Lauren Yoss of Starr’s Mill is the All-County Girls Soccer Player of the Year

As it’s been every year for a long time, girls soccer was a headliner for the county. Out of six teams in Fayette, five made the postseason and three reached at least the quarterfinals. One school even brought back another state championship.
For her work on the title team, Lauren Yoss of Starr’s Mill is the Player of the Year. Yoss, a junior, piled up a remarkable 26 goals and 22 assists for for the Panthers, also earning Region Player of the Year honors along the way. It’s often said that the best players step up when the game is biggest, and Yoss is no exception. In the championship game against Northgate, Yoss was responsible for both goals in the 2-0 win. “She has shown a lot of maturity this year, really grown as a player and person,” said her coach, John Bowen. “At times, we asked a lot of new things from her, different positions and responsibilities, and she did extremely well. She had a great season and has an opportunity to rewrite the record books next season.”
Among a talent pool in the county heavy on veteran talent, one first year player made a tremendous impact. Kimmy Edgeworth of McIntosh is the Freshman of the Year. On a state title contender, Edgeworth forced her way into the lineup for the Chiefs and played like a future star in the midfield.
There was just no way to separate out one winner for the final award. John Bowen of Starr’s Mill and Randy Hayes of Whitewater are Co-Coach of the Year. Bowen led his Panthers to shake off last season’s title game disappointment in a big way. Despite coming out of the Region of Death as just a three seed, Bowen’s squad was undeterred as they played on the road all playoffs en route to their state championship win over Northgate. Meanwhile, Hayes took a young team at Whitewater, one featuring just one senior, and molded them into a Final Four squad. Add that on top of the fact they didn’t even make the postseason last year and the feat is even more impressive.
The All-County First Team is a bunch loaded with skill.
The forwards are Yoss, McIntosh’s Martha Trimbach, and Whitewater’s Emily Petersen and Ally Smithwick. Trimbach, a senior, was the leading scorer for the Lady Chiefs. Peterson, a sophomore, led Whitewater in scoring with 23 goals, along with seven assists.
The midfield is made up of Riley Clark of Starr’s Mill, Jackie Gray of McIntosh, and Abby Smithwick of Whitewater. Clark, a junior, played all over the field to help out her team and responded with 15 goals and seven assists. Gray, a senior, was at the heart of the Chief attack while finishing second in scoring. Smithwick, a junior, piled up six goals and five assists for the Wildcats.
The defense consists of Abby Ott of McIntosh, Dylan Patterson of Starr’s Mill, Haleigh Meuninck of Whitewater, and Sophia Bonser of Sandy Creek. Ott, a junior, paced the Chief defense. Patterson, a junior, brought power to the Panther backend. Meuninck, a junior, was the Wildcats’ vocal leader. Bonser anchored the Patriots on another playoff trip.
The keeper is Paige Betsill. Betsill, a senior, posted 13 shutouts en route to the state championship for the Panthers.
The All-County second team is also a dangerous collection of talent.
The forwards are Ally Smithwick of Whitewater, Anna Wilczynski of Our Lady of Mercy, and Starr’s Mill’s Leslie Logan and Ashley Broderick. Smithwick, a sophomore, notched 11 goals and five assists. Wilczynski, a senior, led the Bobcat attack. Logan, a junior, tallied eight goals and seven assists in a shortened season. Broderick, a sophomore, picked up 13 goals and six assists.
The midfield is made up of Carly Pressgrove of Starr’s Mill, Sarah McBride of Our Lady of Mercy, and McIntosh’s Taylor Snell and Kimmy Edgeworth. Pressgrove, a senior, missed the early part of the year due to injury, but bounced back as a key presence on the champs. McBride, a senior, helped the Bobcats again reach the playoffs. Snell, senior, and Edgeworth, a freshman, kept the Chiefs on the attack.
The defense consists of Chayla Park of Starr’s Mill, Taylor Butler of McIntosh, Morghan Sumpter of Fayette County, and Claire Gagliano of Our Lady of Mercy. Park, a senior, helped key the Panthers to 14 shutouts. Butler, a junior, was part of the suffocating Chief backend. Gagliano, a senior, and Mercy were tough again on defense. Sumpter, a senior, was a key leader for an improving Tiger squad.
The keeper is Hannah Graham of McIntosh. Graham, a senior, dominated for the Chiefs, earning All-Region honors along the way.
There are still so many talents players left that earned Honorable Mention honors. Starr’s MIll’s honoree is Ashton Nowicki. Whitewater’s honoree is Emma Fulton. Fayette County’s honoree is Caitlin Umilia. Our Lady of Mercy’s honorees are Sabrina Gaitan, Olivia Wells, and Jordan Patten.