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Daily Pilot Girls' Soccer Dream Team: CdM's Hunter is Player of Year

Senior center back, a critical part of Sea Kings' defense, leads Dream Team selections.

April 17, 2013|By Matt Szabo
  • Corona del Mar High senior Alana Hunter is the Daily Pilot Dream Team Girls' Soccer Player of the Year.
Corona del Mar High senior Alana Hunter is the Daily Pilot… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

For the fourth straight year, Corona del Mar High senior Alana Hunter plans to coach in the Daily Pilot Cup soccer tournament next month.

Hunter and her good friend Noelle Gooding coach a girls' fifth- and sixth-grade team for Lincoln Elementary. It's an experience that Hunter, who went to Lincoln herself, always enjoys.

"It's really fun," Hunter said. "They get really excited to learn from us, because we're high-schoolers. The sixth-graders come here the next year and play middle school, so they know us and we see them at school. It's a great way to get to know the girls, and they love the sport."

Hunter doesn't mind pitching in. She also was a huge help this year in the high school soccer season for CdM. The injuries piled up this season for the Sea Kings, especially on defense.

CdM seemed snake bitten for much of the year. The only injury that was missing was a snakebite itself.

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Sophomore defender Brianna Westrup suffered a knee injury in the Pacific Coast League opener at Northwood, and didn't return until the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs. University of Arizona-bound senior defender Alexa Mamatas (ankle) and junior defender Molly Keasey (Achilles) also missed sizable chunks of time.

"We just got so unlucky," Hunter said. "It was just one after the other. We were really lucky to have other players be able to step up and play those positions for the team."

The crazy thing was, the Sea Kings (16-4-4) did more than just stay afloat. Though the season ended in disappointment with that second-round CIF loss to Esperanza, CdM could still be proud of its year. The big accomplishment was winning a third straight outright league title.

For her efforts on defense and her leadership, Hunter is the Newport-Mesa Player of the Year in girls' soccer.

"Having those injuries in the back, thankfully she was one of the individuals who did not get hurt," CdM Coach Bryan Middleton said. "With her support and leadership, she helped keep us on track to earn another PCL title and make a run in CIF. She just had a fabulous season on defense and lifted her game to a high level. Definitely, her play spoke volumes this year."

Hunter was the league defensive MVP, and a first-team All-CIF Division 1 selection. She thrived from the center back position, taking over there from last year's Co-Player of the Year Sydney Raguse, who now plays at Michigan. In her two previous years as a varsity starter, Hunter played on the right side.

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