The Melissa Cardinals placed nine players on the recently released District 5-4A soccer awards list, including two superlative honors — Co-Goalkeeper of the Year and Co-Newcomer of the Year — with three first-team picks, three second-team picks and an honorable mention selection.
Senior Josh Love picked up the Goalkeeper of the Year award — his fourth straight — and freshman Eric Ramirez earned Newcomer of the Year recognition. First-team all-district selections for the Cards included Yoshiya Ando, Dane Hansen and Yobani Paulin. Second-team all-district picks were Moses Muthee, Luke Hansen and John Terzian, with Rafael Beracochea earning the honorable mention nod.
“Overall, I’m pleased with how all of my players played this season,” Melissa head coach Kelley Pitzer said. “They grew as a team and learned to rely on each other at the important times of the season.
“Josh Love and Eric Ramirez, who won superlative awards, certainly deserved the accolades. Josh was a cornerstone of our team since the beginning and will be sorely missed,” Pitzer said. “In addition to being a fantastic net-minder, he is a wonderful young man who has a bright future ahead of him. Eric is a young man who will continue to grow as a player, but he showed his willingness to strive for greatness all year long. He’s one of our hardest working young men and I cannot wait to see him progress as he continues to learn the game.”
“Our first-team selections were also deserving because of their ability to control the center of the field and the defense. Center backs Dane Hansen and Yobani Paulin led the defense with strength and tenacity the entire season. Although Dane will graduate this year, Yobani will continue to lead the defensive line next year. Yoshiya Ando took his talents and led by example all season long, showing and leading the central midfield. Both Yoshi and Dane will be missed next year.
“Second-team picks Moses Muthee and John Terzian are both outside backs and return next year. I have full faith that they will take what they learned this year and continue to excel next year in their roles as a strong defensive line. Freshman second-team selection Luke Hansen took to the role of our striker and learned each game to play at a higher level. We expect great things and many goals in his future.
“Rafael Berachochea earned honorable mention because of his tenacity and willingness to play any position he was asked to play this year. He played center back, central midfield and even striker throughout the season. He was a wonderful addition to the team this year.
“Although the team was knocked out of the playoffs in the area round, they played hard all season long and continued to play hard and be coachable throughout the long months of soccer. I look forward to coaching these young men next year and I feel confident they will have a breakout season,” Pitzer concluded.