Whether it is battling for possession of a 50/50 ball, hustling from one end of the field to the other or knocking in a game-winning goal, some of the most talented high school girls soccer players in Classes B, C and D showcased their talents on the pitch locally this fall.

And with all that hard work comes the reward for 30 Midcoast student-athletes as VillageSoup unveils its second annual high school girls soccer notables.

This year’s notables are Belfast’s Emma Bonneville, Victoria Overlock and Emily Violette, Camden Hills’ Caroline Matteo, Lindsay Bumbalo, Melanie Vangel, Kristina Alex, Cailand Sweeting, Jackay Richards and Heather Eaton, Georges Valley’s Jill Bradbury, Jessie Veilleux, Jenn Denault, Erika Brooks, Kennadi Grover, Jaime Brooks, Katlyn Rich and Rosemary McGeady; Medomak Valley’s Alanna Vose, Roxanne Jelenfy, Kasey Benner, Mallory Conary and Maria Ennamorati; Mount View’s Mikell Grant; Searsport’s Shannon Higgins and Bri Grant; Rockland’s Paige Bradshaw and Bethany Berry; and Vinalhaven’s Blake Reidy and Izza Drury.

Notable student-athletes represent schools in Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln counties and, while not termed by VillageSoup as “all stars,” those highlighted experienced consistently strong seasons, distinguished themselves in their sport and are worthy of being spotlighted.

For roughly three decades, a similar format was used in Knox County newspaper publications in the format of The Courier-Gazette all stars and, more recently, VillageSoup all stars. Those past selections included only student-athletes from schools in Knox and part of Lincoln counties.

With the inclusion of student-athletes from Waldo County high schools starting during the 2009-10 school year, VillageSoup continues that storied tradition with its second annual sports notables.

VillageSoup will name notables in all high school varsity sports where there are at least two Midcoast teams playing an official varsity schedule.

Student-athletes who will be considered for notable distinction are from Belfast Area High School, Camden Hills Regional High School, Rockland District High School, Medomak Valley High School, Georges Valley High School, Vinalhaven High School, North Haven Community School, Islesboro Central School, Mount View High School and Searsport District High School.

In the fall, VillageSoup names notables in golf, cross country, boys soccer, girls soccer, football and field hockey.

In naming notables in a sport, VillageSoup is not trying to highlight every potentially deserving student-athlete from a given team, only to highlight the most consistently strong performers during a particular season in a particular sport. Obviously, with any such list of notables being subjective, not all those considered ultimately will make the final list of notables.

The nomination process for a sport begins with the VillageSoup sports department polling area coaches to provide a list of who they feel are each respective team’s premier players for that season, not for a high school career. The notables are based on individual performances, although the strength of a team’s season may impact how many players from a specific team are selected.

Again, not all potential notables will ultimately become VillageSoup’s notables: only those nominated by coaches and ultimately selected by the VillageSoup sports staff.

In the case of girls soccer, Belfast’s Chris Lavalle, Camden Hills’ Meredith Messer, Mount View’s Terri Church, Rockland’s Mike Tolman, Georges Valley’s Darryl Townsend, Searsport’s Seth Brown, Vinalhaven’s Susan Philbrook and Medomak Valley’s Joel Lufkin were polled for their nominations.

North Haven and Islesboro do not have girls soccer programs. Islesboro has a coed team.

A nomination only guarantees each candidate consideration, not notable status. While the input of each coach is weighed heavily with each candidate, the final decisions are made by VillageSoup Sports Director Ken Waltz and Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell.

There will be at least one representative notable from each school in a given sport. From that point, the rest of the notables could be a mix of athletes from many schools, or weighted heavily on one or two schools.

Student-athletes have to play in at least half of the team’s regular-season games to be eligible for notable status.

Belfast, competing in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B division, finished with a record of 6-8 and was 14th among 18 teams in Eastern Class B. The Lions did not qualify for postseason play.

Camden Hills, competing in Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B, finished with a record of 12-2 and was the No. 2 overall seed in Eastern Class B. The Windjammers bested No. 7 John Bapst of Bangor 3-1 in the regional quarterfinals before falling to No. 3 Presque Isle 2-0 in the semifinals. The ‘Jammers also won the KVAC Class B title with a 3-2 overtime victory over Leavitt of Turner.

Georges Valley, competing the Mountain Valley Conference, finished with a record of 12-1-1 and were the third seed in Western Class C. The Bucs were stunned in the first round by sixth-rankjed Waynflete of Portland, falling 1-0 in overtime in the quarterfinals. The Buccaneers also earned the right to compete in the MVC championship, which they lost to St. Dominic of Lewiston 1-0.

Medomak Valley, competing in Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B, finished with a record of 8-5-1 and was 10th among 18 teams in Eastern Class B. The Panthers did not qualify for postseason play.

Mount View, competing in Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B, finished with a record of 0-14 and was 18th among 18 teams in Eastern Class B. The Mustangs did not qualify for postseason play.

Rockland, competing in Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B, finished with a record of 1-11-2 and was 17th among 18 teams in Eastern Class B. The Tigers did not qualify for postseason play.

Searsport, competing in Class C’s Penobscot Valley Conference, finished with a record of 2-10-2 and was 14th among 19 teams in Eastern Class C. The Vikings did not qualify for postseason play.

Vinalhaven, competing in the East-West Conference, finished with a record of 5-6-1 and was the fourth in Western Class D. The Vikings fell to top-seeded Richmond in the semifinals 2-0.

The following is a summary of VillageSoup’s girls soccer players, listed in alphabetical order:

Alex, a sophomore, was a defender for Camden Hills and was the anchor of the team’s stingy defense. Coach Messer said Alex’s fearless play was invaluable to the team, as Alex would routinely be assigned to mark the opposition’s top offensive player. She was also the primary option in most direct kick and corner kick situations for the Windjammers. Alex scored three goals along with two assists this year and figures to be an integral part of next year’s team, which features a young nucleus of strong players.

Benner, a senior, played fullback for Medomak Valley and was the backbone of the team’s defense, according to coach Lufkin. She also had a knack for sniffing out the opposition’s potential scoring opportunities and turning them into offensive chances for her team. Benner notched four goals and also had four assists for the Panthers. Lufkin also referred to Benner as “the heart and soul of the team” and her ability to switch the attack and shoot at any moment kept opponents off balance.

Berry, a junior, played striker for Rockland and was by far the team’s top offensive player. Berry, the team’s fastest player, netted seven of the team’s 11 total goals and was an integral part of the Tigers.

Bonneville, a junior, played center-midfield this season for Belfast and will likely serve as the team captain next season for the Lions. Coach Lavalle said Bonneville set the tone for the Lions all season and was one of the team’s most indispensable assets as she was capable of playing most all positions on the field. Bonneville scored eight goals and added eight assists and will likely see that number increase next season as a primary scoring threat.

Bradbury, a junior, played midfield for Georges Valley and was one of the top overall players for the Buccaneers. A first-team Mountain Valley Conference all star, Bradbury was one of the hardest working athletes on the team, according to coach Townsend, the team’s most consistent player and thrived on both offense and defense. She creased the net 12 times and assisted on 11 others, while being named the offensive player of the year by her teammates.

Bradshaw, a senior, played forward this season for Rockland after being known primarily for her role on defense in her previous years of varsity soccer. Bradshaw was injured through much of last season and was coming off knee surgery, which was one of many reasons coach Tolman moved her to the front line. Bradshaw thrived in her new role, creasing the net four times and, according to the second year coach, was an “upbeat, team leader for us this year.”

Erika Brooks, a junior, was a forward for Georges Valley and also played midfield on occasion, thriving in both roles this season for the Buccaneers. A MVC honorable mention, Brooks had six goals on the season and also assisted on eight others and was tabbed the team’s most improved player.

Jaime Brooks, a junior, played forward this season for Georges Valley and was one of the team’s most physical players, according to coach Townsend. He added that Brooks was not only physical up front, but tough in the air, possesses the ball with great skill, creates turnovers and puts pressure on the other team’s defense whenever she penetrates into the offensive side of the field. Brooks notched six goals and six assists this season for the Bucs.

Bumbalo, a junior, was Camden Hills’ goalie and, despite being only 5-feet-2-inches tall, played much bigger then that all year for the Windjammers. Bumbalo allowed 19 goals in the talented KVAC, but also had five shutouts in net for the ‘Jammers. Coach Messer added that Bumbalo tactically is one of the best keepers in the league and is often an extension of her on defense, quarterbacking the defense and putting them in position to thrive.

Conary, a junior, played sweeper this season for the Panthers and was one of the top defenders in the league, according to coach Lufkin. A KVAC second-team all star, Conary will likely continue on in that capacity next season as a senior where she will again be pitted against some of the league’s top offensive standouts.

Denault, a junior, played sweeper for Georges Valley and was the team’s most consistent defender, according to coach Townsend. A first team MVC all-star, Denault is a seasoned veteran who makes few mistakes on the field and was voted as GVHS’ defensive player of the year by her peers. She has strong ball-striking ability, can run down players and was also second in line behind Rich to take penalty kicks, which reflects her accuracy as a defensive player for the Bucs.

Drury, a junior, played midfield for Vinalhaven this season and was one of the team’s most indispensable players this year. Capable of both scoring goals and leading the defense, Drury was the playmaker in the middle of the field for the Vikings and was also one of the team’s captains this season. She made the East-West Conference all star team for the second straight year and scored nine goals this season to go along with three assists.

Eaton, a senior, was a defender for Camden Hills this year and was the anchor of the group, according to coach Messer. A smart player who was also among the fastest on the team, Eaton saved goals by her ability to rotate to the ball on multiple occasions this season in backing up the goal. Messer added that Eaton was a positive influence on the team’s younger defenders, with the experience and calmness she displayed on the field, along with work ethic and tenacity rubbed off on the rest of the Windjammers. Her hard-nosed play will be missed for Camden Hills next season.

Ennamorati, a sophomore, played striker for Medomak Valley and was part of a potent scoring offense for the Panthers that tallied 39 goals through 14 regular-season contests. Ennamorati tied for eighth in the KVAC in scoring, notching nine goals while adding four assists for the Panthers. Lufkin called Ennamorati the hardest working player on the team as her relentless effort created many scoring opportunities for the Panthers.

Bri Grant, a freshman, thrived for Searsport this season and proved to be one of the team’s top all-around players. She had a game-winning goal early in the year against Calvary Chapel and another that forged a 1-1 tie later in the campaign against playoff-bound Deer Isle-Stonington. She has the ability to beat players 1-on-1, which makes her a difficult equation for defenses to solve. “Her teammates really look up to her which can be challenging for a young player,” said coach Brown. “With hard work and continued training Bri can be a very successful soccer player.”

Mikell Grant, a sophomore, was one of the hardest workers and most determined players on a Mount View team that failed to get a victory this season. Grant logged five assists on the season, but was also injured near the end of the season in a 1-0 loss to Lincoln Academy, where an elbow to the eye left her permanently blind in her left eye and partially blind in the other. Grant played with the team throughout the rest of the season, with coach Church calling Grant an inspiration to her and the entire team.

Grover, a sophomore, had another strong season in goal for Georges Valley as the Buccaneers as a defensive unit recorded 13 shutouts throughout the season. A first-team all-conference player in the MVC, Grover allowed only five goals all season and has great hands in net. She also has terrific punting ability, which allows her to jump start the offense off a save in short order.

Higgins, a senior, played center back this season for Searsport and was one of the team’s most experienced players. She also had a game-winning goal in overtime earlier this season against Sumner. Coach Brown added that Higgins set a strong example for the younger players regarding both focus and intensity, which he hopes will rub off on the rest of the team as Higgins graduates. “Shannon is a hard player, she gets into tackles well and ‘reads’ the game,” he said.

Jelenfy, a senior, played midfield for Medomak Valley and has been a three-year starter for the Panthers. A terrific teammate on both ends of the field, Jelenfy tallied three goals and also had two assists this season for Medomak Valley. Displaying a unique combination of speed, power and precision passing, Jelenfy set up many of the team’s offensive chances, which will be missed by the Panthers next season.

Matteo, a sophomore, played midfield for Camden Hills and was one of the team’s top overall playmakers this season. Matteo notched eight goals and 10 assists for the ‘Jammers and was an indispensable member of the team, according to coach Messer. “She is the hardest working player with the best work ethic and tenacity,” she said. “She brought stability to our team with her knowledge of midfield and forward play. Her modeling in practices was essential for the pace at which our team developed.”

McGeady, a junior, played forward for Georges Valley and quickly turned into not only one of the top players on her team, but one of the best players in the conference in her first year as a starter. A first-team all-conference selection, McGeady was a strong and aggressive player who created many scoring opportunities for the Bucs, who scored 54 regular-season goals this year. McGeady accounted for four of those goals, along with 11 assists.

Overlock, a senior, is a two-year captain and a four-year starter for Belfast, earned second-team all-conference honors for her play on the field and all-academic honors for her work in the classroom. Coach Lavalle called Overlock the anchor of the defense and one of the team’s more capable players, both willing and able to thrive at playing many positions on the field. “She is one of the most intelligent soccer players I’ve ever had the privilege of coaching,” he said. “She is an amazingly hard worker and a phenomenal leader.”

Reidy, a junior, played striker for the first time this season for Vinalhaven and wound up leading the team in scoring, tallying 10 goals and helping lead the Vikings to the postseason. Reidy will be a welcome addition back to the team next season as a senior, where she will likely fill the same role for coach Philbrook and the Vikings.

Rich, a senior, played stopper for Georges Valley and was the leader of a stingy Buccaneer defense that not only allowed only three goals in the regular season and one in the playoffs, but didn’t allow a goal until the sixth game of the year. A MVC first-team all star, Rich was a team captain and also scored four goals acting as the team’s primary option on penalty kicks. She was also a Western Class C all-star, the team MVP and received the “team” award from her teammates.

Richards, a junior, played midfield for Camden Hills this year and finished the season with five goals and four assists. Richards had three game-winning goals this season, including goals in wins against both Leavitt of Turner and Medomak Valley. She also was the team’s primary corner kicker and when she didn’t, she was more often than not the target of such kicks in the box. She thrived at switching fields and transitioning to defense, while coach Messer added “her defense was key to our success in all our matches.”

Sweeting, a sophomore, played defense for Camden Hills this season, scored one goal and was a dominating presence in the Windjammer zone with her height and knowledge of the game. Sweeting would often get the offense going from the defensive midfield and jump start the plays, serving the ball to the team’s forwards with both accuracy and consistency. She is one of a large core of young players for the ‘Jammers which should help them once again compete for the regional crown next season.

Vangel, a freshman, was the most dynamic, explosive offensive threat in the Midcoast as she played forward for Camden Hills this season. Vangel tallied a whopping 32 goals, while dishing out three assists and had many big goals this season for the Windjammers, including the game-winning penalty kick that secured Camden Hills the KVAC championship against Leavitt. Vangel’s ability to draw double-teams — and often break through them to score goals — set up her teammates in many offensive opportunities as well and brought a new aspect to the ‘Jammer attack. “Her skill level elevated our team play and allowed us to attack with a target player who could receive the ball under tough marking conditions,” said Messer. Vangel’s play should give everyone in the Midcoast a reason to attend Windjammer soccer games over the next three years.

Veilleux, a junior, played forward for Georges Valley and was the team’s primary scoring threat, evidenced by her 15 goals, which was second overall among all girls soccer players in the Midcoast. Veilleux also logged five assists and is a strong, powerful and aggressive player in the Buccaneer midfield. According to Townsend, coupled with Bradbury, the duo proved to be the most dynamic one-two punch in the MVC. Veilleux was also a first-team MVC all-star.

Violette, a senior, played striker for Belfast this season and tied for the team lead in goals with eight, while also logging six assists for the Lions. A second-team KVAC selection, Violette was a captain on this year’s team and has been a three-year starter for coach Lavalle. The veteran coach called Violette a “very hard worker and a positive role model on the team.”

Vose, a junior, played striker for Medomak Valley and was one of the KVAC’s most explosive players and perhaps its most balanced, scoring 13 goals on the season and also turning in seven assists, which was tops in the conference in that category. She was also third in the KVAC in scoring and a first-team all-conference selection. Coach Lufkin added that it is clear Vose has a deep appreciation and love for the game with her almost effortless play. He added that her speed, determination and optimism often carried the Panthers and hopes for her to continue in that role next year as a senior.

Village NetMedia Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at mhaskell@villagesoup.com.