SUPER CENTEX GIRLS' SOCCER TEAM: Lorena star dominated competition

Lorena soccer star Brianna Johnston scored 29 goals and tallied 13 assists this year despite missing time with an injury.

As Lorena coach Steve Glaser learned this season, it’s going to take a lot more than an injury to hold down Brianna Johnston.

To look at her stats at season’s end, 2010

looked like just another trophy-winning year for Johnston, Lorena’s superstar sophomore who’s poised to shatter every scoring record at the school.

She scored 29 goals this season, tied for the best total areawide, and supplied 13 assists.

But under the surface roiled an injury that shortened her season by four games and helped keep Lorena out of the playoffs.

Still, Johnston’s unstoppable form in her time on the field earned her the Super Centex Player of the Year award.

“Her year this year is exactly what I expected,” Glaser said. “I think everybody going into last year realized right as the season got under way that she was going to be something special. The team voted her as the captain last year, so even as a freshman there were high expectations.”

Glaser knew Johnston’s expectations would take a monstrous leap after the stunning freshman campaign she put together, and he wasn’t wrong.

She scored 32 goals as a freshman and was the Super Centex Newcomer of the Year. As a sophomore, she scored 29 goals in four fewer games.

But she faced the first true test of her charmed high school career early in the district season.

Johnston took a knock on her right knee in the first half of a game against La Vega on Feb. 9, and by the end of the game it had swelled to twice its size.

Johnston refused to come out at halftime, but by the end of the game the damage was obvious.

She didn’t play that Friday or the next one. She sat out the next four games, and Lorena couldn’t muster any goals in crucial losses against Waco High and Robinson.

Those losses doomed Lorena’s hopes in the playoff chase. Both of those teams snapped up playoff spots and Lorena was left in the cold.

“I had to work really hard,” Johnston said. “Unfortunately it didn’t work out very well.”

But over the healthy portion of her season, Johnston displayed the beguiling talent that continues to make her such an efficient forward.

In one particular game against La Vega — her triumphant four-goal return to the field after her injury — she whipped around on an off-balance shot and swept the ball into the back of the net.

The La Vega sideline was dumbfounded, but Glaser knew all too well that Johnson’s complete skill set is still emerging piece by piece.

As just a sophomore with 61 goals already to her name, the successes of the Lorena girls’ soccer program and Johnston’s future are intricately linked.

“Once she steps across that line, its unbelievable the competitive drive she has in her,” Glaser said. “She hates to lose. Sometimes she feels like, ‘Okay, I’m going to take over.’”

Johnston wasn’t the only player to leave a big imprint. Midway senior Lindsey Low was on her heels with a team-leading 17 goals and tied Johnston with 13 assists.

Coach of the Year: Bill Sharp, Midway

Excellence is a yearly expectation at Midway.

The Pantherettes delivered this season, putting together another flawless district campaign and making it all the way to the state semifinals.

For Midway’s best season since 2004, Bill Sharp has earned Super Centex Coach of the Year honors.

“It’s not just about me,” Sharp said. “It’s about my assistant coach, its about all of our kids, all of our kids’ parents and how they were raised, it’s about the support we receive from our administration. ... There’s no way we could have done what we did had we not had all those together.”

Sharp’s Pantherettes completed a litany of impressive accomplishments this season. They kept alive the team’s seven-year shutout against district opponents, defeated perennial nemesis Friendswood in the regional finals and made it to state.

Midway mowed through its playoff slate with ease before grinding out 1-0 wins against Brenham and Friendswood to reach state. Midway hadn’t been there since 2004, and despite losing in the state semis this year, Sharp still thinks this year’s team was one of the best he’s ever coached.

“It’s a lot of fun, I love the competition,” Sharp said. “It’s just fun. I told myself the day I got into this business that the day that it stops being fun is the day that I’ve got to walk away. It’s still fun. I still enjoy it.”

Newcomer of the Year: Lundon Gutierrez, University

As a freshman, Lundon Gutierrez was all too happy to cede the goal-soaked spotlight to the rest of her teammates.

“Without a playmaker there can’t be any goals,” Gutierrez said. “I think of it like that. I like distributing more than scoring. It feels good to score, but being the person to make the goal happen, I like that feeling.”

That doesn’t mean she didn’t get into the act. Gutierrez scored 10 goals and supplied 17 assists for the Lady Trojans, who made the playoffs for the first time in program history this year.

Gutierrez played no small part in that feat, and for that she’s the Super Centex Newcomer of the Year.

“I was excited coming in as a freshman,” Gutierrez said. “I was happy that we got the boys’ coaches to come over and help us out. I felt like there was going to be a change in the team this year.”

Gutierrez helped usher in that fresh beginning. The Lady Trojans had never come close to matching the boys’ accomplishments, but they generated considerable buzz on campus this season in their playoff push.

“People never actually came out to watch the girls’ team until this year,” Gutierrez said. “I felt like I actually had a lot of impact for the team. People started talking more about the girls’ team than they used to, and how they were surprised we made it to the playoffs. I think everyone was shocked.”

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2010 Super Centex Girls’ Soccer Team

Player of the Year: Brianna Johnston, Lorena

Newcomer of the Year: Lundon Gutierrez, University

Coach of the Year: Bill Sharp, Midway

BRIANNA JOHNSTON

Forward

Lorena

Beguiling talent has 61 goals in first two years, and had 29 this year despite missing time with injury.

 

LINDSEY LOW

Forward

Midway

Slippery player adept at multiple avenues of attack had 17 goals and 13 assists as senior leader.

 

HADLEY YOUNG

Forward

Belton

Sophomore star tied Johnston with 29 goals and developed into Belton’s offensive attack dog.

 

JERI HICKS

Forward

Midway

Two-way player has blazing speed and scored critical goal that lifted Midway into state tourney.

 

LUNDON GUTIERREZ

Forward

University

Newcomer of the Year was versatile, scoring 10 goals and supplying 17 assists as freshman.

 

JOURDAN BROWN

Midfielder

Belton

Steady junior field general scored 23 goals set back from forward role and supplied 18 assists.

 

TASHA BABERS

Midfielder

Midway

Babers was a rock all year but sprouted at state, scoring Midway’s only goal in the tourney semis.

 

REBECCA DIETRICK

Goalkeeper

Midway

Brick wall allowed 12 goals in 27 games and sported an 0.44 goals-against average.

 

KAITLIN MUNIZ

Defender

Temple

Reliable as they come, Muniz makes her second appearance here after starring as dependable defender.

 

AMY JETELINA

Defender

Midway

Heady junior fullback possesses ideal speed down flanks, and can push attack forward as well as defend.

 

KATE WORTHINGTON

Defender

Waco High

Senior earned District 33-4A’s defensive MVP in defense that had eight shutouts in nine wins.

 

TAYLOR PRESSLEY

Defender

Belton

District 12-5A defensive MVP, also scored four goals and had 13 assists to add to her versatility.

 

Honorable Mention: Ansley Gough, Emmy Dickson and Kaitlyn Wallace, Lorena; Taylor Duron, Abi Hope and Salina Rodriguez, Robinson; Becca Petro, Temple; Ruby Hermida, Bernice Segura and Allison Thomas, University; Rachel Moore, Waco High.

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