Girls’ soccer players rewarded for outstanding season

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By Phil Scherer

All season, the Los Alamos High School girls’ soccer team was defined by its depth. It allowed the team to keep fresh players on the field at all times, and allowed the team to have a lot of weapons at the forward position and on defense. That depth led the team all the way to the state semifinals, where LAHS came up just short against Albuquerque Academy in double overtime. 

This week, when the all-district teams were announced, the Hilltoppers were rewarded for the depth and the outstanding season that it created. The team landed seven players on the first-team all-district list and two others on lower lists. 

Landing on the first-team all-district team were Alix Hailey, Alyssa Parker, Katie Hopkins, Alissia Haagenstad, Vianey Terrazas, Valeri Li and Shelly Doyle. 

Hailey was the leader for the Hilltoppers offensively, and proved to be one of the most dangerous players in the state. She finished the season with 26 goals and 16 assists, and created numerous chances every game. She finishes her Hilltopper career with 58 goals and 47 assists, playing on the varsity team all four of her high school years. 

While Hailey was the offensive leader, Terrazas was the leader of the defense for the Hilltoppers. 

She was often matched up against a team’s best offensive weapon, and did a great job of neutralizing threats all season. In district play, LAHS allowed only one goal, and that excellent level of play extended into the state tournament. Terrazas was also excellent on the offensive side of the game when needed, as she scored four goals and tallied five assists this season. 

For their outstanding play, Hailey and Terrazas were named the players of the year in District 2-4A. 

Also helping to anchor the defense were Doyle and Li. Doyle played on the opposite side of Terrazas, and Li often took away the space in the middle of the field. 

The trio of defenders prevented scoring opportunities throughout the season, and limited the opportunities for the high-powered Albuquerque Academy offense in the state semifinals. 

In the midfield, Haagenstad and Hopkins played a key role, both offensively and defensively for the Hilltoppers. 

After playing more of an offensive role last season, Haagenstad became more of a dual-threat player this year. She helped out a lot defensively, and scored three goals offensively. 

Hopkins was also a threat on both sides of the game, but made her mark offensively. She scored 10 goals and dished out five assists. Hopkins, a senior, was named a first-team all-district player all four years of her high school career. 

Along with Hailey, the top offensive threat for LAHS was Parker, who scored 19 goals and handed out eight assists this season. She made a great offensive partner for Hailey, and did a great job creating open shots for herself against many of the top teams in the state. 

Making the second-team all-district list was forward Anna Rose Matuszak, who scored eight goals this season in a limited role. Goalkeeper Anna Lemke was named to the honorable mention list. Despite missing time due to a recurring knee injury, Lemke made 60 saves and allowed only eight goals this season. She played great in the state tournament, earning a shutout in the quarterfinals against Aztec. 

Head coach Ann Cernicek was also honored as the coach of the year in the district. 

In her second year back with the Hilltoppers, Cernicek led her team to a 15-6 record, including a perfect 6-0 record in district play.