AJC girls soccer superlatives

The 2017 Liberty Hotel All-Johnson County girls soccer superlative selections are, seated, from left, Alvarado’s Khloe Lechowicz, Centennial’s Lindsey Beckrich and Alvarado’s Jessica Cornejo; standing, from left, are Joshua Coach Jeff Brooks and Joshua’s Tatum Sutherland. Not pictured are Joshua’s Caylen Wright, Markie Sulak and Chloe Walker, and Cleburne’s Dani Murguia.

David Beans

The Joshua Lady Owls dominated the superlative awards for the 2017 Liberty Hotel All-Johnson County girls soccer team with five selections.

It’s the fourth consecutive season Joshua garnered the lion’s share of All-Johnson County superlative awards, with sophomore Caylen Wright receiving overall MVP for a second straight year.

“Caylen is first and foremost a really fantastic person,” Joshua Coach Jeff Brooks said. “She is a solid teammate and fun to be around, and she really enjoys the game. She hates to lose, and she is willing to do whatever is necessary to help her team succeed. That, combined with her skill and confidence on the ball, and well, suffice it to say we are very excited to see her continue to progress the next two years.”

Wright scored 26 goals with four assists this year for the District 9-5A champion Lady Owls.

Despite not playing for the first few weeks of the season, Cleburne junior Dani Murguia managed to grab the all-county offensive MVP award as the Lady Jackets’ offense essentially ran through the University of Georgia commit.

“Dani is the type of player that you can utilize anywhere on the field and she will create opportunities for us,” Cleburne Coach Christie Vick said. “I think the offensive player of the year speaks for itself. Dani has the skill to beat pretty much any defender and goalkeeper.”

Joshua’s Markie Sulak was named the defensive MVP as she led a defense that was stingy all season with only nine goals allowed on the year.

“Your center backs and defenders in general don’t always jump out quite as much,” Brooks said. “If they are doing their job, they are keeping exciting things from happening around our goal, but anyone who watched us play this year recognized how huge Markie was for us.  

“She has plus speed and is a tremendous one-on-one defender, and she is a good on-field communicator as well. This is a young lady that definitely has talent, but her willingness to put in the extra time to work and improve is super-inspiring.”

In addition to Sulak’s defensive MVP honor, Joshua sophomore Tatum Sutherland was named goalkeeper of the year as she recorded 17 shutouts on the season.

“Tatum is very, very solid technically,” Brooks said. “She plays angles well and has incredibly soft hands; combine those talents with the fact that she is a wonderful athlete that is as competitive as anyone, and you have an extremely special goalkeeper. Another thing that isn’t as easy to see is how well she commands the penalty area. She gives clear, direct instructions and did a fantastic job striking that balance between keeping things light with and motivating the folks in front of her.”

Joshua’s Chloe Walker was named the county’s utility player of the year as she was essentially a swiss army knife for the Lady Owls.

“Simply put, Chloe’s versatility allowed us to do things this year we couldn’t do otherwise,” Brooks said. “She literally played about seven different positions this year — and often three or four in the same game, depending on what was necessary. She is willing to try things that most players aren’t and ... was a huge creative spark for us all season long.”

Burleson Centennial’s Lindsey Beckrich and Alvarado’s Jessica Cornejo shared the All-Johnson County midfield MVP award.

“Jessica has amazing ability on the ball,” Alvarado Coach Micah Horner said. “She sees the game very well and can create. Other teams have to game plan for her, because she can create and make so much happen quickly. Jessica has controlled the middle of the field for us the last three seasons and it has been an honor to coach her. ... She is absolutely a play maker.”

Joining Cornejo as a Lady Indian all-county superlative winner is freshman Khloe Lechowicz, who received newcomer of the year.

“Khloe lead our team this season in goals — as a freshman,” Horner said. “Last year, as a team we only scored 41. Then Khloe enters the program this year, immediately earns a starting position and scores right under 30 goals for the year, almost half of our goals as a team this season. She is special and she worked very hard early on in the season to improve her finishing ability, and it paid off. We counted on her, she knew that, and Khloe would find a way to score.”

Brooks was named the county’s coach of the year for the third consecutive season.

The All-Johnson County superlative selections and teams are chosen by the Times-Review sports department based on all-district results, statistics, team success and coaches’ nominations.

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