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Midfielder Erin Misaki Led Hart to the Southern Section Division II Co-Championship to Earn The Times' Regional Player of the Year

March 24, 1999|TRIS WYKES | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

NEWHALL — Thanks in large part to midfielder Erin Misaki, Hart High won more than two-thirds of its girls' soccer games the last four seasons.

The most important game might have been her last, a tie with Irvine Woodbridge in the Southern Section Division II title game that brought Hart its first section championship and Misaki a feeling of fulfillment and closure.

"I was inspired thinking it was my last chance to do my best for the team," said Misaki, The Times' regional player of the year. "I'm thrilled we got as far as we did."

Hart, which was 84-14-12 and won four Foothill League championships in Misaki's career, advanced to the Division I title game her sophomore season and to the semifinals in 1998.

This season, as the team's unquestioned leader, Misaki took it upon herself to help her teammates make the next step.

"I always try to take a leading role through example but this year I knew it had to be more," said Misaki who had 24 goals and 22 assists. "I had to encourage players but also demand more of them."

Misaki has signed with Portland, an NCAA Division I power, and carries a high profile in the U.S. Olympic Development Program.

Because of her reputation she was double- and triple-teamed all season. Yet the more she was tested, the deeper she reached for consistent results.

"Someone like Erin, who's had so much success, could easily be lazy [in high school] but she's not like that at all," said Oliver Germond, Hart's coach. "She didn't get where she is just on talent. She's worked for it and it shows in practices and games."

For some top players, failure to score in four playoff games would indicate a drop in performance. For Misaki, it meant she was excelling as a playmaker and team player.

"We got more confidence from her sitting back a bit," Germond said. "Erin got the other girls more involved and she didn't have to carry the load by herself."

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

GIRLS' SOCCER ALL-REGION

First team

Name: Sara Deckers

School: Harvard-Westlake

Yr.: Jr.

Position: Goalkeeper

After a year away from high school soccer, she helped Wolverines post 15 shutouts and allowed only five of the 17 goals the team allowed.

*

Name: Imani Dorsey

School: Harvard-Westlake

Yr.: Jr.

Position: Defender

Mission League player of the year controlled the defensive third of the field--and the air above it--as a sweeper.

*

Name: Nicole Farenbaugh

School: Louisville

Yr.: Jr.

Position: Defender

The Royals' sweeper was Mission League's defensive player of the year and helped her team to second round of the Division IV playoffs.

*

Name: Megan Landress

School: Chatsworth

Yr.: Sr.

Position: Defender

Top defender on a team that outscored its opponents, 114-23, while capturing its fourth consecutive City Section title and ninth in 11 seasons.

*

Name: Cindy Mallet

School: Simi Valley

Yr.: Sr.

Position: Defender

A three-time all-region selection, Mallet was invaluable to the Pioneers. Despite an ankle injury, she was outstanding in the Division II playoffs.

*

Name: Kellie Cox

School: Quartz Hill

Yr.: So.

Position: Midfielder

Used her speed to become a frequent threat on offense. She was Golden League player of the year with 21 goals and 15 assists.

*

Name: Tasha Spangler

School: Westlake

Yr.: Sr.

Position: Midfielder

Poise and ball-handling ability made the contribution of Marmonte League's offensive player of the year much more than her eight goals.

*

Name: Jennifer Valentine

School: Chaminade

Yr.: Sr.

Position: Midfielder

Valentine scored 19 goals and had seven assists while leading the Eagles to Southern Section Division IV title--their third consecutive division crown.

*

Name: Bonnie Bornhauser

School: Camarillo

Yr.: Sr.

Position: Forward

Pacific View League player of the year helped Scorpions win the league title and reach second round of the Division playoffs.

*

Name: Jackie Fodor

School: Chatsworth

Yr.: Sr.

Position: Forward

Her outstanding career included 110 goals. She was a member of four consecutive City Section championship teams for the Chancellors.

*

Name: Natalie Sanderson

School: Buena

Yr.: So.

Position: Forward

One of the region's rising stars, she had 34 goals and seven assists, helping the Bulldogs reach the Division II quarterfinals.

*

Name: Trisha Butterbaugh

School: Buena

Coach of the Year

Guided Buena to its sixth consecutive Channel League title. The Bulldogs were 22-3-2, advancing to the second round of the Division II playoffs.

****

Second team

*--*

Name School Yr. Position Lauren Arase La Canada Sr. Goalkeeper Sara Costello Ventura Sr. Defender Lindsey Horn Chaminade Sr. Defender Alicia Mac Paraclete Sr. Defender Mary Stuart Agoura Sr. Defender Julie Herrold Crescenta Valley Jr. Midfielder Chrissy Pike St. Bonaventure Sr. Midfielder Amy Watts Chaminade Sr. Midfielder Rebecca Carroll Oak Park Sr. Forward Mandy Mansfield Hart So. Forward Sara Silverhill Westlake So. Forward

*--*

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