the junior Spencer, who consistently played nearly 80 minutes and did so with full intensity throughout. Spencer scored six goals this season, including a highlight-reel shot from 30 yards out to help tie Hart 1-1 on Jan. 19. She also added four assists.

Brooklyn Stevens • Valencia • Senior
The senior midfielder was part of the Vikings’ core. Her ability to play defensive soccer with fluidity through the midfield was vital to Valencia’s success this season. She also added a goal and two assists.

Savannah Tujague • West Ranch • Senior
The Wildcats struggled to score goals this season, increasing the pressure on the defensive backline to keep the team in games. The senior Tujague rose to the challenge, anchoring the backline in front of goalkeeper Logan Byam-Ayers. She also added a goal and two assists.

Kristina Watanabe • Canyon • Senior
The senior centerback was a major reason for the success of Canyon’s defensive backline. Watanabe was technically sound and always made the right decisions, making life much easier for keeper Meghan Kennedy.

Angie Weiner • Saugus • Senior
The Fresno State commit has one of the most feared free kicks in the Foothill League, with the power and skill to score with regularity. The senior led the Centurions with with nine goals and added three assists this season.

 

Second Team

Monica Allen • Saugus • Senior
Allen returned from a devasting leg injury last year to lead her team in assists in 2013 with seven. The senior is known throughout the Foothill League for her lethal throw-in and added three goals.

Megan Gallagher • SCCS • Senior
The All CIF-SS Division VII selection was solid for the Cardinals, scoring 20 goals on just 55 shots with 11 assists.

Vanessa Quintero • Canyon • Sophomore
Quintero was limited this season, playing just 13 games before being sidelined with an ACL injury. On the field, though, she had as much impact as anyone in the league, scoring nine goals with three assists and earning Canyon Offensive Player of the Year honors.

Presley Lambert • Hart • Senior
The senior took control in the midfield this season for Hart, controling possession for the Indians.

Gabby Lopez • Golden Valley • Senior
Lopez may have been among the smallest on the field, but she arguably did more with less than anyone in the Foothill League. Lopez was the best player on a struggling Golden Valley team that continued to improve throughout the year.

Nicole Joseph • Valencia • Sophomore
The Vikings goalkeeper emerged as a freshman last season and returned as a dominant stopper for the league champions this year.

McKinley Kane • Hart • Senior
The senior midfielder was solid for Hart, moving up to score three goals and picking up two assists.

Mari Kneisel • Canyon • Junior
The junior forward came on strong when it mattered most, scoring seven goals and an assist in 2013. But it was her five goals in the final eight games that really stood out.

Valerie Mercado • West Ranch • Senior
Mercado was one of the most skilled athletes in the league, with a quickness and shiftiness to rival anyone of her competitors. She managed five goals and three assists on the season.

Brooke Moore • Canyon • Junior
The junior forward was a speedster with an impressive work rate. She scored eight goals with five assists.

Bailey Reid • Valencia • Sophomore
Reid was fantastic in her sophomore campaign, giving the Vikings yet another offensive threat. The forward/midfielder racked up 10 goals this season, including a hat trick against Golden Valley on Jan. 11 and two-goal efforts against West Ranch and Canyon.

 

Honorable Mention

Alyssa Munguia • Canyon • Junior

Michela James • Golden Valley • Senior

Laura Sega • Hart • Junior

Lauren Gallagher • SCCS • Sophomore

Brenna Savoie • Saugus • Senior

Sammy Simon • Valencia • Junior

Noelle Weber • West Ranch • Junior

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