Seven is a lucky number for the Tokay High boys soccer team in the all-league selections in the Tri-City Athletic League.
Lionardo Ruiz led the way for Tokay, which won its third consecutive TCAL title earlier this month, by being named the league’s MVP. The three-year starter at striker had 23 goals and nine assists for the Tigers, who reached the quarterfinal round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs also earlier this month. Tokay finished the season at 16-2-2.
The honor is a step up for Ruiz; last winter, he was named the league’s offensive MVP.
“He was just dominating,” said Tokay coach Ruben Gomez of Ruiz’s play this winter. “He was a key in some of the wins for us. He was just a force. I’m really happy for him.”
Tokay’s Kanto Mori, another senior, was named defensive MVP of the league. This was Mori’s only season playing in the Tigers’ program; he’s a foreign exchange student from Japan.
“I thought he played very well,” said Gomez of Mori. “When we had some injuries, he stepped up. He just fit in with the team. I liked the way he talks with opposing players, coaches and referees. He plays hard and always respected his opponents.”
The remaining five from Tokay who made first team all-league were Nick Monteon, Matt Salas, Eduardo Rodriguez, Eduardo Guillen and Jordan Baumback. Guillen had 10 assists and seven goals this season, and Baumback 10 goals and six assists.
Lodi’s Guillermo Barron was named the TCAL’s offensive MVP this winter. He had 14 goals for the Flames, who earned a section D-II playoff berth after missing the playoffs last winter.
The Flames had three players who made first team, too. Goalie Julian Lopez, who had 45 saves this winter, was joined by Lodi teammates Richard Herrera, Cristian Gonzalez and Eddie Sandoval, who had eight assists.
Lincoln’s Francisco Timagen was named midfield MVP and West’s Julio Fuentes was the goalie MVP.
Five Lodi and two Tokay girls were named to the TCAL’s all-league first team.
Lodi goalie Reese O’Dell, only a sophomore, was named goalie co-MVP with Tracy’s Madeline Mannina, who is also a sophomore. O’Dell had 67 saves for the season.
Forward/midfielder Rachel Sutter, a four-year starter, was one of the three Lodi players honored by the league’s soccer coaches. Joining Sutter were Stevie Jones, Annie Musgrave and Allyson Bender. The group helped the Flames earn a section’s D-II playoff berth.
Tokay forward/midfielder Sophia Casciaro, who had 13 goals and five assists, and goalie Madison Covey-Taylor were added to the list. Covey-Taylor, a freshman, had 84 saves for the Tigers this winter.
Tracy’s Ashleigh Garcia was named the league’s MVP. St. Mary’s Catherine Cranston was offensive MVP and Tracy’s Taylor Perry grabbed the defensive MVP honors.
Brooke Aberle made first team all-league for Lodi. The forward averaged an even 12 points per game, 7.2 rebounds per game and had 28 blocked shots.
Lodi forward Ellie Van Tassel earned second team TCAL honors. Van Tassel averaged 10.8 points per game, an even eight boards per game, 46 steals and 32 blocked shots.
Marissa Fabian, a four-year starter at guard, was named to the TCAL’s all-defensive team. Fabian forced 110 turnovers, followed with 121 assists, 70 steals, averaged 5.6 rebounds per game and scored 10.7 points per game. Fabian was also named to the league’s honorable mention list.
Tokay guard Mia Misasi joined Van Tassel on the second team. A junior guard, Misasi averaged 9.8 points per game and made 44 3-pointers.
Joining Fabian on the honorable mention list was Tokay guard Simone Medeiros, who had 60 assists, 50 steals and 8.7 points per game.
Lincoln’s Taylor Low and Modesto Christian’s Nia Boston were the TCAL’s co-MVP winners.