Soccer Player of Year selections reward more than scoring


This year, the value of contributing to team success beyond just scoring goals came into sharp focus as The Arizona Republic announced its prep Big-School Player of the Year selections.

Adam Mosharrafa, this year’s boys’ POY, gave up his forward position, where he would have been able to run up a collection of goals that generally earn the awards, and moved to the back of the field to help provide the kind of lock-down defensive effort that helped Brophy Prep to the Division I state title.

And Gabriela Stoian made her contributions to the Pinnacle High School team from her midfielder position.  But it wasn’t the 24 goals and nine assists that alone accounted for her selection as girls’ POY, according to her coach and teammates.  It was also a tribute to her willingness to help out her teammates and give them the support they needed to make their play better.

Mosharrafa still managed to score 13 goals on the season, one of them in the crucial quarterfinal victory over Ironwood High School, and chipped in seven assists as well.  But it was his unselfishness in moving to a new role as defender that made the difference as the Broncos moved through the final part of the season and into the playoffs.

Both seniors have committed to college programs, with Mosharrafa heading off to Stanford and Stoian suiting up to play for the University of Arizona Wildcats to continue contributing her talent to an in-state program.  She will be stepping into a program that is trying to build off its first winning season in eight years, with expectations even higher for the 2014 season.  The Cats beat Arizona State last season to build some excitement that would carry over to this year – and encourage players like Stoian to get on board.

Mosharrafa was one of 11 p;layers named to the Republic’s boys’ All-Arizona Team, but it was the Broncos’ lone representative this year.  Division II state champion Tucson High placed two players and Scottsdale’s Coronado High, the Division III champ, also had a couple added to the roster.

Tucson’s representatives were both sophomores, forward Julian Gaona and goal keeper Anthony Siaha.  Coronado placed a couple of fowards, junior Miquel Gonzalez and sophomore Cristian Gonzalez.

Filling out the remainder of the roster: Oswaldo Lopez (defender/Copper Canyon HS), Justin Johnson (defender/NW Christian HS), Tyler Patel (midfielder/Hamilton HS), Musa Morris (midfielder/Sandra Day O’Connor HS), Antonio Lokossou (midfielder/Moon Valley HS), and Aziz Allanidkim (forward/Alhambra HS)

On the girls’ side, Pinnacle High loaded the roster with three selections and Tucson’s Sahuaro High contributed two more.

Stoian was joined by teammates Jalen Thompkins, the junior goal keeper, and senior forward Jorian Baucom. Sahuaro placed a couple of upperclassmen in junior midfielder Allison Raniere and senior forward Jasmine Simmons.

The rest of the 11-member All-Arizona team includes: Kellie Peay (defender/Xavier Prep), Makenna Dunn (defender/Perry HS), Kate Staudenmaier (defender/Arcadia HS), Kyle Escobedo (midfielder/Boulder Creek HS), Kylie Miniefield (midfielder/Hamilton HS), and Aminah Settles (forward/Catalina Foothills HS).