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Vieira and Martinez earn Player of the Year honors for girls’ soccer

Vieira and Martinez earn Player of the Year honors for girls’ soccer

Hilmar High freshman Emily Vieira scored 21 goals and notched 16 assists during the 2016-17 season and was named co-player of the year for the Journal.


POSTED March 23, 2017 4:21 p.m.

Hilmar and Turlock High's varsity girls’ soccer teams had outstanding seasons during the 2016-17 campaign that saw each win a league title and earn postseason berths, and Emily Vieira (Hilmar) and Daisy Martinez (Turlock) were big reasons why their teams succeeded.

Martinez and Vieira are the 2016-17 Turlock Journal co-girls’ soccer Players of the Year and they earned it after both proved to be difference makers for their respective teams.

 “I never really focused on any award or recognition as an individual,” said Martinez. “I try to mainly focus on what and how much I can contribute to my team. As a sophomore, I did not expect this because I am still learning and trying to improve in every aspect of the game.”

“It was an unexpected honor. I decided to play because I love the game,” said Vieira. “I always tried to do my best whether it was during a game or practice. I just wanted to learn and become a better player so that I could earn my place as a valued member of the team.”

Vieira, who is a freshman, earned more than a spot on the team, she earned the Most Valuable Player honor as well for the Trans-Valley League.

“The support we received from our coach and from each other led to our success,” said Vieira. “We put in a lot of work as a team because we were determined to keep going and keep growing. Our coach, Doug Delay, pushed us to do better and work harder because he believed that we could do it.”

Hilmar started 3-3-1 before going unbeaten in 16 consecutive games heading into the Division-V Sac-Joaquin Section semifinal where they ultimately fell.

The Yellowjackets did dominate the TVL, winning outright while allowing just three goals in 12 games played. Hilmar also anchored the league’s highest scoring offense and Vieira contributed on a daily basis.

“We didn't know what to expect this season, it was definitely a goal to win league, but we just went through one game at a time,” said Vieira. “We never focused on the stats, we just played with our hearts because we wanted to do our best for our coach and for each other.”

Vieira scored 21 goals for the year after she made her unique talent visible and known in her debut season with her smooth ability to control the ball and shoot from just about anywhere on the pitch.

Her passing was nearly perfect as she almost matched her goals with 16 assists for the season and next season is already in mind for the youngster who has unlimited capabilities if she continues to grow at this pace.

“My goal, and I would say my team's goal, is to bring home the section banner,” Vieira added. “To improve for next year, I want to work on my strength, my knowledge of the game, and grow as a player and as a teammate.”

Martinez was more than a vital asset to the team’s middle as the true center midfielder who controlled everything and everyone in the middle when she was on the pitch.

“Without her, we wouldn't have won three-fourths of the games,” said Turlock Coach Temo Arteaga after his Bulldogs won the Central California Conference with a 9-1-2 record in league.

There were no 50-50 balls when Martinez was around—she dominated in the air—with her ability to leap rapidly and effectively. Martinez rarely lost possession and was impressive in retaining her consistency on the pitch with a high energy and up tempo flow.

She was one of the strongest players while on the pitch and most plays went through her because of her ability to create chances and become an X-factor. This won her all-league honors as well.

After four CCC games from Jan. 20 through Feb. 1, Martinez had six goals, two assists and 14 points while the defense allowed just a goal during that time frame.

“What motivated me the most this year was my family,” said Martinez. “They have been there for me since I started. I want to make them proud and the sacrifices they've made for me and my soccer career worth it.”

Now, her goal is something bigger and she shows it every minute. Martinez wishes to compete at the next level.

“My main goal is to receive a soccer scholarship to a four-year university so I can attend after I graduate high school,” said Martinez.

Turlock lost just twice for the year and went 14-2-3, earning a spot in the Division-I Sac-Joaquin Section Tournament before falling in the opening round.

 

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