Player of the year: Maddie Dieker, Free State High
Utilizing her speed and power, the Firebirds sophomore proved to be a dynamic attacking force that few opponents could stop, or even impede. She either beat FSHS foes for her own scores or freed up her teammates by forcing defenders to focus on her. A Class 6A All-State first-teamer, Dieker helped Free State advance to the state quarterfinals.
Coach of the year: Kelly Barah, Free State
The second-year head coach led a supremely talented group of Firebirds to the first 6A regional championship in program history. Free State won 12 games, lost five and tied two others in a season that ended with a loss to undefeated Olathe East — the eventual state champion — in the state quarterfinals.
Aly Bartholomew, Tonganoxie — A sophomore defender for the Chieftains, Bartholomew served as a physical barrier for the THS defense as the team put together eight straight wins (four shutouts). The late-season run propelled the program to a fourth-place finish at the 4-1A state tournament.
Maddie Dieker, Free State — The skilled sophomore forward scored 13 goals for the Firebirds and passed out one assist as FSHS constructed its most successful season in program history.
Lauren Fleming, Lawrence — One of the steadiest players in the Lions lineup, and a team captain, the senior center back was named to the 6A All-Central Region team for her impact on the defensive side of the field.
Kayla Hammer, Mill Valley — A three-time member of the All-Kaw Valley League first team, the junior midfielder is known for controlling her portion of the field, but there is much more to Hammer’s game. She compiled 23 goals and 17 assists for the Jaguars in an 18-2 season.
Olivia Hodison, Free State — Although she may appear undersized to unsuspecting opponents, the sophomore FSHS defender proved pesky every time she took the field, routinely turning away attacks and getting in the way of both passes and shots. Hodison even made her way down the field for one goal this year.
Cydney Lewis, Ottawa — Following a hugely successful sophomore year, the junior became the primary focus of opposing defenses, often being marked by two players on her first touch. Still, Lewis finished 2012 with 14 goals and two assists.
Kylee Loneker, Free State — The senior midfielder’s final season for the Firebirds included four goals and four assists as FSHS reached the state quarterfinals. A physical player with the ability to control the middle of the field, Loneker’s overtime goal against Topeka-Washburn Rural secured Free State’s 6A regional title.
Ella Magerl, Lawrence — Versatility and consistency marked the LHS captain’s junior season. One of the bright spots in a difficult year for the Lions, Magerl could play as the team’s center back or defensive midfielder and find a way to gain advantage against Lawrence’s gifted Sunflower League opponents.
Abby Sieperda, Mill Valley — A sophomore forward and outside midfielder for Mill Valley, her ball skills and penchant for putting the ball in the back of the net allowed her to contribute 31 goals and nine assists in the Jaguars’ 2012 season, which ended with MVHS taking second at the 5A state tournament.
Emily Soetaert, Tonganoxie — An injury sidelined the sophomore forward for the first seven games of the season, but once Soetaert returned, she scored 11 goals and set up teammates for five assists. Soetaert played a key role in Tonganoxie’s run through the postseason, scoring five goals in the Chieftains’ 4-1A regional tournament.
Addison Campbell, Lawrence; Carrie Deitz, Baldwin; Kate Dixon, Baldwin; Raquel Dominguez, Bishop Seabury Academy; Heidi Dumesich, Bishop Seabury Academy; Sierra McKinney, Baldwin; Alyson Oliver, Bishop Seabury Academy; Dana Peterson, Ottawa; Jillian Prather, Ottawa; Emma Stilgenbauer, Tonganoxie; Kelsey Wakefield, Mill Valley.