Crescenta Valley senior soccer trio earns final league honors

For four seasons, the Crescenta Valley High girls' soccer trio of Sierra Rhoads, Whitley Boller and Katie Callister plied their trade in helping and eventually leading the Falcons to Pacific League success and a pair of playoff wins.

The trio was justly rewarded for their efforts upon the conclusion of their Falcons tenures, as all three were recently bestowed first-team All-Pacific League honors.

During their four-year Falcons run, they were apart of three Pacific League titles and two trips to the CIF Southern Section postseason's second round, including this past season, in which they defeated San Luis Obispo in the first round before falling to Pasadena Poly, the eventual CIF Southern California Division III Regional Championships winner.

Rhoads, who led the Falcons to a 15-5-2 record and second place in league, scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over SLO. It was her 19th of the year and she added seven assists. The senior, who earned her second straight first-team honor, also dropped back on defense, as well, proving her worth all over the field.

“She's been able to be moved since her freshman year. Where we needed help or needed her, she played there,” said Falcons Coach Jorden Schulz, who was voted the league's coach of the year. “Of anyone on the team, I would say she was the most versatile.”

Boller, who's bound for Long Beach State in the fall, was arguably the best in the air of anyone in the area. The senior midfielder and defender tallied five goals and two assists. But her biggest value came on winning balls in the air, holding down the midfield as either an offensive weapon or defensive stopper on set pieces in the box. On top of that, over the seasons, she became renowned for her toughness in playing despite injuries.

“Whitley is just a beast, she tries to play through everything. She's not afraid of anything,” said Schulz of Boller, who was a first-team pick for the second consecutive year. “She's very good in the air — I mean, very good in the air.”

Callister, who's headed to Brigham Young University-Hawaii, was also a weapon in the air and an all-out hustle player in the midfield. Offensively, she tallied nine goals and seven assists.

“She never stops — ever. She can be literally out of breath and she keeps going,” Schulz said. “I think she is probably one of the most improved over the last four years. She's definitely come into her own.”

Joining their Falcons teammates on the all-league honor roll on the second team were junior defenders Sarah Worden and Olivia Bird. Like Rhoads, Worden, (one goal and four assists) could also be counted on to play on the backline or up top. She also played through an array of injuries. Bird (two goals and three assists) proved to be one of the most consistent and poised players on the team, exemplifying a calm and cool demeanor. Despite their second-team nods — which both also received last season — both displayed first-team caliber seasons, according to Schulz.

“Without question,” she said.

Also garnering second-team nods were midfielder Natalie Harmon of sixth-place Glendale and midfielder Talin Kojababin for seventh-place Hoover.

Crescenta Valley's Grace Keller, Glendale's Aline Graham and Hoover's Tyra Williams were bestowed honorable mention, while league champion Arcadia's Adriana Maldanado was named the player of the year.

One Falcon conspicuous by her absence was
freshman forward Rachel Bird, who had 12 goals and 11 assists. Given that Pacific League girls' soccer
determines all-league spots by allotment based on league finish, Schulz said that having her team's four-year string of league titles snapped was bad enough, but it also prevented the talented freshman from getting a rightful spot
on the all-league

“[Rachel and Rhoads] were our playmakers,” Schulz said. “I'm really upset that we didn't win league so I could put her on there.”

First-place Arcadia had nine all-league members, including MVP and
honorable mention, while CV had six, Burroughs had four, Burbank and Pasadena had three and Glendale, Hoover and Muir had two each.

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