Spring Valley enjoyed a successful girls soccer campaign, finishing with a 16-6 record and 10th in the final Class 4A rankings.
“We had a very successful 2008 season,” said Vikings coach Steve Lea. “We really hoped to progress further in the playoffs, but we keep drawing Wando in the second round (three straight years now), and that is a tough hump to get over. I was really proud of how our kids hung in there and responded to adversity such as top players lost to freak eligibility issues and injuries. We had several players who were role players or reserves last year step up into leading roles, which was nice to see.
“We lose several key seniors. Jamie Shaw and Guneet Malhi played GK for us, and both leave. There is not more that about 60 minutes of experience behind them. Jamie also played some forward for us, and she was lethal at times. Along with Hannah Chillag, our leading scorer, we lose a lot of scoring punch without them. Finally, Emily Niehaus, our steadiest and smartest player, will leave. She played mostly the outside midfield, and she just did not know how to quit or get beaten.
“We return a very small senior class, but we will bring back six junior starters and a couple of others who played a lot. With this core, we should be OK. Our defense and midfield will be strong. The two questions will be scoring and goal keeping.”
Chillag and Niehaus served as the team captains this season. Shaw was voted all-state and all-region in her first season with the Vikings, and will play in the Clash of the Carolinas game against North Carolina in June. Jamie and Danielle Shaw and Janna Komorowski were named to the Region 5-4A all-star team.
Shaw was named Spring Valley’s player of the year at the recent award’s banquet. The other honored players were Malhi (most improved), Chillag (offensive MVP), Komorowski (defensive MVP), Katie Sanders (coach’s award) and Niehaus (scholar athlete). Niehaus, who has been selected to play in the North-South all-star game, was also the recipient of the Ashley Nicole Dent “Viking Pride” scholarship, jointly funded by Taco Bell and the AND Scholarship Foundation.
Chillag led the team in scoring, ringing up 17 goals and eight assists for 40 points. Shaw, who also posted a 0.72 goals against average and two shutouts in goal, was next with 14 goals and eight assists for 36 points. Niehaus had eight goals and one assist. Danielle Shaw finished with three goals and eight assists.
Malhi had a 0.57 goals against average and seven shutouts.