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Young & relentless

Published February 11, 2007


The girls soccer season concluded Saturday with the state championships. We haven't calculated our top county players, but with the input of Citrus County coaches, here are standouts and shoutouts in a few categories.

Most dangerous with the ball: Maggie Mueller

The Lecanto senior forward's off-the-ball movement and comfort with possession made her almost impossible to defend.

Shoutout: Lecanto sweeper Erin Carpenter.


Biggest player surprise: Ashton O'Steen

The Crystal River senior defender had never played soccer in her life. O'Steen, a cross country and track athlete, showed up after soccer tryouts because cross country overlapped. Coach Bill Reyes put her on the varsity team, but promised her nothing more than a chance to develop. Almost two games into the season, Reyes tried O'Steen on defense. "Anything she lacked in skill, she was going to make up in speed and determination," Reyes said. O'Steen claimed the starting spot at right defender.

Shoutouts: Lecanto's Jamie Good. The freshman center-midfielder played every game but one (thigh injury). Citrus sweeper Stacey Weinert had a quick saving touch in the defensive third.


Biggest team surprise: Citrus

Citrus wasn't expected to do much with so much youth, but the 'Canes rebuilt fast to become one of the most competitive teams in the district.

Shoutout: Everybody knew Lecanto would be explosive offensively, but the defense was in question. The Panthers answered that with 14 shutouts.

Team to watch in 2007: Citrus

The aforementioned young group graduates one senior. If the 'Canes can dodge injury, they will be tough to beat.

Shoutout: Lecanto graduates its top two scorers, but has almost a handful of strong, rising freshmen.


Toughest overall defense: Lecanto

Despite its youth and despite a wrist injury to sweeper Erin Carpenter, the Panthers defense shut out 14 teams this season. Goalkeeper Andraya Avery recorded 145 saves.

Shoutout: Crystal River. The Pirates, which lacked a dominating offense, held Belleview scoreless for 70 minutes.

Compiled by Times staff writer Kellie Dixon.

Best finisher: Natalie Burnett

The Lecanto senior forward had a knack for hitting the ball on-frame. She tallied 40 goals in 28 games to help lead the Panthers to the playoffs.

Shoutouts: Mueller, Burnett's partner in crime. Melissa Blackstone, a Crystal River forward who recorded 14 goals this season.

Season stats

Goal scorers

Natalie Burnett Lecanto 40

Maggie Mueller Lecanto 22

Erica Stanley Citrus 16

Melissa Blackstone CR 14

Vanessa Ramirez Lecanto 10

Amber Jordan Citrus 8

Paige Verity Citrus 8

Deanna Johnson CR 5

Shelby Wells Citrus 5

Kayleigh Pollert CR 4


Burnett Lecanto 23

Jordan Citrus 12

Mueller Lecanto 10

Blackstone CR 8

Johnson CR 5

Pollert CR 5

Verity Citrus 4

Kristen Hall CR 3

Marissa Trentacosta Citrus 3

Chelsea Ward Citrus 3

Top 10 season ending stats

Goal scorers

Bodee Wright Citrus 20

Matthew Zarek CR 17

Bryan Tobin Citrus 12

Xavier Villachica CR 12

Mike Burnett Lecanto 11

Nick Becker CR 9

Richard Wilson CR 8

Sean Mulligan CR 6

Kevin Smith Citrus 6

Albert Bradley Lecanto 5

Tyler Cote Citrus 5

Chris Fleming CR 5

Eric Swanson CR 5

Chad Richie Citrus 4

Mike Watkins Lecanto 4

All else three or fewer

Assists (if available)

Wright Citrus 18

Cote Citrus 5

Richie Citrus 5

Tobin Citrus 5

Kevin Smith Citrus 4

Felipe Picado Citrus 3


Alex Crandall Crystal River

74 saves 15 total shutouts

Tyler Jordan Lecanto

112 saves 7 shutouts

Adam Santa Fe Citrus

85 saves

A.J. Waythaler Citrus

65 saves

-Statistics provided by coaches

[Last modified February 10, 2007, 23:26:43]

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