Despite the efforts of opposing defenses and injuries to teammates, Osceola's Michelle Mione capped her prep career with 57 goals.
In her four seasons as an Osceola midfielder, Michelle Mione has been pushed around more than a beat up shopping cart.
She has faced double teams, triple teams, perhaps even quadruple teams. She has suffered a season-ending knee injury, pulled her groin, collected numerous bruises and has permanent cleat marks on her right shin.
As Mione ends her four-year run as the Warriors' most prolific goal-scorer, she certainly has some battle scars to take with her. It's not easy being a marked player, which she has been since her freshman year.
"I'll always have those cleat marks," Mione said. "But I liked being the kind of player everyone looked to in the big games."
Mione always seemed to come up big for the Warriors. She scored 57 goals this season, breaking her own school record for a second time. She originally set the mark as a freshman with 31 goals. As a junior, she scored 47.
Mione, who ends her career with 165 goals, is the Times All-County Player of the Year for a second consecutive season.
"We're going to miss her leadership more than anything," Osceola coach Ernie Whalen said. "We had nine games this season where we only had 11 players, so that put even more pressure on her. To do what she did was pretty impressive."
While the Warriors failed to get past the district tournament for the first time since Mione joined the team, the season could have been worse had Mione been part of Osceola's bad luck.
Nine players suffered injuries; some were season-ending. The injuries even forced Mione to play sweeper during some of those short-handed games.
But her value was as a playmaker. There was no better example of that than in the first round of the Pinellas County Athletic Conference tournament against Lakewood.
Mione practically carried the Warriors, scoring three goals to go along with two assists in a 6-5 overtime win.
"That was a highlight," Mione said. "That and playing in the state tournament are things I'll never forget."
In her last game in the Class 2A, District 11 semifinals, Mione couldn't help but get emotional.
"There was about four minutes to go and I realized we weren't going to pull it out," Mione said. "I thought, "Oh my God, this is the last high school game I'll ever play.' It was so weird. When the whistle sounded I fell to the ground on my back and cried."
Her playing days are far from over. Mione earned a scholarship to Auburn, where she will join Palm Harbor University's Jen Walters. Mione will also continue playing club soccer this summer with the Clearwater Chargers.
And what will she be doing 10 years from now?
"I hope to still be playing soccer," she said.
ALL-COUNTY GIRLS SOCCER TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Michelle Mione, Osceola
COACH OF THE YEAR: Steve Kuplicki, Seminole
Player Yr. School Comment
F Jessica Hallgren So. CC Catholic 24 goals, 28 assists to
F Jenny Borschel So. Lakewood 26 goals as Spartans' top
F Devon Sibole Sr. Palm Harbor U Will attend Pennsylvania
F Brandi Herrmann Sr. Seminole Warhawks' top goal
M Sarah McGonegal Sr. Palm Harbor U Teamed with Sibole
M Michelle Mione Sr. Osceola School's all-time leader
with 165 goals
M Stephanie FreemanSr. Countryside Hampered with injuries,
will attend Florida
M Gabby FarkasfalvyJr. Palm Harbor U Had more than 50 goals
D Pam Szott Sr. Palm Harbor U Always in the right place
D Nicole Matuska Jr. CC Catholic Reliable; kept young
D Brittney Lewis So. St. Petersburg Always marked opponent's
GK Erika Johnson Jr. Largo Aggressive; kept Packers in
Player Yr. School Comment
F Apryl Wall Fr. CC Catholic Always around the ball,
F Jenny Ruetschi Jr. Osceola Scored her 100th goal
F Jill Blatti Sr. CC Catholic An attacking midfielder,
F Lauri Tondreault Sr. Lakewood Four-year starter; fiery
M Sarah Sheehan So. CC Catholic Another good season for
final four team
M Autumn Baur Sr. Seminole Set up Herrmann, and
scored as well
M Jennifer Walters Jr. Palm Harbor U Will attend Auburn
M Casey Sturm Jr. St. Petersburg Green Devils' main
D Lena Mullaney So. SP Catholic Scored more than 30
goals for Marauders
D Kelly Kuenning Jr. Palm Harbor U Third year as a
D Danielle Shaw Sr. Countryside Cougars' top defender
and senior all-star
GK Nikki Paquette So. Seminole Capable of spectacular
Boca Ciega _ Sarah Ganster (GK), Kelly Hastings (M/D); CC Catholic _ Stacy Typrowicz (D), Tiffany Smolansky (D), Amy Wirth (M); Countryside _ Melissa Behrle (M), Megan Honig (F);East Lake _ Stephanie Prince (D), Valerie Gaughen (M), Ashley McPherson (M), Liz Salsbury (D), Jackie Justinano (GK); Gibbs _ Tibda Vongkoth (F), Allie Weinberger (M); Lakewood _ Michelle Gertz (D), Shannon Dinobile (D), Morgan Roy (M); Largo _ Ruby Blauvelt (M/F); Northeast _ Erin Jansen (D); Osceola _ Erin Neikirk (M), Kim Conaway (D); Palm Harbor University _ Kristen Hlad (GK), Kerri Granstrom (M), Tiffany Coulter (D); Pinellas Park _ Leah Taber (D); St. Petersburg _ Ciara Csanadi (D), Kristin Wray (M/D), Krystal Plomatos (F), Erin Brady (D); St. Petersburg Catholic _ Lena Mullaney (F), Kirby Meehan (M), Chea Harwood (M); Seminole _ Rachel Paroulek (D), Erin Applebaum (M/F), Julie Beatty (M/F), Kelly Gavaghan (M), Adrienne Ierna (M); Shorecrest _ Laura Sibley (M), Lauren Collins (F); Tarpon Springs _ Monica Lovett (GK), Libby Gianeskis (F), Paige Beyer (M), Jordan Beyer (M).
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