Another chapter of the winter sports season is officially in the books following the conclusion of the Central Coast Section and California Interscholastic Federation NorCal playoffs.
Scotts Valley High girls’ soccer team was snubbed from a postseason berth, yet they still stood out as one of the premier groups to watch out for during the regular season.
Senior standout striker Naiya Saimos was all over the pitch this season, making the transition to midfielder and then back to her natural spot at the forward position. She recorded 14 goals and one assist in 15 games played for the Falcons, according to the Max Preps website.
“When I was at the mid at the beginning of the season, it was super cool to distribute the ball but I really wanted to get up there and just finish them,” Samios said. “I got a chance to do that the rest of the season.”
The coaches within the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League recognized her brilliance on the field and she was named the Most Outstanding Attacker for 2022-23.
“I was super stoked about it and I was kind of working towards that towards the season and now I’m just happy to achieve it,” Samios said.
Scotts Valley coach Taylor Raymond joined the girls soccer program as the JV coach when Samios was just a freshman and remembers how impressive she already was as an underclassman.
“It’s just so amazing to watch [Samios] grow not only as a person but as a soccer player,” Raymond said. “She’s been good since the beginning but she puts in those countless hours and she’s very dedicated to the sport, and to the team.”
Raymond also received some hardware after she was named Coach of the Year by her peers, which came as a shocking surprise to her.
“I felt like I did a good job with the girls, but I guess I wasn’t expecting it and was honestly just a pleasant surprise,” she said. “It boosted my confidence a little bit, which was really nice.”
In just her second season with the program, Raymond helped put together a group of players that led the team to a 7-6-5 overall record and placed third in the SCCAL with a 4-3-3 record in league play.
“Even though we didn’t win league or go to CCS, I think we still had such a good season,” Samios said. “I think we played really well, especially the hard teams in our league and she was a big part of all that.”
Raymond said it was an honor to be recognized by the rest of the coaches within the league especially because she used to play for the Falcons and grew up in the area.
“It means more than I can describe,” she said. “It just made me so happy and it makes me want to come back every single year just for that.”
Scotts Valley freshman Ella Ireland and senior Alex Teves along with San Lorenzo Valley High senior Gianna Schwarzbach earned all-league first team honors.
Scotts Valley sophomore Ashley Haver and Lia Lock, and SLV freshman Simone Mugnier earned all-league second team honors.
The Honorable Mention team included SLV juniors Joci Carkner, Leila Nite and Naomi Sifton, and Scotts Valley junior Paige Bariteau, sophomore Dillon Fiorita and junior Annie Gowing.
Scotts Valley senior Tristan Roure earned All-SCCAL First Team honors for his performance on the court this season. He helped turn the season around near the end of league play by leading the Falcons to a 3-1 record to close out the regular season.
Scotts Valley was stunned by SLV, 65-57, in the SCCAL Tournament opener on Feb. 7. But they went on to win three straight in the Central Coast Section Division IV playoffs before eventually falling to Half Moon Bay High, 66-62, in the semifinals.
SLV senior Skylar Thayer was part of that Cougars team that pulled off the upset against Scotts Valley, which helped him earn all-league second team honors. He also received the Special Award for Most Inspirational that was given out by the coaches within the league.
Scotts Valley sophomore Will Shilling also earned all-league second team honors following a stellar campaign in his debut season on the varsity squad.
SLV senior Damian Aguilar, junior Aiden Nounnan and sophomore Jacob Sanders, along with Scotts Valley junior Evan Anderson, senior Davie Bruce, sophomore Taylor Knox and sophomore Zach Schilling were all named to the Honorable Mention team this season.
SLV senior Amelia Sizemore earned All-SCCAL First Team honors following a strong season on the court. She finished with an average of 8.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game, while turning the ball over just 77 times in 25 games played this season.
The Cougars finished with an 18-8 overall record and placed second in the SCCAL with a 7-3 record in league play. They qualified for the CCS D-IV playoffs and earned a pair of wins before falling to Half Moon Bay, 56-26, in the quarterfinals on Feb. 21.
Fellow senior teammate Lucy Lilienthal-Wynn earned all-league second team honors. She finished with an average of 13.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game for SLV this season.
Scotts Valley senior Elana McGrew also earned all-league second team honors, helping the Falcons to an 8-16 overall record and placing third in the SCCAL with a 5-5 record in league play.
Scotts Valley earned a CCS postseason berth and beat Gonzales, 51-42, in the opening round of the D-IV playoffs. They lost to Harker School, 57-25, in the second round.
SLV seniors Bella Reynolds and Hannah Morley, along with Scotts Valley senior Amy Weiss and sophomore Abigail Shi were all named to the Honorable Mention team.
All-SCCAL winter sports teams
Most Valuable Player: Aden Cury (Sr.), Santa Cruz
Coach of theYear: Brian Bowyer (6th season), Aptos
Special Award – Most Inspirational: Skylar Thayer (Sr.), San Lorenzo Valley
Isaiah Ackerman (So.), Aptos
Ben Dotten (Jr.), Santa Cruz
Demeke Smith (Jr.), Santa Cruz
Tristan Roure (Sr.), Scotts Valley
Braylon Noble (Jr.), Soquel
Trevor Brady (Sr.), Aptos
Kevin Hamlyn (Sr.), Aptos
Kirby Seals (So.), Santa Cruz
Skylar Thayer (Sr.), SLV
Will Shilling (So.), Scotts Valley
Harrison Bloom (Sr.), Aptos
Hudson Garvey (Sr.), Aptos
Lawrence Ingram (Jr.), Aptos
Nash Campbell (Sr.), Harbor
Matt Munro (Sr.), Harbor
Mosiah Cumberbatch, (So.), Santa Cruz
Jackson Douvia (Sr.), Santa Cruz
Demarco Hunter (Fr.), Santa Cruz
Damian Aguilar (Sr.), SLV
Aiden Nounnan (Jr.), SLV
Jacob Sanders (So.), SLV
Evan Anderson (Jr.), Scotts Valley
Davie Bruce (Sr.), Scotts Valley
Taylor Knox (So.), Scotts Valley
Zach Schilling (So.), Scotts Valley
Cade Peterson (Jr.), Soquel
Nico Ramirez (So.), Soquel
Most Valuable Player: Claire Thompson (Sr.), Santa Cruz
Coach of the Year: Todd Trowbridge (7th season), Santa Cruz
Laurel Southall (Jr.), Aptos
Tiera O’Connor (So.), Santa Cruz
Madison Yazalina (Sr.) Santa Cruz
Amelia Sizemore, (Sr.) San Lorenzo Valley
Gianna Winterhalder (Sr), Soquel
Guin Lines (Jr.), Aptos
Maya Manildi (Sr.), Harbor
Mackenzie Gomes (Sr.), Santa Cruz
Lucy Lilienthal-Wynn (Sr.), SLV
Elana McGrew (Sr.), Scotts Valley
Abby Sherwood (Fr.), Aptos
Sophia Pursley (Jr.), Aptos
Amelia Wyland (Sr.), Harbor
Molly Endert-Tatum (Sr.), Harbor
Ava Lord (Jr.), Santa Cruz
Natalia Espinosa (Jr.), Santa Cruz
Bella Reynolds (Sr.), SLV
Hannah Morley (Sr.), SLV
Abigail Shi (So.), Scotts Valley
Amy Weiss (Sr.), Scotts Valley
Lily Thayer (Sr.), Soquel
Meaghan Diaz (Sr.), Soquel
Players of the Year: Jocelyn Travers (So.), Santa Cruz; Summer Jacob (Sr.), Aptos
Most Outstanding Attacker: Naiya Saimos (Sr.), Scotts Valley
Most Outstanding Midfielder: Lily Montesinos (Sr.), Soquel
Goalkeeper of the Year: Ruby Holmes (Jr.), Santa Cruz
Coach of the Year: Taylor Raymond (second season), Scotts Valley
Alexanda Castaneda (Fr.), Aptos
Kaitlyn Murphy (Jr.), Aptos
Ella Shoemaker (Jr.), Aptos
Hannah LoFranco (Sr.), Harbor
Gianna Schwarzbach (Sr.), San Lorenzo Valley
Zaina Alahaina (Sr.), Santa Cruz
Clara Willet (Jr.), Santa Cruz
Ella Ireland (Fr.), Scotts Valley
Alex Teves (Sr.), Scotts Valley
Haily Betterman (Fr.), Soquel
Julia Inkles (Jr.), Soquel
Gwen Chapman (Sr.), Aptos
Angelique Nunez (Jr.), Aptos
Catalina Ontiveros (Sr.), Aptos
Sonja Hulpers (Jr.), Harbor
Simone Mugnier (Fr.), SLV
Clare Byram (Sr.), Santa Cruz
Maya Kingsley (Jr.), Santa Cruz
Ashley Haver (So.), Scotts Valley
Lia Lock (So.), Scotts Valley
Chloe McGilvray (So.), Soquel
Yaren Yanez (Sr.), Soquel
Madison Redding (Fr.), Aptos
Peyton Westjohn (Jr.), Aptos
Alessandra Zuniga (Jr.), Aptos
Anika Dawson (Jr.), Harbor
Zoe Soenen (Jr.), Harbor
Becca Vaca (So.), Harbor
Joci Carkner (Jr.), SLV
Leila Nite (Jr.), SLV
Naomi Sifton (Jr.), SLV
Lia Gulorte (Fr.), Santa Cruz
Sienna Parker (Jr.), Santa Cruz
Lucinda Steiner (Jr.), Santa Cruz
Paige Bariteau (Jr.), Scotts Valley
Dillon Fiorita (So.), Scotts Valley
Annie Gowing (Jr.), Scotts Valley
Alexis Sierra (So.), Soquel
Sadie Strout (Sr.), Soquel
Victoria Weiss (Jr.), Soquel