Individual awards given to Moffat County High School girls varsity soccer players during Saturday’s banquet:
Academic all-state honors:
• Jordan McLeslie
• Kelly Ciesco
• Justine Hathhorn
Academic all-state honorable mention:
• Amanda Brewer
• Imelda Hernandez
Western Slope League all-conference honors:
• Kelly Ciesco
Western Slope League honorable mention:
• Bailey Hellander
• Most valuable player — Kelly Ciesco
• Captains — Justine Hathhorn, Amanda Brewer, Kelly Ciesco
• Goals — Kelly Ciesco (10), Kelsie Pomeroy (5)
• Shots on goal: Kelly Ciesco (86), Kelsie Pomeroy (73)
• Assists — Kelly Ciesco (5), Justine Hathhorn (3), Brenna Ciesco (3)
• Saves — Hernandez (191)
Kelly Ciesco led the Moffat County High School girls varsity soccer team in goals scored this season with 10.
Ciesco’s goals, while an achievement on their own, also helped the MCHS junior achieve a more prestigious goal she had set earlier in the season.
At Saturday’s season-ending banquet, Ciesco received Western Slope League all-conference honors, making her the only Bulldog to be named to the first team.
Sophomore Bailey Hellander was named honorable mention.
“I am honored,” Ciesco said Saturday. “It was sort of a goal for me to work toward all season. I am ecstatic to get the award.”
Along with the most goals scored on the team, Ciesco also received awards for most assists (5), most shots on goal (86) and for being one of three team captains, along with seniors Amanda Brewer and Justine Hathhorn
At the end of the ceremony, head coach Harry Tripp also awarded Ciesco, who played halfback, with the team’s most valuable player award.
“This year I had more confidence,” Ciesco said. “I didn’t let the upperclassmen intimidate me like they did last year, and that helped me keep going in games.”
Ciesco said she wouldn’t have been successful this season without her team.
“I must have done something right to get the awards, but my team was great,” she said. “We did really well this year and I am proud of all the girls.”
In Tripp’s second year as head coach, he led the Bulldogs to a 5-10 overall record and a 2-10 record in WSL play.
Ciesco said Tripp has helped bring everyone on the team closer.
“Harry is like a father figure to me,” she said. “He is a good guy and he pushes us to keep improving and getting better.”
Ciesco and Hellander will play in the all-star game June 3 in Glenwood Springs with their fellow first team and honorable mention WSL players.
As Tripp handed Hellander her award, he said her ability to communicate helped other defenders on the field.
“It feels awesome to get the award,” Hellander said. “Communication helps make a team and we never had to argue about a play because we communicated.”
Hellander said she has played soccer for six years and plans to play in her final two years of high school.
“Soccer is always a sport I have fun in,” she said. “It is not that the sport isn’t competitive, because it is, but I have the most fun playing it.”
Academic all-state honors were also awarded at the banquet, with Ciesco, Hathhorn and the team’s trainer, junior Jordan McLeslie, receiving first-team honors, while Brewer and senior Imelda Hernandez received honorable mention.
Hernandez, the Bulldogs’ goalie, also received an award for 191 saves on the season and sophomore Tori Snyder was named the junior varsity team’s MVP.
With the Bulldogs’ two WSL award winners returning next season, the team should be even more competitive, Ciesco said.
“We are going to our first soccer camp as a team this summer,” she said. “We will continue to improve and get better.”
Hellander said the team would rely on their “togetherness” next season.
“The sophomores have all played together for at least the past five years,” she said. “We all play great together and I think we will be strong next year and keep getting stronger.”
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