All-Region 9 soccer team named; MVP Melendez was pivotal to Snow Canyon’s state championship

Snow Canyon's Adi Melendez (10) makes her way past Ogden defenders in 4A girls soccer quarterfinal match, St. George, Utah, Oct. 13, 2018 | File photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Although the Snow Canyon Lady Warriors had two of the 4A classification’s top-scoring forwards, it was the pivotal work of center Arantxa “Adi” Melendez that helped propel the team to an overall season record of 16-1-3 and the state championship, her coaches say.

Melendez was recently named the MVP of Region 9’s all-region team, as voted upon by the region’s coaches.

Snow Canyon head coach Kenny Kunde said deciding on a region MVP was a tough choice this year, especially considering that junior Heidi Smith scored 22 goals for the Lady Warriors, while fellow forward Ashley Brindley, a senior, added 20.

“But in taking what we did in the state tournament and what we did in the preseason and in the region, the reason we were so successful is because of Adi,” Kunde told St. George News.

“She was our center. She was the engine that made the team go. She had all these assists. She was the one who facilitated our possessions of defense up to those forwards so that they could get in those positions to score.”

Snow Canyon’s Heidi Smith scores the game-winning goal in overtime to defeat Orem in the 4A state title game, Sandy, Utah, Oct. 20, 2018 | File photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

Kunde also spoke highly of Melendez’s stamina.

“She’s one of those kids who’s a 40-minute (plus) 40-minute kid. She doesn’t come out of the game unless there’s something really big, like an injury or something like that. She’s got that motor engine, and she just drives that team to go forward,” he said. “Her ability to technically control the ball, control the pace of our games, to me that was just crucial for us to be as successful as we were. As coaches, that’s why we thought that Adi was really deserving of region MVP honors.”

Melendez, who finished the season with seven goals and seven assists, was joined on the all-region first team by four of her teammates: Smith, Brindley, Samantha Lindsey and Sekada Burchinal. The Lady Warriors also had five players named to the all-region second team: MacKenzee Brough, Tylei Jensen, Amanda Bradshaw, Jaicelyn Losee and goalkeeper Megan Rodgers.

Following are the athletes chosen for Region 9’s all-region first and second teams, as selected by the coaches:

Region 9 all-region soccer first team

  • Arantxa “Adi” Melendez (MVP), Snow Canyon.
  • Ashley Brindley, Snow Canyon.
  • Heidi Smith, Snow Canyon.
  • Samantha Lindsey, Snow Canyon.
  • Sekada Burchinal, Snow Canyon.
  • Lena Stevens, Hurricane.
  • Madilyn Hatch, Hurricane.
  • Alena Lorentzen, Pine View.
  • Tiara Cafferty, Pine View.
  • Morgan Haag, Canyon View.
  • Delaney Story, Dixie.
  • Kennedy Warnick, Dixie.
  • Mashaun Estridge, Dixie.
  • Kelcee Call, Dixie.
  • Kiki Stewart, Desert Hills.
  • Paige Nelson, Desert Hills.
  • Jenna Welch, Desert Hills.
  • Sienna Gargano, Desert Hills.
  • Logann Laws, Cedar.

Region 9 all-region soccer second team

  • MacKenzee Brough, Snow Canyon.
  • Megan Rodgers, Snow Canyon.
  • Tylei Jensen, Snow Canyon.
  • Amanda Bradshaw, Snow Canyon.
  • Jaicelyn Losee, Snow Canyon.
  • Britin Behrmann, Hurricane.
  • Addison Lichfield, Hurricane.
  • Cara McAfee, Pine View.
  • Kenedy Collins, Pine View.
  • Brynlee Wade, Pine View.
  • Sydnee Evans, Canyon View.
  • Lindsey Barben, Dixie.
  • Isabel Erickson, Dixie.
  • Macee McAllister, Dixie.
  • Kenna Decastro, Desert Hills.
  • Maddy Baker, Desert Hills.
  • Savannah Sparks, Desert Hills.
  • Michelle Jenkins, Cedar.

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