Gayle Grand Lienard leads SSHS soccer honors as district Most Valuable Player
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

April 9, 2005 - For the second consecutive year, the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats had the top soccer player in the district - this time it was sophomore forward Gayle Grand-Lienard.

After recording eight goals and four assists in 10 district games, Grand-Lienard was named the District 13-4A Most Valuable Player in voting by the coaches earlier this week.

Joining her on the All-District squad were First Teamers: senior forward Ashley Petty, sophomore midfielder Robin Grafton, and senior defender Tess Bragg.

Second Team selections were junior midfielder Andrea Cordova and sophomore defender Erica Verner. Honorable Mention went to junior forward Morgan Baima, sophomore keeper Kai'la Petty, sophomore defender Sarah Goldsmith, senior midfielder Jennifer Moreland, and junior defender Whitney Roland.

Midfielder of the Year went to Paris senior Rachel Spain, Offensive Player of the Year was north Lamar senior Gabi Brenes, Co-Defensive Players of the Year were Pleasant Grove junior Allyson Rice and Texas High junior Mallory Smith, and Newcomer of the Year went to Paris freshman Ali Ryan.

SSHS head coach J.J. Williams said it is quite an honor for Grand-Lienard to be selected district MVP, an award that usually goes to a player of the district champions. Sulphur Springs finished as runner-up.

"For Gayle to be voted district MVP, she had to impress a lot of people,' he said. "She was not only a good player, she was a great player and everyone recognized her level of skill. For her to be only a sophomore and getting MVP, there's only better things to come."

She was the district's Newcomer of the Year as a freshman.

Both Bragg, who was a First Team pick last season, and Ashley Petty, who was the 2004 district MVP, have been four-year varsity lettermen, and Williams said their awards were hard-earned.

"They all did a great job for us all year long. They've done a great job for four years," he said. "It's a credit for their hard work."

Petty scored seven goals and added an assist in district play, while Bragg put in three goals despite playing most of the district season on defense. She was able to clear balls with her strong left leg and was used extensively on free kicks and corner kicks.

Grafton, a Second Team selection last year, was rewarded for her work in the middle of the field. She scored three district goals and was also valuable on defense.

Defensively, SSHS shut out four district teams and allowed 12 goals in 10 games while scoring 23 goals themselves.

District 13-4A

Most Valuable Player - Gayle Grand-Lienard, SS, So.

Newcomer of the Year - Ali Ryan, Paris, Fr.

Midfield MVP - Rachel Spain, Paris, Sr.

Offensive MVP - Gabi Brenes, NL, Sr.

Co-Defensive MVP - Allyson Rice, PG, Jr., and Mallory Smith, TH, Jr.

First Team

Forward - Crystal Fernandez, MP, Sr.; Ashley Petty, SS, Sr.; Allison Felty, NL, Jr.; Claire Patterson, TH, Sr.; Carolyn Treloar, PG, Jr.

Midfield - Rachel Edwards, NL, Fr.; Lauren Clevenger, PG, Sr.; Briauna Birl, TH, Jr.; Robin Grafton, SS, So.; Brianne Carbeneau, Paris, So.

Defender - Tess Bragg, SS, Sr.; Lucy Saldivar, MP, Jr.; Kriston Elliott, Paris, Sr.; Sara Coopwood, PG, Sr.

Keeper - Stephanie Thomas, MP, Sr.

Second Team

Forward - Marisol Rodriguez, TH, Jr.; Jessica Neal, Paris, Sr.; Araceli Solori, MP, So.; Lacey Russell, NL, Sr.

Midfield - Erin Davenport, TH, Sr.; Hillary Cope, Paris, Sr.; Andrea Cordova, SS, Jr.; Aimee Rea, NL, Jr.; Jennifer Day, PG, So.

Defender - Jamie McFartridge, NL, So., Kelsey Harrington, TH, So.; Maricella Yenez, MP, Jr.; Erica Verner, SS, So.; Monica Yates, Paris, Sr.

Keeper - Katie Nicklas, TH, So.

HONORABLE MENTION

SSHS - Morgan Baima, Kai'la Petty, Sarah Goldsmith, Jennifer Moreland, Whitney Roland.

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