Miller repeats as CCC Defender of the Year
SPRINGFIELD — Michael Miller was voted the Cascade Conference co-Defensive Player of the Year for the second season in a row, topping a list of five Southern Oregon players who were named all-stars at the CCC Championships Banquet on Monday night.
Miller was joined on the All-CCC first team by senior goalkeeper Wyatt Zabinski, who became a three-time honoree, and freshman midfielder Adrian Villegas. Senior defender Kelly Gieber and freshman midfielder Alan Gaytan were second-team selections, and freshman forward Sam Walker received honorable mention.
A senior product of Fresno, California, Miller shared top defensive honors with Corban’s Allando Brown. While appearing in and starting all but one game, he helped the Raiders to seven shutouts and a shots-on-goal discrepancy of 170-50. With Miller as the backbone during an eight-game unbeaten streak to end the regular season, SOU held opponents to 17 shots on goal combined. Miller also enjoyed his best offensive output in four seasons with the Raiders, scoring two goals and ranking second on the team with six assists.
Zabinski, a former CCC Defensive Player of the Year, was a first-team selection for the third straight season. The 6-foot-4 keeper totaled five solo shutouts and shared two during the regular season, bringing his career totals to 28 solo and six shared. He’s collected 25 saves, and his goal-against averages led all conference keepers in conference play (0.68) and overall (0.84). Last week, he was also named an Academic All-District performer.
In his first collegiate campaign, Villegas established a new SOU single-season points record with 10 goals and 10 assists, making him one of two CCC players to hit double digits in both categories. He ranked fifth in the CCC in overall points (30) and conference-only points (21).
Gieber, an honorable mention recipient the previous two seasons, cracked the second team with one goal, five assists and several additions to his impressive defensive résumé. The Bend product has been a staple of the Raider lineup for four years, starting all 80 of the team’s games since his arrival while totaling four goals and an SOU-record 18 assists.
Gaytan, a freshman from Troutdale, settled in during conference play, where he recorded each of his six goals and three assists — at one point registering points six times in a seven-game stretch. Walker, a native of Scotland, finished the regular season with five goals and six assists, making him SOU’s second-leading scorer.
Rocky Mountain’s Nolan Sherwood (14 goals, 10 assists) was named the Offensive Player of the Year, Corban’s Matheus Giron (13 goals, 5 assists) the Newcomer of the Year, and Corban’s Tim Kagey the Coach of the Year.
THREE RAIDERS EARN ALL-CCC HONORS: Southern Oregon senior defender Jazmin Shaffer was named to the All-Cascade Conference first team while senior midfielder Aislinn Waite and freshman forward Baylee Touey got second-team nods on Monday night at the CCC Championships Banquet.
All three Raiders earned All-CCC accolades for the first time and a fourth, junior midfielder/defender Brionna Wood, received honorable mention.
Shaffer, a Portland product and third-year starter, anchored an SOU back line that totaled nine shutouts during the regular season and ended it with five in a row. She helped Raiders to the CCC’s third-lowest goals-against average in conference play (0.68) and an average of just 3.5 shots on goal allowed over their last eight outings.
Waite, a senior from Anchorage, Alaska, controlled the midfield while recording two goals and three assists in her third season as a starter. Touey registered eight goals and two assists, giving her the Raiders’ highest goal total in three years and the highest point total for an SOU freshman since 2004.
Wood was another staple of the lineup, starting 13 games and appearing in all 18 during the regular season. She also scored the game-winning goal in SOU’s win at Corban on Sept. 30.
Northwest’s Rylee Rassier (16 goals, 2 assists) and Rocky Mountain’s Lauryn Gamache (16 goals, 5 assists) were co-Offensive Players of the Year. Northwest also produced the Defensive Player of the Year in Kat Sanchez and the Newcomer of the Year in Callie Wright (14 goals, 7 assists). Brandon Porter was selected Coach of the Year after leading Oregon Tech to the regular-season title.