Burleson's Riggs, Villavicencio, land top honors
Considering the caliber of girls soccer players in District 5-5A, Burleson coach Erin Poyner said having players from her squad recognized on the all-district team is a great thing.
“Our district is no joke,” Poyner said.
The Lady Elks who finished fourth in 5-5A had two players earn superlative honors on the all-district squad.
And both those players were underclassmen, which is the strength of the squad, and means the future is bright for the program.
“We are top-heavy in underclassmen,” Poyner said. “I think that they are going to continue to get better.”
Sophomore forward Savanna Riggs shared Offensive Newcomer of the Year honors with Centennial junior forward Madalynn Cross while freshman Alyssa Villavicencio earned Defensive Newcomer of the Year accolades.
Poyner said Riggs was a good addition for the Lady Elks because of her ability to score and the scoring opportunities she created.
“She made a big play in the second round to get us through,” Poyner said. “She is great with the ball at her feet and she is hard to push off the ball. She is able to maneuver and create chances in a different way than some of our other attacking players. She has her own creativity. She added to our offensive unit.”
Villavicencio was termed an “absolute beast” on defense by Poyner. She came in an earned her position on the squad, according to Poyner.
“She’s a huge ball winner in the middle for us and she just doesn’t get beat very often,” Poyner said. “I think that she earned the honor she received.”
After finishing fourth in the district with a record of 7-5-2, the Lady Elks defeated District 6-5A champion Fort Worth South Hills, 3-2, in a bi-district game.
Burleson then topped Colleyville Heritage, the second-place team in 5-5A, 1-0 in the area round of the playoffs.
Mansfield Legacy, the champions of 5-5A and eventual state-finalists, downed the Lady Elks, 3-0, in the third round of the playoffs.
The Lady Elks ended the season with a record of 16-8-3.
“At the start of the season, we just wanted to go one more round further than last year and we did better than that by going three rounds deep,” Poyner said. “For us to get three rounds deep is quite an accomplishment. I believe this is just the start of a tradition of making long playoff runs.”
The Lady Elks landed three players on the first-team in sophomore forward Maycie Massingill, sophomore midfielder Jordan Walker, and sophomore defender Shea Moore.
Poyner said Massingill had a great season for the Lady Elks.
“She is definitely a top tier player for us,” Poyner said. “She is only going to continue to get better in the next two years.”
There isn’t a player on the squad that works harder than Walker, who is one of the team captains, according to Poyner.
“She never wears out and just outperforms other players,” Poyner said. “Putting her stats aside when she’s not there we feel it. She’s just a great player.”
Moore came up big for the Lady Elks this season on defense, Poyner said.
“She’s a good defensive player and made a lot of runs for us out of the back and opened up different opportunities,” Poyner said. “She’s just a solid defender.”
Burleson produced three players selected to the second-team in senior midfielder and team captain Adriana Zaragoza, senior defender and team captain Kirsten Ruby and junior defender Caroline Quinn.
The Lady Elks had four honorable mention players in senior defenders Kyra Smith and Kenady Moore, junior defender Emilee Marks and sophomore midfielder Olivia Nivens.