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September 22, 2023

Falcons’ players earn all-league honors | Girls lacrosse

Scotts Valley’s historic first season ends with a little recognition 

The Scotts Valley High girls’ lacrosse team had a historic run in its first full season.

The Falcons were co-champion of the Pacific Coast Athletic League’s Gabilan division alongside Pebble Beach powerhouse Stevenson School.

Leading the way for Scotts Valley was a pair of outstanding freshmen— Taylor Santos and Sofia Niklaus—who made an immediate impact once they joined the team. 

Coaches within the league also recognized the dynamic duo’s exceptional skills on the pitch, which is why Santos and Niklaus were named the Gabilan division’s Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively.  

Scotts Valley coach Colleen Niklaus said she was over the moon when she heard both of her standout players earned the awards.  

“I was not surprised in the sense that they absolutely deserve it, and have the stats to back it up,” Niklaus said. “But rather I was so impressed with the league that they didn’t hesitate to give these prestigious awards to freshmen. It is really nice to be part of a league that appreciates and respects the talent, no matter the age or grade of the athlete.”

This season, Santos finished with a team-high 152 points—82 goals and 70 assists—and was ranked No. 1 in the state with 9.5 goals per game, according to the MaxPreps website.

Niklaus finished with 74 points (46 assists and 28 goals), and she was third on the team with 65 draw controls, just behind Santos (95) and junior Ellie Raffo (81). 

Raffo, Santos and Niklaus were named to the All-League first team alongside junior teammate Siena Wong.

Raffo finished with 78 points (64 goals, 14 assists), while Wong tallied 70 points (50 goals, 20 assists) for Scotts Valley this season. 

Niklaus said Raffo was voted by her teammates for two awards: Best Leader and Most Valuable Player.

“Not only does [Raffo] always practice great sportsmanship but she is such a valuable player to have on one’s team,” Niklaus said. “She must have been close to winning the PCAL Most Valuable Player award, as anyone can agree that she is an absolute force out there on the field. A great leader in play and in spirit.”

Scotts Valley junior goalie Olivia Tinetti, freshman Skylar Dufour, freshman Payton Dufour and junior Gianna Mandujano were named to the All-League Second Team. 

Tinetti was a brick wall in front of the net for Scotts Valley, racking up 77 saves on 190 shots on goal. 

Skyler Dufour finished with 23 points (15 goals, eight assists), Payton Dufour had three points (two goals, one assist) and Manduano had nine points (six goals, three assists).  

Wong was named to the Richard Chamberlin Sportsmanship Team, and Scotts Valley High received the Elgie Bellizio Sportsmanship Team award.

“Siena is such a nice young lady who really respects the game and every athlete of the game, be it teammate or opponent,” Niklaus said. “I congratulate her with enthusiasm.”

Stevenson senior Rhea Cosand was named the Gabilan division’s Most Valuable Player.

Here’s a complete breakdown of this year’s all-league girls’ lacrosse team:

Gabilan Division 

Most Valuable Player: Rhea Cosand, Stevenson

Offensive Player of the Year: Taylor Santos, Scotts Valley

Defensive Player of the Year: Sofia Niklaus, Scotts Valley

First team

  • Rhea Cosand, Stevenson
  • Gabby Torres, Stevenson
  • Macey Torres, Stevenson
  • Romi Fernandez, Stevenson
  • Ellie Raffo, Scotts Valley
  • Siena Wong, Scotts Valley
  • Taylor Santos, Scotts Valley
  • Sofia Niklaus, Scotts Valley
  • Elle Bohlman, Carmel
  • Peyton Kelly, Carmel
  • Reygan Bethea, Carmel
  • Arianna Covvarubias, Monte Vista Christian
  • Courtney Miller, MVC
  • Cailin Templeman, Santa Catalina
  • Claire Cornelsen, Salinas

Second Team

  • Molly Bufkin, Stevenson
  • Naiya Patel, Stevenson
  • Sara Barsamian, Stevenson
  • Lucy Drake, Stevenson
  • Olivia Tinetti, Scotts Valley
  • Skylar Dufour, Scotts Valley
  • Payton Dufour, Scotts Valley
  • Gianna Mandujano, Scotts Valley
  • Audrey Glaser, Carmel
  • Hannah Kastner, Carmel
  • Kyra Driscoll, MVC
  • Riley Driscoll, MVC
  • Kylie Brunelli, MVC
  • Fia Enea, Santa Catalina
  • Carly Vorwerck, Salinas

Richard Chamberlin Sportsmanship Team

  • Romi Fernandez, Stevenson
  • Siena Wong, Scotts Valley
  • Riley Speidel, Carmel
  • Jana Bacero-Duncan, MVC
  • Georgia Meyer, Santa Catalina
  • Adriana Sanchez-Mendoza, Salinas

Elgie Bellizio Sportsmanship Team 

  • Scotts Valley High
Juan Reyes
A Watsonville native who has a passion for local sports and loves his community. A Watsonville High, Cabrillo College, San Jose State University and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumnus, he primarily covers high school athletics, Cabrillo College athletics, various youth sports in the Pajaro Valley and the Santa Cruz Warriors. Juan is also a video game enthusiast, part-time chef (at home), explorer and a sports junkie. Coaches and athletic directors are encouraged to report scores HERE.


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