Journal-World 2021 All-Area girls soccer team

photo by: Courtesy

Baldwin senior Lauren Russell (left) is Journal-World's all-area player of the year in girls soccer, while Eudora's Darren Erpelding (right) was named coach of the year.

Player of the year: Lauren Russell, Baldwin

Russell is a skilled on-ball defender, and she was a big reason that Baldwin’s defense exceeded expectations this season. Opposing coaches often commented on how much she impacted the match as the senior center back. Russell will not be playing soccer at the collegiate level; instead, she chose to enlist in the Air Force.

Coach of the year: Darren Erpelding, Eudora

photo by: Contributed

Eudora head coach Darren Erpelding with players Kate Erpelding and Jayla Erpelding.

Erpelding’s team went 10-7-1 overall in 2021 — the most wins in program history — and had a 4-2-1 record against league opponents. The Cardinals finished third in the league standings and put up a fight in the regional championship, losing with 13 seconds left in double overtime.

First team

photo by: Contributed

Ashtin Barnes, Tonganoxie

Ashtin Barnes, Tonganoxie — Tonganoxie’s team captain was instrumental to what the Chieftains did on and off the field. She was responsible for starting offensive plays, and she was able to read the field well and play long crosses. In 2021, she had 10 assists.

photo by: Carter Gaskins

Free State’s Madi Beeley (3) tries to get around Lawrence High defender I’yawa Brewer (18) during Tuesday’s 2-2 city showdown draw at LHS.

Madi Beeley, Free State — During her junior campaign, Beeley powered Free State’s attack from her midfield position. She led Free State in scoring (three goals) and assists (three), and she should take on even more responsibility next year as a senior.

photo by: Contributed

Jayla Erpelding, Eudora

Jayla Erpelding, Eudora — In her first season of high school soccer, Jayla Erpelding poured in 11 goals and had nine assists. She also took 98% of Eudora’s corners, and she landed on the all-Frontier League first team.

photo by: Contributed

Kate Erpelding, Eudora

Kate Erpelding, Eudora — The Cardinals’ senior midfielder was a dynamic player on the ball, and she had 14 goals and nine assists. She was also willing to play multiple positions on the field.

photo by: Contributed

Summer Hartzler, Bishop Seabury

Summer Hartzler, Bishop Seabury — Hartzler shouldered much of the offensive workload for the Seahawks, and she finished her junior campaign with 13 goals and seven assists. She frequently faced double and triple coverage on the offensive end, but her speed, skill, and dexterity were often too difficult for opposing defenses to contain.

Avery Kingery, Lawrence — During her junior season, Kingery rarely came out of games and played any position that Lawrence’s coaching staff needed her for. Kingery had six goals and four assists this spring.

photo by: Courtesy photo

Ryan Malloy, Free State soccer senior.

Ryan Malloy, Free State — Malloy was the team captain and one of Free State’s three seniors, and she served as an important role model for a young team dealing with a coaching change. She excelled on defense and was a big part of why Free State allowed fewer goals this season than at any other time over the past four years.

photo by: Contributed

Alex Pascua, Eudora

Alex Pascua, Eudora — Pascua, a team captain for Eudora, was a skilled defensive midfielder but also showed the ability to get in position to score or assist. She finished with 11 goals and seven assists and was listed on the all-Frontier League second team.

photo by: Carter Gaskins

Free State’s Ella McCleary, left, and Lawrence High’s Olivia Platt battle over the possession of the ball during Tuesday’s 2-2 draw at LHS.

Olivia Platt, Lawrence — Platt served as a captain during her junior campaign, and she showed off her skills on offense. She managed to find openings in opposing defenses despite often facing multiple defenders at once, and she finished with five goals and five assists.

photo by: Contributed

Riley Smith, Baldwin

Riley Smith, Baldwin — Smith, who competed in both soccer and track this spring, was Baldwin’s most important attacker. She had six goals and five assists and was named to the all-Frontier League first team.

Honorable mention

Cambria Crowe, Baldwin; Sofia Gonzalez, Bishop Seabury; Hannah Hartzler, Bishop Seabury; Morgan Kimuri, Free State; Willoughby Lam, Free State; Abby Patterson, Baldwin; Leah Williams, Eudora; Heather Wombwell, Tonganoxie; Katherine Wombwell, Tonganoxie.


Welcome to the new Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.