Prep Wednesday : WINTER SPORTS PLAYERS OF THE YEAR : Once Again, Foudy’s in a Class by Herself : Midfielder Hoping Her Career Extends Well Beyond College

Times Staff Writer

OK, opponents of the Mission Viejo High School girls’ soccer team, let’s hear it. That great, big sigh of relief. The moment you’ve waited four long years for has finally arrived.

Julie Foudy’s high school career is over.

Foudy, a 5-foot-6 senior midfielder, has been the mainstay of Mission Viejo’s tremendous success for the last four years.

She led the Diablos to Southern Section 4-A championships in 1986, 1987 and 1988. And she guided Mission Viejo to 84 consecutive games without a loss--a national record.


This past season, Foudy scored 30 goals and had 12 assists, leading the Diablos to the Southern Section semifinals, where they lost, 1-0, to Simi Valley.

Although that loss was a bitter disappointment for Foudy--she had hoped to become the first player to be a member of four Southern Section championship soccer teams--it did not take away from the fact that she was the county’s top player this season.

And so, for the third consecutive season, Foudy is the Times’ player of the year in girls’ soccer.

“All four years have been really good for me,” Foudy said. “But winning CIF (the Southern Section) the third time was probably the best. You know, a lot of people said, ‘Oh, it must be just another title for you, right?’ But it wasn’t for me. It was the best. That’s why I wanted four so bad.”


Foudy started this season earning the most valuable player honors at the Ocean View tournament, which Mission Viejo won for the second consecutive year. For the third consecutive year, she ended the season as Southern Section offensive player of the year.

Foudy is considered, by most coaches, to be the best player in the state and among the best in the nation.

She is one of only three high school players on the U.S. senior national team, the premier team for American women. Foudy has been on that team since her sophomore season, playing matches throughout the United States as well as in Mexico, Italy and China.

Her greatest quality, some say, is her ability to change pace while dribbling the ball. One moment she’ll be loping along with the ball, dribbling slowly and deliberately, the next second she’s leaving defenders in her wake.

“I have never seen a player that comes close to her in terms of technical skills,” said Mission Viejo Coach Jim Dutton, who has been coaching soccer on the club and high school levels for more than 10 years.

“She just does so many things so well. And she understands the game better than most coaches do.”

Now, her greatest challenge is narrowing her college choices.

As one of the nation’s top recruits, Foudy has been offered scholarships by more than 20 colleges. She’s leaning toward Stanford or North Carolina. North Carolina has won six of the last seven National Collegiate Athletic Assn. Division I championships, and its coach, Anson Dorrance, also is coach of the U.S. senior national team.


“She’s one of the best players to come out of high school ever,” Dorrance said.

Foudy said she looks forward to playing in college, but more so the chance of playing in the Olympics some day. Women’s soccer is awaiting approval to have a World Cup in 1991 and enter the Olympics as an exhibition sport in 1992.

“If my body holds up, if I don’t lose my knees before I’m 20, I’ll probably play forever,” said Foudy, who has not suffered a serious injury in her high school career.

“I love this sport. Anyway, they say you don’t hit your peak untill the late 20s.”


NAME: LEANNA JAY WT: Forward YEAR: Senior SCHOOL: Los Alamitos Jay set school records for single-season goals (20) and assists (15). The Empire League MVP and an All-Southern Section first-team selection.

NAME: LINDA LUNCEFORD WT: Forward YEAR: Junior SCHOOL: Trabuco Hills Lunceford, a very quick player, scored 33 goals this season. Last season, before moving to Mission Viejo, helped Esperanza to 3-A title game.

NAME: LYNN MURRAY WT: Forward YEAR: Soph. SCHOOL: Esperanza A graceful, fast player, Murray scored 23 goals and had 18 assists. Should be a force next year.


NAME: CHRISTA RAMIREZ WT: Forward YEAR: Junior SCHOOL: Canyon She set school records for single-season goals (22) and assists (18). Also played basketball, led Canyon to the section finals in both sports.

NAME: CHRISSY COPPAGE WT: Midfielder YEAR: Junior SCHOOL: Esperanza She had 10 goals and 25 assists, including nine that were corner kicks. One of the team’s strongest players, scored one goal from 45 yards.

NAME: JULIE FOUDY WT: Midfielder YEAR: Senior SCHOOL: Mission Viejo The three-time Times’ player of the year, Foudy was the county’s most talented player. She had 30 goals and 12 assists.

NAME: JULIE SMITH WT: Midfielder YEAR: Senior SCHOOL: Corona del Mar The Sea View League player of the year had eight goals and 14 assists. A four-year starter, she was first-team All-Southern Section.

NAME: SHERRI BUENTE WT: Defender YEAR: Junior SCHOOL: Esperanza Buente, along with Jenise Webb, keyed Esperanza’s tenacious defense. The Aztecs gave up just nine goals in 28 games.

NAME: DEONNA COLLINS WT: Defender YEAR: Senior SCHOOL: Dana Hills A four-year starter, Collins helped the Dolphins shut out 13 teams. She was first-team All-South Coast League and All-Southern Section.

NAME: JENNIFER WARD WT: Defender YEAR: Junior SCHOOL: Mission Viejo Had three goals and 12 assists and was a defensive key. “She had as good a year as Foudy,” Diablo Coach Jim Dutton said.

NAME: KARLA GUNDERSON WT: Goalkeeper YEAR: Senior SCHOOL: Dana Hills She had 13 shutouts. Was Southern Section first-team goalkeeper, and first-team South Coast League for the second consecutive season.


JENNY DELP Forward Junior Mission Viejo DEVON FITZPATRICK Forward Senior Pacifica BECKY LINHART Forward Senior Capistrano Valley TINA MANFRE Midfielder Senior Mater Dei SUE STAAB Midfielder Senior Capistrano Valley SHAWN VILLORIA Midfielder Senior El Toro CINDY ATTAWAY Defender Senior Capistrano Valley SAULE SADUNAS Defender Junior Mater Dei SANDRA ROSS Defender Senior Marina JENISE WEBB Defender Junior Esperanza MICHELLE LODYGA Goalkeeper Senior Mater Dei