With the 2021 High School Soccer season in the past, here’s a look at the top performers in Section V. Presenting the 2021 Pickin’ Splinters Senior Girls’ Starting XI:
Center Back, Brighton Bruins (Monroe County II)
All-County performer had her season cut short because of injury: Sure-footed with an impressive balance of feet, Adiutori keeps the Brighton offense moving, she sees the field well, finds gaps and distributes, the University of Vermont commit forces defenses to extend and has the ability to take advantage of interior seams, rarely out of control she has the ability to deliver with pace while still in mid-stride; a stingy defender, she understands how to use angles to cut down the opposing dribble while anticipating well and stepping to the ball.
Coach’s insights: “Amelia has a great understanding of the game and makes good decisions on the ball for her team. We tried not to let her get much rhythm and get around the ball or at least limit her time and space with the ball. She is skilled, smart and athletic.” (Jamie Schneider/Spencerport)
Center Back, Pittsford Sutherland Knights (Monroe County III)
All-County performer and Class A Fourth Team All-State selection: Allen provided a wall along a Sutherland backline that strung together seven shutouts in eight games at one point during the season and limited opponents to three goals over the final 10 games of the season; strong to the ball, Allen gets a first step on opponents and finishes plays, has an uncanny knack for taking a situation that dictates a clearing and turns into an opportunity to build offense, the game never seems too fast for her.
Coach’s insights: Ava is a strong, relentless defender who is not afraid of anyone. If you’re looking to attack on the dribble, she will hunt you down and strip you of the ball. If you plan on playing crosses, she is fearless in winning balls out of the air. Her leadership through example on the field set her apart from the rest and helped lead Sutherland to the success they had. (Eric Pritchard/Pittsford Mendon)
Midfield, Spencerport Rangers (Monroe County II)
All-County performer, Class A First Team All State and East Region selection: Brongo is comfortable along the sidelines making decisions in small spaces to break down opposing defenses, the University of Wyoming commit combines athleticism with skill and technique, she forces opposing defenses to over-commit, when they don’t she has the speed and balance to get around the corner and to the end line where she consistently delivers threatening crosses, Brongo forces defenses to extend because she can strike from long range .
Coach’s insights: “She has solid technical skills, speed, and she is smart on the ball. She will beat any player down the line or take the ball inside. Her services are played perfectly into the box. She has great vision, and she knows where to place the ball to set people up. Everyone team would love to have a Lily Brongo on their team because she is always setting up teammates with a goal!!!” (Rita Kladstrup/Brighton)
— Paul Gotham (@PickinSplinters) October 30, 2021
Goalkeeper, Warsaw Tigers (LCAA II)
Gifted athlete with keen instincts for the game: Cox finished the season with 14 shutouts, strong hands and and quick reactions, she backstopped a defensive line that limited the number of opposing opportunities, at the same time Cox delivered when needed, read situations well and understood when to come off her line; an above-average facilitator she frequently used her athleticism to generate offense for her team.
Coach’s insights: “Sarah is a pretty aggressive keeper. She isn’t afraid to come off her line and disrupt any through balls early. In addition, her vision of the field and willingness to quickly pass or roll the ball out of the back to begin a solid buildup of attack set her apart from most keepers you see in the high school game.” (Nick Drollette/Geneseo)
Forward, Spencerport Rangers (Monroe County III)
Monroe County Division II Player of the Year and Class A First Team All-State selection: DeHond is a prolific scorer who finds the back of the net in a variety that is unparalleled – she can finish with either foot off the turf or volley and added the ability to nod home goals this season; set pieces – there was not another player more dangerous than her, she has a way of always being around the ball, an underrated facilitator the Monroe Community College commit plays the way she faces and understands the value of giving up the ball to get it back and makes economic use of her touches.
Coach’s insights: “What set’s Bre apart from most players is that she has a great read of the game and can anticipate where the next play is going to happen. She is in constant motion and is always ready to receive a ball or pass to one of her teammates. We try to man mark Bre but she is a great player and is hard to shut her down.” (Donna Trost/Our Lady of Mercy)
— Tim Irving (@Irvish5) November 6, 2021
Forward, Greece Olympia Spartans (Monroe County IV)
Monroe County Division IV Player of the Year (shared the honor in 2019) and Class B Third Team All-State selection: Equipped with quick acceleration and confident touch, Derosa draws a crowd of defenders; despite receiving added attention from opponents, she is able to produce along the front line, powerful with a low center of gravity, Derosa is able to get into stride with the ball at her feet, comfortably uses change of speed and change of direction to break down opposing defenses.
Coach’s insights: “Kuditra is an extremely dynamic player who has the ability to strike the ball from anywhere on the field take defenders 1v1 or distribute to her teammates. Her positive attitude and energy on the field are two key components to her success.” (Adam Palumbo/Pittsford Sutherland)
Midfield, Fairport Red Raiders (Monroe County I)
All-County performer and Class AA Second Team All-State selection: A skilled central player who knows how to pick spots to attack; at 6-foot-1, Diem can see over smaller players and has the foot skills to take advantage of situations, a patient ballhandler, Diem readily distributes to the flanks with precision, at the same time she sees seams along the interior of defenses where she can attack, she effortlessly changes speed with the ball at her feet when defenders back off looking for her to pass; a first-to-the-ball defender, she has a strong first touch used to win 50/50 situations.
Coach’s insights: “Katie’s skill, speed and strength allow her to be a game-changing player offensively and defensively. When we play against her, we focus on limiting her touches on the ball because she is so good at making plays that put her team in a position to score. It has been a pleasure to watch her grow as a player even if it was as an opponent.” (Libbie Tobin/Penfield)
Midfield, Brockport Blue Devils (Monroe County III)
Monroe County Division III Player of the Year and Class A Sixth Team All-State selection: Speed and power with the ability to make a finesse play when needed, Fadale brings a little bit of everything to the game, a high-motor player she is always around the ball and always ready to make a play, a point guard on the school’s basketball team, she sees the field well and readily distributes, but she can take advantage of openings given by the defense; a willing defender who understands how to stop the ball and then break down an offensive player.
Coach’s insights: “Certain players are the engine that drive their team and I always looked at Ella as that player for Brockport. What made her especially dangerous was the fact that she is an all around player. Ella is often quick on the ball and good at picking out the right pass. She is physical and didn’t shy away from making a hard tackle. She had quality on her set pieces and could cross the ball. More importantly she had that extra drive which helped her create or score goals for her team. You knew going into games that if your team shut off for a second that she would be the one to create something special.” (Jeremiah Bergan/Greece Athena)
“Ella is the type of player you think of when you think of the center midfield as the engine of the team. She is one of the players that made Brockport go as she is an incredibly smart player who never stops working. She is also very good at timing her runs into the attacking third and 18 yard box which consistently would make her a goal threat.” (Jakob Honan/Greece Arcadia)
Midfield Penfield Patriots (Monroe County I)
Monroe County Division I Player of the Year and Class AA Fifth Team All-State: Calm and composed in the middle third while consistently keeping opponents in reaction mode, Giunta plays quickly but is never out of her comfort zone (nod to John Wooden – “Play fast; don’t hurry”), she routinely finds diagonal passing lanes and has the touch to find teammates in stride, she possesses the game IQ to understand when to settle, when to attack and has the ability to execute in either situation, a willing passer but has to be defended from 25 yards away.
Coach’s insights: “Her pace of play and quickness in open spaces makes Natalie really difficult to handle in the defending third of the field. Natalie has the ability to get behind defenders and her pace causes defenses to become unbalanced which really open up the Penfield attack. Her ability to read the game and see where loose balls might pop out also helped her on the attacking end take one time shots that often caught defenses and keepers off guard. Natalie also shows a great dedication to her team environment and supporting her teammates and that environment was evident all season as it was one of the traits that set Penfield apart this past fall.” (Kent Brown/Webster Schroeder)
Center Back Our Lady of Mercy Monarchs (Private-Parochial I)
Private-Parochial I Player of the Year: Strong to the ball with quick reactions, Netti made a smooth transition from outside back to the middle third, taken her ability to make overlapping along the outer third to the center of the pitch where she has an uncanny sense of knowing when to distribute and when to maintain possession, keeps the game at her speed and makes intuitive decisions with the ball; she rarely over-commits on defense and is adept at seeing one play ahead and moves well on the flight of the ball.
Coach’s insights: “One of the the best defenders in Section V. Her ability to read plays defensively often thwarted the opposition’s attack. Her pace on the backline for Mercy made it extremely difficult for teams to try to get behind them and look for through balls. Shea almost always was able to win the ball and break the attack. Her ability to apply cover was also a strong asset for Mercy. If teams attempted to attack from the width and use the sidelines She would often slide outside to disrupt the attack. On the attacking end of the field when she intercepted a pass her speed with the ball often allowed Mercy to build great counter attacks because Shea often caused may defenders to jump up to over cover and then Shea was able to pass into spaces to allow Mercy to counter.” (Kent Brown/Webster Schroeder)
Center Back Spencerport Rangers (Monroe County Division II)
All-County Performer and Class A Third Team All-State selection: Calm and composed, Taylor anchored a backline that allowed six goals this past season, she is comfortable being the last defender and makes sound decisions whether to clear the ball or initiate the offense, skilled at using an economy of touches to move the ball; Taylor is a big reason why Spencerport’s outside backs (Kendall Mesh and Shannon Fitzgerald) could push forward with the offense.
Coach’s insights: “Emma Taylor sees the entire field from her vantage point and can anticipate where the next play is going to happen. I have personally watched Emma play over the last few years on her club team, and she has consistently gotten better each season. She is a difficult player to get around due to her speed and quickness, which explains why teams, including Mercy have trouble scoring on Spencerport.” (Donna Trost/Our Lady of Mercy)