The Bee's Winter All-Stars: Girls Soccer Outstanding Offensive Player

The Fresno BeeApril 24, 2014 

Central High girls soccer player Mariah Montoya, the Bee's 2013-14 Outstanding Offensive Player.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

OUTSTANDING OFFENSIVE PLAYER: MARIAH MONTOYA

School: Central

Grade/position: Senior/forward

The résumé: A repeat selection as both The Bee's Outstanding Offensive Player and the Tri-River Athletic Conference's Offensive Player of the Year after producing team-leading totals of 20 goals and 12 assists for a Grizzlies squad that went 21-6-1 and reached the semifinals of the Central Section Division I playoffs for the second straight season.

The turnaround: Central had been a sub-.500 team in the four seasons before Montoya arrived as one of two freshman, along with seven sophomores, who would transform the Grizzlies into D-I contenders. Montoya was a reserve marking midfielder as a freshman, with first-year coach Brandon Kwock using her to defend the likes of future Bee Players of the Year such as Bullard's Lynn Williams and Buchanan's Elise Krieghoff. Montoya became a starting forward as a sophomore, launching a three-year run that saw her score a school career record 66 goals while helping Central go 63-19-3. "I don't know if there is any one player who has meant as much to one program as Mariah has for us," Kwock said. "As far as turning our program around, she's had the biggest part in it."

What a career: Has been honored as All-Bee three times in her four seasons, gaining an honorable mention nod after scoring 19 goals with six assists as a sophomore. She scored a school-record 27 goals to go along with 10 assists as a junior to lead Central to a share of its first TRAC title. "After her freshman year, I remember asking her: 'How far do you want to go with soccer?' " Kwock said. "And she said she wanted to play at the next level. I told her it would take a lot of work, and she never once refused to put in the extra effort. She did everything we asked her to do."

Next stop: Montoya has signed with Fresno Pacific, where she will play for Erik Farfan. "I think she can fill in at any position Erik wants to put her," Kwock said. "She definitely has the speed and technical ability to play there. It's just going to be how well she adapts to a new system and new players around her."

He said it: "She's smart. She knows what defenders want to do to stop her and she'll use that against them. She has a great understanding of the game. She makes great runs not just for herself, but to free up other players. She faced lots of double- and triple-teams this year and she didn't let that stop the team. She just knew she had to be smarter." -- Kwock.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6103, nickg@fresnobee.com or @NickG_FB on Twitter.

The Fresno Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service