PLAYERS OF THE YEAR : Thompson Was Staunch Line of Defense : Girls’ soccer: Canyon goalkeeper had 22 shutouts and helped the Comanches reach Division II championship game.


There is a long pause on the end of the phone as a conversation with Tina Thompson draws to a close.

“Uh, my dad wants me to tell you I was the Winter Formal queen,” said a reluctant Thompson, who was equally regal as she ruled soccer fields across the county this winter.

Thompson, Canyon’s starting goalkeeper since she was a freshman, is The Times Orange County girls’ soccer player of the year. It is a return trip to the first team for the San Diego State-bound senior, who was also selected the Century League’s MVP.


With 22 shutouts, Thompson helped the Comanches reach the Southern Section Division II championship game, where Canyon lost to Arcadia, 2-1, on a remarkable indirect kick in the final minute.

In wake of the loss, Thompson could have been the most frustrated player on the field. Two years ago, she might have been. But there she was, more poised than some parents as she comforted her teammates.

“She used to get frustrated when she was scored on,” said Canyon Coach John Williams. “She still gets frustrated, but she handles it more maturely.”

When Thompson arrived at Canyon, Williams immediately dubbed her the defense’s field general. Thompson has been a team leader all four years, although she didn’t officially move into the role until her junior year, her first as a team captain.

“She’s the first one to credit her teammates in victory and the first one to point the finger at herself in defeat,” said Williams, who estimated that if Canyon had concentrated more on shutouts, Thompson might have had three more.

But she cared more about her teammates. In a game against Redlands, Williams replaced her in goal and Canyon--Thompson, too--lost the shutout.

“She immediately went over to the player and put her arm around her,” Williams said. “Consoling her meant more to (Tina) than the shutout.”

That personality, in addition to her soccer skills, was one reason Thompson caught the eye of San Diego State Coach Leslie Gallimore.

“Two things are attractive about Tina,” Gallimore said. “On the field, she really takes control of a game. She can step it up and take charge. Off the field, she’s a very positive person. She encourages her teammates. She has a very unique mix of qualities.”

Gallimore felt that landing Thompson was a real coup for her program, although Thompson will have to earn the starting spot.

“Let’s just say she’ll give (the other goalkeepers) a run for their money,” she said.

Said Thompson: “I’m going to have to earn it. We have to beat each other out. If I don’t get it, I want to learn a lot from (the starter).”

Thompson could have taken her talents to several schools--perennial powerhouse North Carolina courted her briefly--but she chose San Diego State because she hopes to make an immediate impact at an up-and-coming program. Thompson knows several current and future San Diego State team members--Mater Dei’s Katie Ward and El Toro’s Sherri Kaminski will join Thompson there next fall--and she has family living in San Diego, all factors that figured into her decision to play for the Aztecs.

But Gallimore was nervous about her chances of attracting Thompson after watching her in a a regional tournament in November.

“I was recruiting her pretty hard and I knew we had a pretty good shot at her,” Gallimore said. “Unfortunately, she played great the whole weekend and there were hundreds of college coaches around.”

The next time they spoke, Gallimore asked Thompson how many coaches called her.

“She said, ‘Oh, a couple,’ and it turned out to be 12,” Gallimore said. “She’s pretty humble.”

Not surprisingly then, Thompson will tell you her skills pale in comparison to the improvement she needs to achieve her goal of making first, the national team, and ultimately, the 1996 Olympic team.

“My communication and my footwork are my strong points,” she said. “Things I need to work on? Let’s see. Everything.”

Thompson gets plenty of time to practice whatever she thinks she needs to improve on. She hasn’t taken a day off in months and Sunday morning she leaves for her first overseas trip when the Under-20 Olympic Development team leaves for an international tournament in France.

All-County Girls’ Soccer FIRST TEAM Tina Thompson, Canyon, Sr., Goalkeeper, Century League MVP; had 22 shutouts. Kim Campbell, Canyon, Sr., Forward, County’s top scorer. Amy Peterson, Marina, Sr., Forward, Had 23 goals, 10 assists. Denise Kenyon, El Toro, Sr., Forward, South Coast League MVP. Erin Bailey, Edison, Jr., Midfielder, Sunset League MVP. Sherri Kaminski, El Toro, Sr., Midfielder, Signed with San Diego State. Lynne Thiel, Edison, Sr., Midfielder, First-team Sunset League 1991-93. Rhiannon Tanaka, Marina, Jr., Midfielder, Had 14 goals, 10 assists. Lindsay Light, Capistrano Valley, Jr., Midfielder, Team’s playmaker; scored 10 goals. Jenny Clabaugh, El Toro, Sr., Defender, Signed with University of San Francisco. Michelle Kennedy, Irvine, Sr., Defender, Sea View League MVP. SECOND TEAM Traci Jensen, El Toro, Sr., Goalkeeper, 3-sport player heads to G. Washington. Stephanie Boes, Dana Hills, Sr., Goalkeeper, Recorded 15 shutouts. Kim Engesser, Ocean View, So., Forward, Had 21 goals, 12 assists. Katie Ward, Mater Dei, Sr., Forward, Had 20 goals, 7 assists. Elizabeth Willemse, Los Alamitos, So., Forward, Empire League MVP. Trisha Abe, Mater Dei, Sr., Midfielder, First-team All-South Coast League. Tammi Daman, Trabuco Hills, Sr., Midfielder, ’92 All-County honorable mention. Megan Murray, Esperanza, Sr., Midfielder, Returns to second team. Rhonda Partida, Sunny Hills, Jr., Midfielder, Lancers’ 5-foot-10 playmaker. Marcy Crouch, Marina, So., Defender, Had 7 goals, 19 assists. Brenda Hinrichs, El Modena, Sr., Defender, Century League defensive MVP. Honorable mention: Krista Broughton (Canyon), forward; Tiffany Brown (Santa Margarita), defender; Lauren Carlson (Canyon), defender; Kathleen Celio (Rosary), defender; Karen Dawes (Ocean View), defender; Megan DeSales (Sunny Hills), defender; Erica DeVitis (Santa Margarita), midfielder; Amber Dickey (Valencia), forward; Berkeley Edwards (Laguna Hills), defender; Carrie Fair (Canyon), defender; Jamie Gardiner (Sunny Hills), forward; Kristina Grigaitis (Estancia), goalkeeper; Kristi Hales (El Modena), forward; Christina Hallenbeck (St. Margaret’s), defender; Ally Hambrick (Marina), defender; Brandi Hayungs (Los Alamitos), midfielder; Sarah Heilman (Marina), midfielder; Stephanie Hughes (Corona del Mar), midfielder; Michelle Kaping (Edison), defender; Kirsten Keyler (Mater Dei), defender; Jenny Kluegel (El Toro), midfielder; Jamie Kuroyama (Loara), defender; Carrie Knorr (Orange), defender; Gina Lobito (Troy), midfielder; Amy Moreno (El Modena), goalkeeper; April O’Brien (Huntington Beach), goalkeeper; Shelby Olmstead (Los Alamitos), defender; Renee Parker (Capistrano Valley), midfielder; Laura Roundy (Orange), forward; Shellee Stucker (Edison), defender; Maggie Terry (Mission Viejo), defender; Kim Thompson (Capistrano Valley), midfielder; Robin Perry (Capistrano Valley), defender; Adrienne Poan (Kennedy), defender; Jenny Uriarte (Dana Hills), defender; Amanda Varner (Rancho Alamitos), midfielder; Lauren Weaver (Estancia), forward.