MORE from our HomeTeam writers.
Player of the year, F Colby Maffei, Sr., Tampa Prep
Maffei has had quite the career, as she led the county in scoring the past four years. In total, she netted 168 goals, including a career-high 52 this season to go along with 19 assists. She scored in big games, too, netting two goals against nationally ranked Lakeland George Jenkins and eight points in the Terrapins’ run to the Class A region final. Thanks in large part to her scoring prowess, Tampa Prep advanced to the state final four in her first three seasons.
Proudest accomplishment: Of all of her goals, one that stands out is in last year’s Class 2A region final win over North Palm Beach Benjamin. Maffei was battling a right knee injury that would sideline her for three months after the season, but she played against her doctor’s advice to score a goal that sent the Terps to their fourth straight state final four.
Future plans: Knowing she wanted to get out of Florida and feeling a pull toward the SEC, Maffei committed to LSU her junior year. Her former club coach, George Fotopolous, was the coach at LSU from 2000-04 and encouraged her to give the school a look.
Did you know? When she was 7 years old, her parents told her to choose between playing travel softball or soccer. Maffei chose softball, but reconsidered later that year at the suggestion of her parents.
F Cici Gonzalez, Sr., Steinbrenner. University of Tampa commit and team captain led the Warriors with 16 goals in addition to her four assists
F Abby Meckley, Sr., Plant. Team captain scored 16 goals for the 15-2-1 Panthers
F Taylor Decaire, Jr., Newsome. Led the Wolves with 17 goals and added six assists
F Ericka Lott, So., Plant City. Her team-high 18 goals and 16 assists helped lead the Raiders to their first playoff victory in program history
M Alyssa Bryant, Sr., Tampa Prep. Scored 17 goals and seven assists while moving all over the field
M Taylor Valley, Sr. Steinbrenner. Armstrong Atlantic State commit added 13 goals and six assists for the incredibly successful third-year program
M/D Baylee Dozark, Sr., Wharton. Contributed five goals and 10 assists as member of the program’s winningest senior class
D Jackie Simpson, Sr., Newsome. USF commit led a defense that was ranked high in the state as well as nationally throughout her tenure
D Miranda Gonzalez, So., Steinbrenner. Was a key member of the defense that shut down many potent attacks in the Warriors’ run to the region semifinal
D Karli Gutsche, Fr., Newsome. Contributed right away on defense and also added seven goals and an assist
GK Emily Ball, Sr., Freedom. South Carolina commit was key in the Patriots’ playoff runs
Coach of the Year: Billy Helms, Robinson
There were two significant firsts for the 30-year old Robinson program: first district title and first win in the region tournament. The Knights went undefeated in district play and advanced to the Class 3A region semifinals. Robinson had four players score at least 10 goals in the season, and two of them were freshmen.
F Liz Haumschild, Jr., Newsome
F Caroline Bado, Jr., Plant
F/M Caroline Evers, Sr., Newsome
M Emily Jones, Jr., Newsome
M/D Emily Belanger, Sr. Wharton
D Shaylyn Corgan, Sr., Durant
D Sienna Brooks, Sr., Sickles
D Sophie Sanchez, Sr., Plant
D Brittany Coca, Jr., Bloomingdale
GK Kara Looby, Jr., Plant
Alonso – Melanie Gonzalez, Kaytlin Layton, Victoria Leser, Lauren Mullen; Armwood – Tatiana Milcher; Bloomingdale – Annie Barrett; Elyse Fontecchio, Melissa Jasczak, Rebecca Oser, Sierra Siegel; East Bay – Yasmin Bailie, Jahia Owens; Freedom – Alyssa Daniello, Alessandra Diioia, Dana Jones, Jenna Stiling, Leah Stiling; Gaither – Lexy Bubley, Kaycee McGuire, Taylor Meek; Hillsborough – Nicole Davis, Alisha Espinosa, Molly Short; Jefferson – Kaelynn Chambliss; Lennard – Sandra Rico, Brianna Vallejo; Leto – Keishla Alvarez, Trinh Doan, Mo Macaluso; Middleton – Christine Perrella, Gabriela Trejo; Newsome – Alexis Smith; Plant City – Kellee Brown, Diane Corzine, Stephanie Galloway; Plant – Charlsey Greiwe, Emi Pitisci; Riverview – Ebony Campbell, Shelby Larson; Robinson – Sam Ishee, Caroline King, Laura Osorio, Charlotte Rothschild, Ruth Seleznik; Sickles – Alexis Rodriguez, Diana Rosquete, D’Andre Williams; Steinbrenner – Alexis Bredeau; Strawberry Crest – Savannah Beecher; Stephanie Guerra, Bibi Ramirez; Tampa Prep – Abby Bravo, Alexandra Daley, Carly Reiner, Alexa Steele-Weintraub, Evvie Walker; Wharton – Leah Chisolm-Allison, Erin Kocher, Bianca Lorenzo, Brittany McNickle, Heather Montgomery
Player of the Year: F Jordan Hayes, Sr., Tampa Prep
Why we picked him: At various junctures of the Terrapins’ state title season, Hayes was a captain, catalyst and clutch performer — sometimes all at once. Instinctive and versatile, he collected a team-best 30 goals, none more important than the two headers he converted off Michael Spezza corner kicks in a 3-0 triumph against Fort Myers Evangelical in the Class A final. “Jordan, bottom line, has a nose for the goal,” said Terps coach Doug Smith, who also watched Hayes tally 18 assists. “He’s very athletic and great in the air.” Coaching peers and pundits statewide agreed; Hayes finished second in balloting for the state’s Mr. Soccer Award.
Proudest accomplishment: Other than the state title, Hayes points to a penalty-kicks victory against Bradenton St. Stephen’s in the first round of the playoffs. Down 2-0 at intermission, Hayes cut the deficit in half when he lured the Falcons keeper out on a breakaway and chipped a 20-yard shot over his head. An Oscar Skjaerpe header off a Spezza corner kick in the waning minutes tied the score, before backup keeper Yousef Ghabour stood on his head in the penalty-kick round. “I thought that wasn’t as big as winning the state championship,” Hayes said, “but after that I was like, ‘Our team’s going to win state.’ ”
Future plans: Probably not a soccer scholarship, though Hayes possesses Division I-caliber skills. He has been accepted to the University of Florida and likely will land there, playing club soccer and entering its pre-dental program. For now, he’d like to be an orthodontist.
Did you know? Hayes played his freshman and sophomore seasons at Jesuit before transferring. … Hayes is a fairly talented freestyle rapper, a pursuit from which he earned the nickname “Purple Hayes.” On the opposite end of the musical spectrum stands his younger sister Madison, a promising country-style artist who has performed at the Strawberry Festival and Downtown Disney (as Makenzie Raye). … Before each contest, he writes a Bible verse (Philippians 4:13) on the inside of his cleats.
F Cameron Roberts, Sr., Plant City. Set Raiders single-season record with 43 goals
F Brett Durrance, Sr., Jesuit. Collected four goals in as many playoff games
F Jacob Brumbeloe, Sr., Durant. Totaled 43 goals in final two prep seasons
F Jonas Bukh, Sr., Gaither. 23-goal scorer had a monstrous postseason
M Kevin Harvey, Sr., Berkeley Prep. Eight of his 27 goals came in final seven matches
M Felipe Desousa, Sr., Wharton. His 28 goals set a Wildcats single-season record
M Matt Firestine, Sr., Bloomingdale. Tallied team-best 28 goals for 8A playoff team
M Ethan Saleh, Jr., Jesuit. His 21 assists included school-record five in one game
D Mark Biddinger, Sr., Berkeley Prep. Buccaneers captain has signed with Louisville
D Macsen Pritchard, Jr., Tampa Prep. Back-row stalwart had 10 assists
D Chris Conlon, Sr., Jesuit. Led a defense that allowed two regulation goals in playoffs
GK Lee Newhaller, Sr., Berkeley Prep. American University commit posted a 1.06 GAA
F Michael Spezza, So., Tampa Prep
F Dalian Leigh, Sr., Bloomingdale
F Gerson Herrera, Jr., Plant City
F Carlos Rodriguez, Sr., Sickles
M Daniel Felman, So., Berkeley Prep
M Rodrigo Diaz, Sr., Tampa Prep
M Tyler Sacone, Jr., Berkeley Prep
M Jordan Lue, So., Wharton
D Austin Renz, Sr., Steinbrenner
D Jacob Snidle, Sr., Gaither
D Ize Cadet, Sr., Wharton
GK Austin Spagnola, Sr., Bloomingdale
Alonso – Michael Ciluffo; Berkeley Prep – Jarod Brazel, Vince Hess; Bloomingdale – Carlos Tobar; Brandon – A.J. Nair; Cambridge Christian – Luke Castellucci, Brett Falconer, Zach Jackson; Chamberlain – Adam Williams; Durant – Ben Eisenhauer, Josh Mansilla; East Bay – Jacob Martinez; Freedom – Evan Kruk, Connor Limburg, Michael Sacco, Jett Wright; Gaither – Tyler Helm, Justin Santos; Hillsborough – Matthew Szabo; Jesuit – Garrett Garcia, Joe Metzger, Eric Mubang, Ben Plante, Lucas Schmeling; Lennard – Raudel Garcia, Alejandro Salmeron; Leto – Thomas Valencia; Newsome – Riley McChesney, Jack Schlandt; Plant – Ron Malloy; Riverview – Tunde Balogun; Robinson – Kody Thomas; Seffner Christian – Fran Blasini, Hunter Lucier, Tanner Richardson; Steinbrenner – Enrique Barboto, Christian Knight; Strawberry Crest – Mazeed Aro-Lambo, Noah Shaffer; Tampa Catholic – Shawn Chappell; Tampa Prep – Shaddy Douidar, Gui Pires, Oscar Skjaerpe; Wharton – Keenan Kushner, Alex Noble
Coach of the Year: Doug Smith, Tampa Prep
Despite returning a talented nucleus, Smith entered the 2011-12 season with critical holes to plug, especially on defense. By season’s end, the Terrapins were as stingy as anyone around, shutting out their final two foes en route to the Class A state title.
Laura Keeley and Joey Knight, Times staff writers