North, South fare well on all-SWC girls list
The North Medford and South Medford girls soccer teams each had plenty of representation on the all-Southwest Conference team that was announced on Thursday.
The Black Tornado, which took second in the SWC and will host Barlow in a first-round state-playoff game on Saturday, had three competitors on the first team in senior center midfielder Ashley Chambers, senior sweeper Elly Tucker and sophomore goalkeeper Kendra McMillen.
Shanae Coker, a senior forward, and Anna Sours, a junior center midfielder, made the top team for South Medford. Both Panther players, along with North's Chambers, were first-team members a year ago.
South Eugene's Rachel Bunting was named player of the year, while Jose' da Silva and TJ Johnson of conference champion Sheldon shared coach-of-the-year honors.
The Black Tornado scored 13 goals during SWC play and Chambers was involved on 10 of those, scoring five goals to go with five assists.
"She's been fabulous," said North coach Lu Crenshaw. "She's going to give you 150 percent every single game. Ashley is extremely versatile because she can play in the back, forward, center mid ... she sees the game and understands it so well."
Tucker made the move from center mid to sweeper this year to help buoy the Tornado defense.
"Elly Tucker took one for the team," said Crenshaw. "She did it (switched positions) and has been absolutely incredible."
McMillen, meanwhile, recovered from a broken tibia suffered last season to become the league's top goalie.
Through 10 SWC contests, McMillen has led a defensive unit that gave up only seven goals and posted four shutouts.
"I was kind of worried about it," said Crenshaw on McMillen's recovery from last year's injury, "but she comes out and it's almost like she's been training all year long.
"Kendra makes saves that an inexperienced sophomore is not supposed to make. Sometimes she would just blow my mind."
Coker and Sours led a fast-paced South Medford offense that scored a league-best 19 goals.
Coker in particular, who topped the team with 11 goals and was near the lead with seven assists.
"She's been putting the ball in the net with great regularity," said Panther coach Terry Fretz. "I think the big thing with Shanae is she's a lot more outgoing this season. As a senior, she's really stepped up and has been interacting more with the kids."
Sours scored two goals and had six assists in SWC action.
"She's probably the hardest worker I've had in the last three years," Fretz said. "She's just invaluable as far as her work ethic. I'd love to put something on her to see how many miles she runs during a game. Her motor just doesn't stop."
South Medford also had two second-team competitors in Lindsey Thomas and Rachel Nisbet, while Rebecca Viets and Ana Tozier made the honorable mention list.
For North Medford, Krystal Toderick, Toni Blodgett, Olivia DiBetta and McKenna Storey each earned honorable mention accolades.
Girls SWC All-Stars
FIRST TEAM — Rachel Bunting, South Eugene; Carly King, Sheldon; Ashley Chambers, North Medford; Sara Tepfer, South Eugene; Anna Sours, South Medford; Shanae Coker, South Medford; Taylor Housley, Sheldon; Elly Tucker, North Medford; Kristen Dever, Roseburg; Jessica Bath, Grants Pass; Jenessa Dewitt, Sheldon.
Goalie — Kendra McMillen, North Medford.
Player of the Year — Rachel Bunting, South Eugene.
Coaches of the Year — Jose' da Silva, TJ Johnson, Sheldon.
SECOND TEAM — Stephanie Pepperling, Grants Pass; Kaite Gleffe, Grants Pass; Carly Kolpin, South Eugene; Jenny Phillips, South Eugene; Krista Soloman, Grants Pass; Whitney Roline, South Eugene; Lindsey Thomas, South Medford; Stephanie Ralls, Sheldon; Bronte Jorgensen, Sheldon; Rachel Nisbet, South Medford.
Goalie — Marah Baker, Roseburg.
HONORABLE MENTION — Krystal Toderick, North Medford; Macy Bothman, Sheldon; Toni Blodgett, North Medford; Kate Wilson, Roseburg; Rebecca Viets, South Medford; Ana Tozier, South Medford; Lacy Clark, South Eugene; Annie Mohler, Sheldon; Kierra Debow, Sheldon; Jane Sumner, Grants Pass; Amanda Snyder, Grants Pass; Olivia DiBetta, North Medford; Kayla Barklow, Roseburg; McKenna Storey, North Medford; Chelsie Heberling, Roseburg.
Reach reporter Kevin Goff at 776-4483, or e-mail email@example.com