South Tahoe soccer award: De Loia earns title of north’s best
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — South Tahoe star sophomore Giovana De Loia grabbed the crown of best soccer player in Northern Nevada after leading the Vikings to a pair of championships.
De Loia led South Tahoe in goals (31), assists (21) and overall points (83) and was named Nevada’s class 3A Northern Player of the Year, which includes earning first-team all-state and all-league honors.
She helped guide the Vikings to Northern League and Northern regional championships and a runner-up finish at state for the second year in a row.
De Loia won a 7-3 vote with Truckee four-year standout Ava Seelenfreund, who was the reigning northern player of the year.
“Winning the player of the year is a huge honor, especially for a sophomore, it’s very rare,” said Vikings head coach Mark Salmon. “People recognized that Gio stood out. She led the league in points and set the South Tahoe record for goals and assists. She’s well-rounded, smart, gets great grades, has a high soccer IQ, could score from anywhere and can definitely go to the highest level collegiately if she chooses.”
Fellow sophomore Kelsey Hogan was narrowly behind De Loia statistically and earned first team all-state and all-league. Hogan tallied 30 goals and 11 assists.
“Kelsey is another sophomore phenom,” Salmon said. “She was the spark plug for this team. She has an incredible motor, she’s fast and scores goals with power. She can score from way out.”
South Tahoe freshman Marley Befu, junior Morrison Salmon and senior Lillie McGuire all received first team all-league and second team all-state.
Befu, a midfielder, scored nine goals and had six assists. Morrison, a midfielder, scored twice and had nine assists and the speedster McGuire had five goals and two assists. She scored twice in the Vikings’ state championship loss to Truckee.
Also earning honors for South Tahoe were Anjelina Maltase (second team all-league, all state), Riley Turner (second team all-league), Jenna Pevenage (second team all-league) and Quinn Simpson, Phoebe Barkann, Ashley Johnson, Citlalli Herrera Uribe and Ilse Decosta earned honorable mention.
“I’m super proud of the girls,” Salmon said. “Anjelina had the most assists (18) ever at the school for a freshman. The team broke the record for shutouts by one goalie (Barkann) in 3A history. We scored a school record 122 goals, and that was double the output from a year ago. Offensively and defensively, we really tightened the screws a full few turns this year.”