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Raiders' Gomer, Cougs' O'Rourke lead HDL awards parade
by Aaron Retherford
Nov 23, 2009 | 951 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune file/John Byrne - Reed senior Kelsey Gomer scored 22 goals in 14 games and earned the Offensive Player of the Year award.
Tribune file/John Byrne - Reed senior Kelsey Gomer scored 22 goals in 14 games and earned the Offensive Player of the Year award.
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When High Desert League coaches met to divvy out postseason honors, they decided that two of the best girls soccer players in the league lived in the Rail City.

Reed's Kelsey Gomer took home Offensive Player of the Year honors, while Spanish Springs' Kaela O'Rourke was named the Defensive Player of the Year.

Gomer scored 22 goals and had four assists in 14 games.

"She had a phenomenal season. Last year she was the provider and this year she scored almost half of our goals," Reed girls soccer coach Jason Saville said. "She had to do it a lot of times being double and triple teamed...We went as she went, and luckily for us we rode her pretty much all season. She deserved to win that award. She's a hard worker, and it's sad to see her go."

Gomer's older sister, Kayla, won the same award last year.

O'Rourke helped solidify a Cougars defense that shut out everyone in the league except Elko and Reed.

"That's the first player we've ever had at Player of the Year in any of those categories," SSHS girls soccer coach Mike Faker said. "Our defense was tough. It was funny because at the meeting it wasn't just one coach or myself, it was a few people who talked about Kaela. She's definitely a very disciplined defender. She has a very good defensive stance and a knack for playing defense. She did a really good job this year."

There were plenty of Raiders joining Gomer on the all-league list. Eight Reed players claimed awards, the high for any team in the HDL.

Senior midfielder Jordan Sambrano and junior defender Savannah Gobelman were selected to the first team. Sambrano was second on the team with seven goals.

Saville felt midfielder Alissa Marshall should also have been on the first team due to her points total (6 goals, 5 assists), but her lack of flashiness did not catch the eye of the other coaches, so she fell to the second team.

Midfielder Jessica Allen and defender Haley White were also on the second team, while honorable mentions Taylor Ryckebosch and Jessie Eiting rounded out the Blue and Gold's selections.

"It's exciting for the team to have eight of your 11 starters get all-league, so I'm pretty happy with that," Saville said.

Spanish Springs had a total of seven players honored.

Defender Rebecca Delumeau was the only other Cougar on the first team.

On the second team, leading scorers Laura Voss (8 goals) and Shaylor Francom (7 goals) were placed along with goalkeeper Erica Lorenz.

Ellie Rybak and Alyssa Bertuleit made the honorable mention list.

"On our team this year, we didn't necessarily have a player that stood out," Faker said. "We had very few players that if they were sitting, our team was hurt really bad. We had a fairly deep team, so we were able to replace almost everybody. It was nice, but on the other hand, I didn't think a lot of us were going to be looked at for league honors. But it was nice to get seven people on there because other coaches noticed our players."

•For Sparks in the 3A, center midfielder Jessica Mendoza led the way with a second team selection.

Senior goalkeeper Nora Valenzuela and sophomore forward Dannae Soto earned honorable mentions.

"I think Jessica is one of the best center mids in the state. She was like the quarterback or the point guard. She had like eight assists and six goals, so she made the team go," Sparks girls soccer coach Jerry Miller said. "Jessica played the ball through for us to people like Dannae Soto, who had 28 goals and was still only an honorable mention. That's the way it goes in our league. Obviously without Nora's leadership back there, we wouldn't have made the playoffs."

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