Although other conferences had teams represented in the 2A ranks of Region 9 of the N.C. Soccer Coaches Association, it was players from the Western Piedmont Athletic Conference who earned the lions’ share of the 22 spots on the organization’s All-Region squad.
The 2A version of the All-Region 9 team was announced recently, with 19 of the slots going to players representing the WPAC. State runner-up West Stokes led the way with seven players named to the team. Forbush, which tied the Lady Wildcats for the conference title and then reached the 2A quarterfinals, contributed six players. Surry Central and South Stokes, which also made it to the playoffs, had three players each earn All-Region. Two players from Wilkes Central and one from West Wilkes rounded out the roster.
West Stokes, which won five state playoffs games to make a surprise appearance in the state finals as a No. 10 seed before losing to Carrboro, the top overall seed in the East, compiled its 24-4-1 season with a surprisingly young roster. Of the seven Lady Wildcats named to the All-Region team, only one was a senior. However, West Stokes’ season-long battle with conference rival Forbush probably won’t end anytime soon. Only one of the six Lady Falcons named to the team was a senior.
Central, which won 13 matches during the season and finished third in the league, placed three players on the All-Region team, sophomore forward Taylor Cochran and longtime senior starters Jenni Osorio, a defender, and midfielder Sofia Valle. South Stokes, which finished fourth and also made it into the postseason field, was represented by junior forward Hannah Fischer and sophomores Madison Green, a forward, and Riley Kiser, a defender.
West Stokes, which had won nine matches in a row before its 3-0 loss to top-ranked Carrboro in the state finals at N.C. State University, won three times on the road en route to that showdown. Junior forward Zoe Wehr, who was named All-State last week and who was second among area goal-scorers with 49, led the way for the Lady Wildcats’ All-Region contingent. The team also rode the sure hands of sophomore keeper Lizzy Luzzi on its march to Raleigh, and she was joined by classmate Micha Harris, in the midfield on the All-Region team. Junior center-mid Lovisa Fahraeus and classmate Allie Hawkins, a defender, earned the honor as well.
Anna Bates was only one of three freshmen to make it, while Mackenzie Edwards, the team captain and only of only two remaining seniors who played on West’s 2014 state championship team, made All-Region as a defender.
For the Lady Sauras, Green led the team with 10 goals and Fischer was second with five. Kiser, who played almost exclusively on the back end for South Stokes, led the team with 1,346 minutes played. She played the full 80 minutes in 13 matches and all 100 in an overtime loss to Surry Central on April 24. Although a defender, she did manage to be credited with an assist on her team’s lone goal (scored by Green) in a March 7 loss to Starmount.
Forbush recently named freshman standout midfielder Emily Marcincavage as the team’s Player of the Year. She and defender Lauren Sloan were the other two ninth-graders to make All-Region, and Marcincavage was also named to the NCSCA’s 2A All-State team as well. The Lady Falcons, who went 20-6-1 and lost to Hendersonville in the state quarterfinals, also placed sophomore midfielders Marley Martin and Michaela Stone on the team, with Stone also named as an All-State honoree. Joining them as All-Region were junior midfielder/forward Macey York and keeper Calyn Davis, a two-sport standout at Forbush who completed her distinguished Lady Falcon career with a selection to the All-Region team despite suffering an injury that ended her season early.
Juniors Holly Swofford and Karson Anderson of Wilkes Central and Candace Bell of North Wilkes were the only non-WPAC student-athletes on the All-Region 9 squad.