Go inside nationally-ranked Clover boys’ soccer March 26 pregame talk
A pair of Clover attackers are The Herald’s 2019 girls and boys’ soccer players of the year.
Angelica Castro and Ethan Stevenson struck fear into back-peddling defenders all over the area, and state, this past spring.
Castro was a multifaceted attacker that caused opponents headaches in different ways. She could play with her back to goal, holding up the ball and involving teammates, or taking on players 1-on-1. The junior committed to Furman was involved in 38 Clover goals, scoring 21 and assisting 17, and earned Region 3-5A player of the year and 5A All-State honors.
Clover coach Kelsey Geary gushed about Castro’s willingness to do whatever to help the Blue Eagles, writing in an email that Castro, the 2019 girls’ player of the year," was “ALL IN FOR THE TEAM.” The all caps were Geary’s.
Stevenson was similarly instrumental to the Clover boys’ offensive attack. His driving runs down the wing or at the heart of opposing defenses unlocked closed doors for the Blue Eagles. Stevenson’s feet were involved in 50 Clover goals. He scored 31 of those himself, doling out 19 assists, and simply was the most dangerous player in the area, and one of the most best in the state.
Stevenson picked up a knee injury during Clover’s 5A state playoff win over Mauldin and missed the Blue Eagles’ third round 1-0 loss to J.L. Mann. Safe to say that if The Herald’s All-Area player of the year had been healthy, the Mann game probably wouldn’t have been Clover’s last of the season.
South Pointe’s Javier Marin is the girls’ coach of the year. He led the Stallions to a 9-1 region record, the school’s first girls’ region title, and a first round state playoff bye. Then, the team won a playoff game and reached the third round of the playoffs for the first time in the school’s soccer history (boys or girls).
Indian Land’s Adam Cole took his Warriors back to the 3A state title game, where they fell to May River. Cole’s Indian Land program has had an annual level of success that hasn’t depended on one particular group of players and the 2019 team again proved that.
Girls’ player of the year: Angelica Castro, Clover
Girls’ coach of the year: Javier Marin, South Pointe
(Listed alphabetically by school)
Angelica Castro, Clover - junior forward committed to Furman scored 21 goals and assisted 17 others. Castro was named 5A All-State and Region 3-5A player of the year.
Janae Massey, Clover - Winthrop signee was too fast for local attacking players to best. Massey helped lead a stingy Blue Eagles’ backline and was named 5A All-State, All-Region 3-5A and was selected to play in the Clash of the Carolinas. She also scored twice and assisted seven more goals.
Alondra Nieves, Clover - sophomore forward smashed in 31 goals and assisted 10. She was named All-Region 3-5A.
Grace Sain, Clover - All-Region 3-5A and Clash of the Carolinas pick led Clover’s backline. Sain signed with Queens University.
Izzy Giarrizzi, Fort Mill - junior keeper committed to Winthrop was named 5A All-State and All-Region 3-5A. Giarrizzi posted 10 shutouts and allowed just 14 goals in 20 games.
Annika Ford, Fort Mill - Citadel signee and midfielder scored eight goals and assisted nine. Ford was named 5A All-State and All-Region 3-5A.
Katie Phillips, Fort Mill - senior forward signed with East Tennessee State scored 17 goals and was named All-Region 3-5A.
Carleigh Werner, Indian Land - senior was named Region 4-3A player of the year after scoring eight goals and assisting three from the Warriors’ back line.
Zoe Kennedy, South Pointe - junior scored 19 goals and assisted six, earning Region 3-4A player of the year honors.
Ana Carolina Carter, South Pointe - senior defender helped the Stallions surrender just 10 goals this season.
Haylee Myrup, York - USC Upstate-signed senior was named 4A All-State and All-Region 3-4A. The keeper posted 11 shutouts and allowed just 1.2 goals per game.
Kalee Wartluft, Clover - Limestone commitment scored nine goals and assisted six.
Sammi Wolf, Clover - sophomore midfielder was named All-Region 3-5A.
Vanessa DeRado, Fort Mill - junior centerback was named All-Region 3-5A. The North Greenville University commitment scored twice.
Haley Havermann, Indian Land - senior defender was named All-Region 4-3A, after scoring twice and assisting one.
Makayla Garner, Nation Ford - All-Region 3-5A forward is signed to play in college at Carson-Newman (Tenn.).
Rayna Simmons, Nation Ford - junior striker was named All-Region 3-5A.
Ansley Rentz, Northwestern - junior midfielder was named All-Region 3-5A after scoring six goals and notching two assists.
Meredith Emmons, Northwestern - Wake Tech signee and senior goalkeeper was named All-Region 3-5A. She made 66 saves and had an 82 save percentage against region opponents.
Jada Jones, Rock Hill - freshman midfielder was the Bearcats’ leading scorer and made All-Region 3-5A.
Kailah Marshall, South Pointe - All-Region 3-4A player scored 12 goals and assisted two.
Ava Robiatelli, South Pointe - All-Region 3-4A freshman scored seven goals and set up nine more.
Savannah Mellon, Clover; Helen Scholten, Fort Mill; Maren White, Nation Ford; Abigail Jordan and Aminah Johnson, Northwestern; Hannah Austin and Carly Kennedy, South Pointe.
Boys’ player of the year: Ethan Stevenson, Clover
Boys’ coach of the year: Adam Cole, Indian Land
Ethan Stevenson, Clover - junior was named 5A All-State and Region 3-5A player of the year after scoring 31 goals and assisting 19.
Dawson Malcolm, Clover - 10th grader was named All-State and All-Region 3-5A after scoring four goals and eight assists.
Connor Jaramillo, Clover - All-Region 3-5A keeper made 90 saves and kept 14 clean sheets. Jaramillo allowed 0.5 goals per game.
Grayson Allen, Clover - Coker signee was named 5A All-State, All-Region 3-5A and played in the Clash of the Carolinas.
Brandon Malcolm, Clover - the Blue Eagles’ second dangerous attacking player, the junior was named All-State and All-Region 3-5A after bagging 24 goals and assisting nine more.
Gavin Dunlop, Indian Land - 3A All-State junior was also named All-Region 4-3A. Dunlop scored 22 goals and assisted 10 for the Warriors, who reached the state finals.
Jacob Cato, Lancaster - senior centerback was co-Region 3-4A player of the year. Cato marshaled the Bruins’ defense and also scored four goals and six assists.
Curtis Johnson, Nation Ford - senior centerback scored a team-high 12 goals and was named to the North-South all-star game. Johnson signed with USC Lancaster.
Carson Guest, Northwestern - senior forward was named 5A All-State, All-Region 3-5A and was picked for the North-South all-star game.
Nic Parker, Northwestern - sophomore midfielder is a slick operator in the middle of the Trojans’ formation, and was named All-Region 3-5A.
Mitchell Lane, York - co-Region 3-5A player of the year scored 17 goals and assisted four.
Mitchell Clark, Clover - All-Region 3-5A midfielder scored four goals and assisted two.
Brayden Held, Fort Mill - junior right wing was named All-Region 3-5A. Held scored seven goals, with several match-winners, including against rival Nation Ford.
Grayson Woodard, Fort Mill - junior left wing scored 15 goals and was named All-Region 3-5A.
Jordan Perry, Indian Land - junior scored 19 goals and assisted 12.
Kyle Wells, Nation Ford - junior midfielder scored five goals and assisted seven during an All-Region 3-5A campaign.
Andrew Meachem, Nation Ford - junior forward scored nine goals and was named All-Region 3-5A.
Pete Tuipulotu, Nation Ford - junior forward made the All-Region 3-5A team after scoring nine goals and assisting three.
Daniel Guzman, Rock Hill - senior forward scored 14 goals and assisted six.
Skyler Fields, Rock Hill - All-Region 3-5A junior midfielder was a big leader for the Bearcats in the middle of the park.
Hayden Jordan, Rock Hill - All-Region 3-5A junior scored seven goals and assisted seven. The tall center forward was the focal point of the Bearcats’ attack.
Dawson Ullrich, South Pointe - sophomore midfielder was named All-Region 3-4A after scoring 14 goals and assisting on eight.
Alec Nelson, Cameron Malcolm and Jackson Coleman, Clover; Jackson McCoy, Fort Mill; John Fosu, Daniel Kilroy and Luke Roberts, Indian Land; Mason Green and Jonathan Baker, Lancaster; Mateo Moyon, Rock Hill; Ben Whitesell and Jack Hyatt, South Pointe.