All-Area soccer: Meet the first team

Grace Ayodele

Senior, midfielder

Centennial

The numbers: Repeat selection and only three-time All-Area first-teamer this spring tied for sixth in area in scoring (12 goals) and ended fifth in assists (nine). Reached double figures in goals all four years, totaling 54 for her career to go with 36 assists. "Incredibly strong and fast," coach Hsiung Marler said of the IHSSCA all-stater who helped the school to 60 wins during her four-year varsity career. Helped Chargers rally past Central to capture the Twin City crown.

Favorite professional player: Megan Rapinoe

Favorite entertainer: Drake

Favorite class: A.P. Physics

Favorite movie: She's the Man

Favorite store: Bulk candy section of Meijer

Favorite restaurant: El Toro

Favorite car: My mom's Honda Odyssey van

My first job was: as a soccer referee

College plans: Attend Louisville to play soccer and major in mechanical engineering

Kathy Bradley

Junior, goalkeeper

Mahomet-Seymour

The numbers: Among area goalies who played at least 10 games, had the best goals-against average (0.74), allowing 14 goals while posting 13 shutouts for the 15-3-1 Class 2A regional champion Bulldogs. In a 2-0 win over Herscher, she dove backwards for the first time and punched a shot on goal over the crossbar. "Her athleticism was instrumental in close (one-goal) wins over Centennial, Bloomington and Charleston," M-S coach Joey Gruner said.

Favorite college player: Julie Ewing

Favorite entertainer: Blake Shelton

Favorite class: Algebra II

Favorite movie: Letters to Juliet

Favorite store: Seal

Favorite restaurant: Steak 'n Shake

Favorite car: Mustang GT 500

My first job was: babysitting

College plans: Attend Keene (N.H.) State College to play soccer while studying secondary education

Jade Brinkoetter

Junior, midfielder

St. Thomas More

The numbers: Multi-sport star who was All-Area special mention in basketball showed her toughness in the postseason, playing three matches (and scoring three goals) with a torn meniscus. Led the regional champion Sabers with 21 goals (third in the area) and was second on the team (and tied for second in the area) with 14 assists. Helped the sixth-year STM program to a school record 15 wins. An IHSSCA all-sectional first-team selection.

Favorite college player: James Johnson (retired)

Favorite entertainer: Luke Bryan

Favorite class: Pre-calculus

Favorite movie: Remember The Titans

Favorite store: Urban Outfitters

Favorite restaurant: Billy Barooz

Favorite car: Range Rover

My first job was: working for Gatorade

College plans: Hopefully to play soccer and studying to become a physical therapist

Maddy Chalifoux

Freshman midfielder

Champaign Central

The numbers: Second in the area in scoring (25 goals) and tied for seventh in assists (seven). "Maddy has some of the best foot skills you will see and can score with either foot," Central coach Mick Galeski said. "The opposing team always double-teams her, but she always manages to score a goal." Chosen by the IHSSCA to its all-sectional first team. Catalyst for a Central team (14-9) which more than doubled its 2011 win total (six).

Favorite college player: Vanessa DiBernardo

Favorite entertainer: Julia Smith

Favorite class: Art

Favorite movie: The Proposal

Favorite store: Target

Favorite restaurant: Panera Bread

Favorite car: Don't have one

My first job was: lawn mowing

College plans: Hope to play soccer at a Division I college on the East Coast

Sarah Kresca

Senior midfielder

Champaign Central

The numbers: Repeat All-Area first-teamer was also an IHSSCA all-sectional first-team pick for the second year in a row. Team captain scored 10 goals and had a team-best 14 assists, which tied for second in the area. "Sarah often dominates the midfield and opposing teams struggle to stop her," Central coach Mick Galeski said. "Sarah works hard, but also has the ability to pass the ball and create chances. She has been one of the most consistent players in this area for the last four years."

Favorite college player: Mick Galeski (retired)

Favorite entertainer: Julia Smith

Favorite class: Study hall

Favorite movie: Harold and Kumar

Favorite store: Toys "R" Us

Favorite restaurant: Steak 'n Shake

Favorite car: Mustang convertible

My first job was: lifeguarding

College plans: Attend Parkland College in the Pathways program and to play soccer.

Louisette Lukusa

Sophomore forward

St. Thomas More

The numbers: Scored 12 goals and led all players in the area with 15 assists for a school which won its first-ever regional championship in girls' soccer. An explosive athlete with breakaway speed, won MVP honors at the Urbana Invitational, scoring the winning goal in a 3-2 win over the Tigers in the final minute. Brother Jonathan was an All-Area selection last fall as a junior at Urbana. An IHSSCA all-sectional first-team pick.

Favorite college player: Jackie Wolfe, UI volleyball

Favorite entertainer: Chris Brown

Favorite class: English

Favorite movie: Titanic

Favorite store: Express

Favorite restaurant: El Toro

Favorite car: a pink Tahoe

My first job was: as a referee

College plans: Not sure where, but possibly playing soccer and studying in the science department

Katelynn Martinez

Junior, forward

Centennial

The numbers: Repeat All-Area first-teamer led area in scoring for the second consecutive year (31 goals) and earned Area Player of the Year accolades. A year ago, finished with 28 goals. An IHSSCA all-sectional first-teamer. Had five goals for the Class 3A sectional finalists. Helped Chargers win regional titles all three years she has been in high school. Was a first-team All-Area choice in basketball also.

Favorite college player: Ella Masar

Favorite entertainer: Drake

Favorite class: Mathematics

Favorite movie: She's the Man

Favorite store: Banana Republic

Favorite restaurant: Texas Roadhouse

Favorite car: Cadillac Escalade

My first job was: Gatorade team leader

College plans: Undecided, but hope to play basketball and major in sports management

Melinda Mendoza

Senior midfielder

Urbana

The numbers: Repeat first-teamer had a hat trick (plus two assists) against Monticello. Scored more than half (14 of 27) of the Tigers' goals for the season and collected five of team's 14 assists. An IHSSCA all-sectional first-teamer, an honor she also received in 2011. Also the team-leader in scoring and assists as a junior as well as in scoring as a sophomore.

Favorite player: Cristiano Ronaldo

Favorite entertainer: Kevin Hart

Favorite class: Stats

Favorite TV show: Friends

Favorite store: American Eagle

Favorite restaurant: Olive Garden

Favorite car: My red Honda

My first job was: as a swim instructor

College plans: Attend the University of Illinois and majoring in Early Childhood Education

Sarah Van Wingerden

Sophomore midfielder

Mahomet-Seymour

The numbers: Tied for the team-lead in scoring (12 goals) and led the Bulldogs with eight assists. Was named to the IHSSCA all-state first team. "Sarah controls our offensive attack in the center of the field and yet still drops to defend. She is the decision-maker for corner kicks, free kicks and penalty kicks. She sets the standard for level of play in practices as well as off-season workouts," M-S coach Joey Gruner said. Helped the 15-3-1 Bulldogs break a nine-year-old record for single-season wins.

Favorite college player: Julie Ewing

Favorite entertainer: One Direction

Favorite class: Spanish

Favorite movie: Blindside

Favorite store: Charlotte Russe

Favorite restaurant: Golden Corral

Favorite car: Audi

My first job was: as a soccer referee

College plans: Hopefully attending Wheaton College and playing soccer

Hannah Walker

Junior defense

Champaign Central

The numbers: Repeat All-Area first-teamer a Division I prospect who was chosen by the IHSSCA to its all-state first team. Had four goals and two assists, but Maroons' coach Mick Galeski said, "Obviously, stats are not going to show how Hannah played. Every coach has told me she is the best defender in this area. She is the best one-on-one player and she looks like everything comes so easy for her."

Favorite college player: Mick Galeski (retired)

Favorite entertainer: Julia Smith

Favorite class: Art

Favorite movie: Despicable Me

Favorite store: Target

Favorite restaurant: Texas Roadhouse

Favorite car: Jeep

My first job was: a server at Windsor of Savoy Nursing Home

College plans: Undecided, but plan to major in animal science

Lexi Wallen

Freshman goalkeeper

St. Thomas More

The numbers: Perhaps the area's best all-around underclassman athlete. Earned All-Area second-team status in both volleyball and basketball before finishing with a flourish in soccer, racking up shutouts in 11 of the Sabers' 15 wins. Finished with a 1.13 goals-against average. "Lexi is an extremely talented athlete who has the size and quickness to make saves that few other goalies could ever make," St. Thomas More coach James Johnson said. "She has been phenomenal in her first season ever playing soccer."

Favorite college player: Meyers Leonard

Favorite entertainer: Justin Bieber

Favorite class: Biology

Favorite movie: Dear John

Favorite store: J. Crew

Favorite restaurant: Panera Bread

Favorite car: Jeep Wrangler

My first job was: babysitting

College plans: Hopefully playing basketball or volleyball and studying something in the medical field

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