Looking for a success story? Look no further than the Poston Butte girls soccer team. Coming off consecutive losing seasons, the Broncos nabbed the No. 12 seed in the 4A state tournament and won their play-in game.
The girl who provided the offensive firepower for Poston Butte was senior forward Elisia Escanuela, and she is the 2018-19 PinalCentral Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
Escanuela had five hat tricks on the season, including one in a 6-1 win over Kingman Lee Williams in the 4A play-in round. She finished with 20 goals, tied for 14th in Class 4A, and added six assists.
Runner-up for Player of the Year is Therese Tataw, a senior forward from San Tan Foothills. Tataw had an incredible breakout season, scoring 24 goals after putting just four in the back of the net as a junior. She was named Offensive Player of the Year in the 3A Central.
Two of Escanuela’s teammates, defender Mindy Mugkdara and goalie Jennifer Avillar, also make the PinalCentral All-County First Team.
Mugkdara, a senior who transitioned from forward to center back, was a team captain and anchored the Broncos defense. She and Alvillar, a dominant junior goalkeeper, were instrumental in a strong finish to the season.
Poston Butte allowed just three goals in its final five games, including a 1-0 loss to Prescott in the first round of the state playoffs. Alvillar led 4A with 216 saves and was No. 2 in the state with 14.4 saves per match.
Other defenders on the First Team are Hadli Hancock of Combs and Kenedee Theabold of American Leadership Academy-Ironwood.
While Combs didn’t have much team success, Hancock was recognized as an elite defender. She was named Defensive Player of the Year in the 4A Black Canyon.
Theabold was named First Team All-Region in the 3A Central, and she helped lead the Warriors to a 6-5-2 record in their first season competing in the Arizona Interscholastic Association.
At midfield, the First Team includes Tristyn Perez of Casa Grande Union, Emily Rutkowski of Apache Junction and Shannon Coutre of Maricopa.
Perez, just a freshman, exploded onto the scene with 21 goals in her first season. That tied her for 12th in Class 4A, and she added three assists.
Rutkowski finished off an excellent career for Apache Junction with 11 goals and eight assists and made First Team All-Region in the 4A Black Canyon. In four years with the Prospectors, she totaled 56 goals and 34 assists.
Coutre put forth another strong performance in her final season in a Maricopa uniform. She had seven goals and three assists in 10 games played, and she helped lead the Rams into the 5A state playoffs. The senior tallied 42 goals and 16 assists in her Maricopa career.
Joining Escanuela and Tataw at forward on the All-County First Team are Bianca Olivares of Maricopa and Xitaly Padilla of ALA-Ironwood.
Olivares was Maricopa’s leading scorer, with 16 goals and four assists. She had a goal and an assist in a 6-1 victory over Glendale Independence in the 5A play-in round. She was a First Team All-Region selection in the 5A San Tan.
Padilla, one of just two freshmen to make the All-County First Team, scored 23 goals in her rookie season. That ranked 15th in Class 3A, and she was named First Team All-Region in the 3A Central.
Check the list below for the entire PinalCentral All-County team, including Second Team and Honorable Mention selections.
Player of the Year: Elisia Escanuela (SR, Poston Butte)
Runner-up: Therese Tataw (SR, San Tan Foothills)
D – Hadli Hancock (SR, Combs)
D – Mindy Mugkdara (SR, Poston Butte)
D – Kenedee Theabold (SO, ALA-Ironwood)
MF – Tristyn Perez (FR, Casa Grande Union)
MF – Emily Rutkowski (SR, Apache Junction)
MF – Shannon Coutre (SR, Maricopa)
F – Elisia Escanuela (SR, Poston Butte)
F – Bianca Olivares (SR, Maricopa)
F – Therese Tataw (SR, San Tan Foothills)
F – Xitaly Padilla (FR, ALA-Ironwood)
GK – Jennifer Alvillar (JR, Poston Butte)
D – Kasey Caberto (SR, Poston Butte)
D – Seanna Brennan (SO, Apache Junction)
D – Emily Saults (JR, San Tan Foothills)
MF – Lexee Subia (SR, San Tan Foothills)
MF – Ava Armstrong (FR, Combs)
MF – Celeste De La Rosa (FR, Poston Butte)
F – Saneya Cowing (JR, Maricopa)
F – Lillyanna Reyes (SO, San Tan Foothills)
F – Memarie Gallegos (JR, Apache Junction)
F – Karely Lara Rodriguez (JR, Casa Grande Union)
GK – Olivia McCrary (FR, Apache Junction)
D – Jessica Mendoza (SR, Combs)
D – Mackenzie Ford (SR, Maricopa)
D – Madison Tyler (SO, Maricopa)
D – Elisa Lara (SR, Casa Grande Union)
MF – Maya Galicia (JR, Casa Grande Union)
MF – Kristin Riggs (SR, Casa Grande Union)
MF – McKinley Hacker (FR, Maricopa)
MF – Jaden Miner (SO, Apache Junction)
MF – Lauren Powell (JR, Apache Junciton)
MF – McKenzie Neace (FR, Apache Junction)
MF – Grace Yael (SR, San Tan Foothills)
MF – Aurora Dargle (SO, Poston Butte)
MF – Kaija Celestin (SO, Poston Butte)
F – Rianna Zillmer (FR, Poston Butte)
GK – Sydney Rydzak (JR, San Tan Foothills)