2009: The year of the keeper

Posted by Press Democrat correspondent Dewey Forget:
Before the soccer season is completed Saturday, I wanted to make a point about the quality of the Empire’s goalkeepers this year.
Over the last 10 years, many excellent keepers have come through the area — boys and girls — but this season, the girls’ quality of play in goal has been particularly exceptional.
It was on display Wednesday night in the Montgomery-Santa Rosa match. Megan Herring, the Vikings’ keeper, got credit for the shutout. Herring is one of the top keepers in the North Bay League and the county. But there are others.
Her Santa Rosa counterpart, Shawnee Phillips, was spot-on with her performance. Yes, the Vikings’ scored twice, but Phillips also had several good stops, and one spectacular diving punch-out on a rocket off the foot of Kareli Rodriguez.
Casey Drobnick (Petaluma) is another outstanding keeper, as is Casa Grande’s Ashley Luis. Herring and Luis will square off Saturday in the section finals.
Maria Carrillo’s Emily Sellner had an excellent year. How about Jenna Reed at Windsor, she’s pretty doggone good. And, let’s not overlook that Ursuline went through the season with two freshman keepers, Ashley LeFranci and Maddi Ortega, and still made the postseason. The thing is: When an error is made in the midfield, few notice. But when a keeper messes up, it’s impossible to miss.
Lots of pressure on the keeper, and it intensifies as the season progress.