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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | GIRLS' SOCCER PLAYER
OF THE YEAR

Sanderson Left Her Mark With 35 Goals

Buena High forward helped Bulldogs to 32-0 record by finding teammates for 20 other scores.

March 30, 2000|CHRIS SHAFFER | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Natalie Sanderson sat quietly during the 145-mile bus ride from Ventura to Hesperia anticipating a tough second-round game in the Southern Section girls' soccer playoffs.

But the Buena High forward was pleasantly surprised when the Division II game started and host Sultana failed to defend her in the suffocating style she is accustomed.

Sultana paid dearly for the oversight.

Sanderson, allowed to run free, scored four goals in a 6-0 victory.

"[Sultana is] far away and they must have not known who we were," Sanderson said. "I got so many goals because they didn't mark us."

Opponents rarely failed to mark Sanderson last season. But even when they did, it was no guarantee of stopping The Times' region player of the year.

Sanderson's combination of power, speed and finesse enabled her to break free of double and triple teams and score a team-leading 35 goals.

Her efforts helped Buena (32-0) win three tournament championships, its seventh consecutive Channel League title and its first section championship.

"I don't want to play against teams that have players like her," said Coach Trish Butterbaugh of Buena, whose team outscored opponents, 132-18. "Those kind of players create havoc every time they touch the ball. She turns it on and off so fast, teams have to worry about her."

Sanderson, a junior who is a member of the under-16 U.S. national team, has led the Bulldogs in scoring for three seasons. But she unveiled a new dimension to her game this year, making Buena's offensive attack more dangerous than ever.

With Sanderson, an All-American and honor student, drawing most of the defensive attention, it created scoring opportunities for other players. She proved willing to share the wealth, accumulating a career-high 20 assists.

"I would get the ball in a game and sometimes I would be looking at three defenders," Sanderson said. "They would crowd the ball and everybody else would be open. It helped me in getting assists."

Buena, the only undefeated team in the region, is a favorite to repeat next season.

The Bulldogs return 10 starters from a squad that won a school record three tournaments--the Simi Valley Holiday Classic and the Torrance and Buena tournaments.

"It was a lot of fun; winning is always fun," said Sanderson, who has 90 goals and 51 assists in her career. "It seemed like this year we really clicked.

"It's going to be hard next year. The pressure is on."

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

NATALIE SANDERSON

Goals

Career: 90

1999-00: 35

*

Assists

Career: 51 1999-00: 20

Inside: Unbeaten Buena is the No. 1-ranked team in The Times' regional girls' soccer poll.

A look at the rest of the All-Region Girls' Soccer Team. Page 12

Girls' Soccer / Top 10

Final rankings of teams from

the region by Times sportswriters

*--*

Rk School (League) Rec. 1 Buena (Channel) 32-0 2 Chaminade (Mission) 23-4-4 3 Harvard-Westlake (Mission) 19-3-4 4 Westlake (Marmonte) 17-3-3 5 Chatsworth (West Valley) 17-3-1 6 Louisville (Mission) 17-5-3 7 Hart (Foothill) 12-6-1 8 Quartz Hill (Golden) 20-2-2 9 Louisville (Mission) 14-6-9 10 Agoura (Marmonte) 13-5-2

*--*

ALL-REGION GIRLS' SOCCER TEAM

*--*

Player Yr. School Position Sara Leibowitz Sr. Chaminade Goalkeeper

*--*

Flawless in the playoffs, she lead the Eagles to their fourth consecutive Southern Section Division IV title.

*

*--*

Player Yr. School Position Nicole Farenbaugh Sr. Louisville Defender

*--*

Can stop anyone one on one. Most underrated player in the region.

*

*--*

Player Yr. School Position Lerin Mundell Jr. Buena Defender

*--*

Physical and speedy all-section selection anchored the Bulldogs' defense.

*

*--*

Player Yr. School Position Deedee Sanguinetti Jr. Hart Defender

*--*

Tremendously quick defender created havoc with her ability to attack from the back.

*

*--*

Player Yr. School Position Jenna Fodor So. Chatsworth Midfielder

*--*

Most versatile player in the City Section. Led the Chancellors to their fifth consecutive City title.

*

*--*

Player Yr. School Position Jill Oaks So. Harvard-Westlake Midfielder

*--*

Great vision along with quality distribution helped spearhead the Wolverines' attack.

*

*--*

Player Yr. School Position Jenna Wirtz Sr. Westlake Midfielder

*--*

Led Westlake to its second consecutive Marmonte League title with dominating play.

*

*--*

Player Yr. School Position Julie Herrold Sr. Crescenta Valley Midfielder

*--*

Two-time all-section pick led the Falcons with 24 goals and 20 assists.

*

*--*

Player Yr. School Position Molly Cahan Sr. Harvard-Westlake Midfielder

*--*

Speedy and crafty player earned Mission League most valuable player award.

*

*--*

Player Yr. School Position Ashleigh Garmon Jr. Buena Forward

*--*

Complemented Natalie Sanderson with 23 goals and 12 assists.

*

*--*

Player Yr. School Position Jessica Reyes Sr. Flintridge Prep Forward

*--*

Holds school record for goals and is headed to Colorado College.

Tony Scalercio, Valencia: Coach of the Year

Guided the Vikings to a school-record 16 victories and the school's first tournament title.

*

Natalie Sanderson, Buena: Player of the Year

Her 35 goals led the unbeaten Bulldogs (32-0), who won three tournaments, a seventh consecutive Channel League title and a Southern Section championship.

SECOND TEAM

*--*

Player Yr. School Position Laura Janke Sr. Simi Valley Goalkeeper Julie Bosserman Sr. Chaminade Defender Lindsey Kimura Fr. Harvard-Westlake Defender Katie McCurdy Jr. Westlake Defender Rebecca Hidalgo Sr. Crescenta Valley Defender Megan Boys Fr. Buena Defender Ali Pavoni Jr. Hart Midfielder Jenny Farenbaugh So. Louisville Midfielder Lisa Engel Jr. Buena Midfielder Jaime Rendich So. Canyon Midfielder Imani Dorsey Sr. Harvard-Westlake Forward

*--*

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