For a third straight year, Melissa Cardinal Josh Love has been named Goalkeeper of the Year in District 5-4A.


“Josh, with his quick reactions and very strong fundamentals, took away many quality shots from his opponents this past year,” Melissa head coach Kelley Pitzer said of his junior net-minder. “On top of being a strong goalkeeper, he has taken on a leadership role on the team and looks to repeat as Goalkeeper of the Year again for his senior year.”


Joining Love among the district’s 2017 superlative picks is senior teammate Erasmo Paulin, who was named a district Co-Defensive MVP.


“Erasmo began playing a variety of positions when he joined the team,” Pitzer said. “As time progressed, it showed he had an affinity for playing and controlling the defense of the team. His speed, vision and ability to see the play progress allowed him to lead the back line to the fewest goals in district play in the three years we have had soccer at Melissa High School. On top of being fast and commanding, Erasmo had a leadership quality this past year that assisted the entire team to play with confidence, since they knew he was in the back line. He will be missed and, with his work ethic and drive, he will be successful throughout his life.”


First-Team All-District picks for Melissa include: senior midfielder August Greer, senior midfielder Nicholas Lanier and senior forward Jose Malpica.


“The players who made up the First-Team honors served to anchor the team throughout the season and over past seasons as well,” Pitzer said. “As all three are seniors, they will be sorely missed for their dedication and leadership as they go on to higher education.”


Cardinal Second-Team selectees are: senior defender Elijah Mackey, senior defender Chris Medina and junior defender Dane Hansen. Earning Honorable Mention for Melissa are: senior goalkeeper Nate Smith and junior midfielder Cristhyn Venancio.


“The second team and honorable mention players all played a productive role for the team, and they assisted the team to a memorable season,” Pitzer said.