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Glendale girls' lacrosse players pick up league accolades

After scooping up her share of ground balls, scoring goals and forcing turnovers en route to helping the Glendale High girls' lacrosse team record a breakthrough season, senior Elibeth Torres was named the Pacific League's Defensive Player of the Year.

"It's a huge surprise and a big shock at the same time," said Torres, who finished with 20 goals, 10 assists, 82 ground balls, 50 draw controls and forced 25 turnovers to help propel Glendale to a share of the league championship with Chaminade. "You hope to be an all-league player, but getting this honor was completely unexpected.

"I'm proud of what the team was able to get accomplished. We worked hard and weren't afraid of anyone. We always tried to get better."

Glendale, which finished 14-5, 7-1 in league before advancing to the USA Lacrosse Southern Section North Division playoffs, had 11 players receive all-league honors. Those named to the first team were Denise Guerrero, Ariella Ruiz, Jenina Villabroza, Xochil Garcia and Claire Bernardo. Earning second-team accolades were Marina Percastegui, Odalis Luna, Janejila Snider and Andrea Milan. Glendale's Corianna Cazares received honorable mention.

Glendale Coach Joe Campbell, who began the program four years ago, was named the league's co-coach of the year. Campbell shared the honor with Theresa Mullally of Westridge.

Campbell, who piloted the team to the school's first girls' league championship since the water polo team accomplished the feat in 2003, said Torres provided the Nitros with plenty of punch.

"She went out there and made every big play on offense and defense," Campbell said. "She could come up with the ground ball or score a key goal.

"She's just a complete player and was the heart of the team."

Ruiz, a junior midfielder, registered 43 goals, 15 assists, 63 draw controls, 80 ground balls and caused 10 turnovers. Guerrero, a senior defender, collected one goal, 37 ground balls and forced 15 turnovers.

Villabroza, a sophomore goalkeeper, had 115 saves and sported a 5.4 goals-against average. Garcia, junior defender, finished with five goals, nine caused turnovers and 19 ground balls. Bernardo, a junior attacker, notched 20 goals, eight assists, 10 draw controls, nine caused turnovers and 30 ground balls.

"Ariella is the best player between the restraining lines," said Campbell, whose team fell to Westlake in a first-round playoff home match. "She came up with a lot of big plays and knew the difference between settling and pushing the play.

"Denise was very aggressive and was one of our top defenders. Xochil was the most improved player on the team and was a tenacious defender. I think Jenina was the best goalkeeper in our league because she didn't panic and she ran our defense so well. Claire brings a nice shot and she complimented Ariella well with her speed and stick skills."

Percastegui, a sophomore attacker, recorded 26 goals, five assists, 25 draw controls and 55 ground balls. Luna, a senior midfielder, finished with 18 goals, seven assists and 18 ground balls. Milan, a junior defender, notched two goals, seven forced turnovers and 21 ground balls. Snider, a junior defender, contributed one goal, 12 ground balls and forced four turnovers.

Cazares, a junior center, had 12 goals and 10 ground balls.


Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich.

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