All-area: Webb striker caps dynamic career

Jun. 09, 2013 @ 08:00 AM

The battle for all-area soccer Player of the Year came down to J.F. Webb’s Ashton Allen and Abbey Smith.

Allen, a senior, and Smith, a sophomore, were the perfect compliment to each other, always threats to create scoring opportunities in the final third.

The Warrior duo put up similar numbers this season, but Allen edges attacking counterpart for the area’s top honors, marking her third consecutive all-area Player of the Year distinction.

Webb finished tied for third in the 3-A Carolina Conference led by Allie Urbanski, the all-area Coach of the Year.

Allen’s propensity for scoring has been unmatched in the area for the last three seasons. She scored 23 goals this season to go along with 11 assists while Smith tallied 16 goals and 15 assists. The two combined for 75 percent of Webb’s scoring and both were named to the all-Region 5 team.

In a conference with regional and state powerhouses Cardinal Gibbons and Chapel Hill, area teams have been left battling with Orange for third place in the league standings. Urbanski has always had her Warriors in the hunt.

This season, Webb tied for third with a tough Orange team. The sides staged two intense battles between each other with each claiming one-goal wins.

Webb was perfect against Northern and Southern Vance, conceding only two goals, both to the Vikings.

Allen and Smith are joined on the all-area team by teammates Stephanie Moyer and Sarah Graham. Moyer, playing on the left side of the midfield, and Graham, a commanding central midfielder, often figured into the attack with Graham providing a physical presence.

Right back Cat Pittard rounds out Webb’s all-area selections. Pittard led an inexperienced Warrior backline in front of a freshman goalkeeper. Urbanski referred to Pittard, Allen, Moyer and Graham, the team’s four seniors, as coaches on the field.

Kristin Long, Tanaua White and Stephanie Garcia represent Northern on the all-area team. Long, a sweeper, and White, the goalkeeper, were both all-region selections.

Long was the heart of Northern’s central defense, but was also a vital part of the offense, taking most of the set pieces and penalties. Named the team’s MVP, Long finished with four goals on the season.

White was the conference Goalkeeper of the Year, averaging about 13 saves per contest. Northern coach Razvan Tegean often spoke of the improvement White sustained as she made her mark on the league with an array of athletic stops.

Garcia, a junior midfielder, earned all-conference honors for Northern, playing on the right side of the park while finishing with two goals and three assists.

Kerr-Vance also has three all-area selections: Jessica Darnell, Rebecca Ross and Shannon Ayscue.

Darnell led what was a remarkably improved Spartan defense from a 2012. Darnell, a senior goalkeeper, posted nine clean sheets behind versatile junior stopper and left midfielder Rebecca Ross.

Shannon Ayscue rounds out the all-area selections. The senior center midfielder proved to be capable of both finding the net and setting up her teammates.

Southern’s Tanya Zuniga and Sarah Stanton are honorable mention selections along with Northern’s Hannah Burgess, Katlyn Reams and Gabby Matthews.

All-Area Soccer Team
Ashton Allen (Webb), Abbey Smith (Webb), Stephanie Moyer (Webb), Sarah Graham (Webb), Cat Pittard (Webb), Kristin Long (Northern), Tanaua White (Northern), Stephanie Garcia (Northern), Jessica Darnell (KVA), Rebecca Ross (KVA), Shannon Ayscue (KVA)

Honorable mention: Tanya Zuniga (Southern), Sarah Stanton (Southern), Hannah Burgess (Northern), Katlyn Reams (Northern), Gabby Matthews (Northern)

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.