Even in a game of all-stars there were those who stood out above the rest. Based on observation and coaches input, here is the Best XI for the High School Girls All-American Game for fall players, which was played Saturday, Dec. 2, at Celebration High School in Florida.
Girls All-America Game Best XI
Feighan was the East team’s most dangerous player, and she was rewarded by scoring the team’s only goal. Through the entire first half, her speed and quickness proved to be a real challenge for the West defense.
The star of the day was Lindley, who also proved to be a crowd-pleaser. She demonstrated a lot of positive energy and leadership that helped get the West team unified. An early shot by her led to the first goal of the match, and Lindley ended with two goals and three assists to earn MVP honors. She played more of a winger position instead of a true forward. After everything was finished, Lindley jumped into the team huddle and told the players to make sure they followed her on Instagram because she loves to have friends.
Lynch was dangerous from the first touch, and finally was rewarded in the second half with a goal and one assist in what proved to be a strong showing by the Indiana players. One coach said she was “magic on the ball” and she forced the East keepers into a number of saves.
Like a few others at the All-American Game, Duran is a member of the US Youth National Team player pool. Her skills were on full display in the first half and she and Molly Feighan combined for a number of plays that led to scoring chances. As one coach put it, “Duran was fun to watch.”
Haakenson was always in the right spot to make plays. She moved well without the ball. Although she did not factor in the scoring, every coach interviewed felt she was one of the best players on the field.
Soderstrom scored the first goal to jump start the West’s victory. One coach said he felt Soderstrom gets overlooked in Indiana given this year’s high-end recruiting class. “She’s tough, challenges anybody and is always in the right spot.” That was certainly the case on the first goal, as she finished a rebound.
Bauer is a good athlete who proved very important in the early part of the match as she turned away a few East scoring chances. Coaches liked her athleticism and her ability to play both inside and outside back.
As one coach put it, “Loved that kid [Collins]. She stood out for her ability to handle the game from the back line and she made no mistakes in the middle.” Coaches agreed she was the top defensive performer in the match.
A member of the U.S. Youth National Team player pool, Joyner was perhaps the most versatile player at the All-American Game. She was capable of playing any position and having her on defense in a game full of offensive stars for the West made perfect sense. She was tenacious and physical, yet was helpful in the attack.
Really an attacking player, Pluck was asked to play outside back to provide some organization for the East. A very dynamic player who instantly adapted to the new role and remained important in the attack.
When one keeper withdrew to injury and another was called into US Youth National Team training, it left the All-American Game a bit shorthanded. The remaining keepers rotated through, spending time with each team, and Stam was named East MVP. According to one coach, had it not been for Stam’s play, the final score might have been closer to 10-1 in favor of the West.
Others Who Stood Out