Post Season College Soccer Honors For Former Empire Players

Posted By Press Democrat Staff Writer Michael Coit:

Carrying great play on Empire pitches into college, a handful of former area prep standouts have been named to NCAA and NAIA regional teams.

The awards are made by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

Courtney Parsons, goalkeeper, San Diego, made second team for the NCAA Women's Division I All-West Team. The senior from Ursuline helped lead San Diego to NCAA tournament wins over UC Irvine and UCLA before the Toreros fell to Long Beach State in the quarterfinals — the deepest run for a San Diego women's team in program history. On the season, Parsons recorded six shutouts and a 0.86 goals-against-average, while posting 73 saves.

Taylor Varnadore, forward, Sonoma State, made third team for the NCAA Men's Division II All-West Team. The sophomore from Analy led Sonoma State in scoring with 12 goals and 25 points, including a trio of game winning goals. Varnadore is already 11th on the all-time Sonoma State goal-scoring list with 22 in his first two seasons.

Hayley Johnson, defender, UC San Diego, made first team for the NCAA Women's Division II All-West Team. The junior from Maria Carrillo led UC San Diego in assists with 13 — third most for the Tritons in a single season. Johnson played on a back line that boasted the lowest goals against average in NCAA D-II and allowed the fewest scores in the regular season with four. UC San Diego won the California Collegiate Athletic Association regular season title and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Kaitlyn Le Baudour, defender, Wheaton, made first team for the NCAA Women's Division III All-Central Team. The senior out of Ursuline helped anchor a Wheaton defense that posted a 0.72 goals against average this season with 14 shutouts. Wheaton recorded three shutouts in its six NCAA Tournament games, losing in the title contest. On the season, she had five goals and four assists.

Lauren Johnson, forward, Cal State San Marcos, made the NAIA Women's All-West Team. The former Montgomery great has been a building block in the young program's history, with Cal State San Marcos winning their conference and reaching the NAIA tournament this season. Johnson, a senior, scored 8 goals and tallied 3 assists, adding to her school-record total in goals and points.