Kent soccer has 6 first-team all-stars and conference coach of the year

Junior forward/midfielder Gracie Walters, who led the 7-4 Trojans in scoring with five goals, was placed on the All-North Bayside 1A first team in voting by head coaches.

WORTON — All-star accolades aplenty have come to Kent County’s girls soccer team, which registered its first winning season since 2015.

In voting by head coaches of the North Bayside Conference 1A schools, six Trojans are on the elite first team and four more receive honorable mention.

Also, Rachael Gugasian is her peers’ choice as Coach of the Year for all schools in the conference, which encompasses the entire Eastern Shore.

Senior defender/center midfielder Maddy Kendall, the most valuable player for the 7-4 Trojans, heads their all-star crew. She is joined on the first team by senior Olivia Jones (center midfielder), senior Cecilia Llamas (midfielder/forward), senior Megan Speakman (forward), junior Alana Fithian Wilson (goalie) and junior Gracie Walters (forward/midfielder).

Senior Marlee Berghaus (center defender), junior Olivia “Livy” Daniels (forward/goalie), junior Sydney Usilton (midfielder/forward) and senior Madisyn Yiannakis (outside defensive back) receive honorable mention.

“I’m thrilled we were able to have all this recognition for our team. The girls truly deserve it,” Gugasian wrote in an email to the Kent County News.

She attributed the success she had as a coach to her players, “who worked so hard and put in the effort.”

Gugasian, who is a special education teacher at Galena Elementary School, became the high school’s girls soccer coach in the fall of 2017. Her first roster included all-stars Berghaus, Jones, Kendall, Llamas, Speakman and Yiannakis.

This season was unlike any other “fall” season, with practices beginning in a snowy, icy February and matches played in March and April.

Due to COVID-19 protocols, Kent played a North Bayside-only schedule and fans were not allowed to attend away matches.

Kent defeated all the similarly small 1A schools; its losses were to larger Class 2A opponents, including Queen Anne’s, Kent Island and Easton back-to-back-to-back.

Six of the Trojans’ wins were by shutout. The only goal they gave up in a win was at Colonel Richardson in the 4-1 season opener on March 5.

“I’m just so thankful that we were able to have a season and the girls had the opportunity to play. In the midst of a pandemic, we came out even stronger and we did it together,” Gugasian said.

“I’m very proud of how much we have accomplished together,” she said, “and I look forward to continuing the upward trend into next season.”

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