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Vega, Cox highlight girls soccer honors as Region Player and Coach of the Year in 6A girls soccer

Yuma Catholic also makes noise in 3A Southwest with Hodges and Lugo ringing in top honors

YUMA, Ariz., (KYMA, KECY) - The 2022-23 AIA girls soccer season was another one to remember with all local teams across the desert southwest receiving some great honors for their work.

It was especially memorable for the Gila Ridge Lady Hawks who had its best season in school history with a trip to the 6A state playoffs - the only team to make it that far in the area.

And with good teams, comes a long list of good players. For Gila Ridge it was an operation from the top-down - starting with head coach, Cooper Cox, who earned himself the 6A Desert Southwest Region Coach of the Year. His squad at the forefront, earning six First-Team All-Region players.

Right there at the top was one Cox's youngest players, making waves through the entire state of girls soccer. Millie Vega honored as the Region Player of the Year after scoring 28 goals in just her sophomore campaign.

Plus, a nod to the defensive end which held the fort down in the team's 14 wins with Piper Liska taking home the Region Defensive Player of the Year award.


2nd Team All-Conference

Millie Vega - Gila Ridge (Forward)

Desert Southwest Region Player of the Year

Millie Vega - Gila Ridge

Desert Southwest Region Coach of the Year

Cooper Cox - Gila Ridge

Desert Southwest Region Offensive Player of the Year

Itzel Meza - Cibola

Desert Southwest Region Defensive Player of the Year

Piper Liska - Gila Ridge

1st Team Desert Southwest Region

Idaly Powell - Cibola (Defender)

Chayton Barron - Gila Ridge (Defender)

Edith Casillas - San Luis (Defender)

Annabella Romero - Gila Ridge (Defender)

Laci Haxton - Gila Ridge (Forward)

Angelina Moreno - Cibola (Forward)

Aolani Covarrubias - San Luis (Forward)

Addison Duke - Gila Ridge (Forward)

Dakota House - Gila Ridge (Goalie)

Lailah Solomon - Cibola (Midfielder)

Lillian Kamm - Cibola (Midfielder)

Annalyce Romero - Gila Ridge (Midfielder)

Paola Carrillo - San Luis (Midfielder)

Click here for a full list of the 6A Desert Southwest Region 2nd Team and Honorable Mentions.

In the same light as the Hawks, the Lady Shamrocks also made a mark in the state at the 3A level - receiving the same Coach & Player of the Year duo in their region.

Head coach Morgan Hodges was named the Southwest Coach of the Year, leading Yuma Catholic to a 3A play-in game of the state tournament, alongside Region Player of the Year, Janessa Lugo.

Not only did Lugo receive that honor with her 24 goals, she was placed on the 3A All-Conference First-Team list, alongside teammate, Eliana Caro, who held the fort down on the back end of the defense for the Shamrocks.

Angelina Bales and Janeth Manzo also making the cut as All-Conference 2nd Teamers.


1st Team All-Conference

Janessa Lugo - Yuma Catholic (Midfielder)

Eliana Caro - Yuma Catholic (Defender)

2nd Team All-Conference

Angelina Bales - Yuma Catholic (Defender)

Janeth Manzo - Yuma Catholic (Midfielder)

The Kofa Kings also received some recognition by bringing in two All-Region awards from the 5A Central Valley Region - featuring bright future talent and a college soccer commit.


1st Team Central Valley Region

Arlene Meza - Kofa (Forward)

2nd Team Central Valley Region

Melissa Esquivel - Kofa (Midfielder)

And some love out to the Yuma Criminals in 4A.


Honorable Mention Skyline Region

Assyria Pacheco - Yuma

Article Topic Follows: Sports

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Cole Johnson

Cole Johnson is News 11’s Sports Director.

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