Dominating Class 3A Southern League postseason awards is nothing new to the Faith Lutheran boys soccer team.
But the Crusaders have never had more than five players honored as all-state selections for one season until now.
Faith Lutheran senior forward/midfielder Ryan Sniezyk was named 3A state Offensive Player of the Year and Nate Hagge the Coach of the Year when the awards were unveiled this week.
“The way they played all year is more meaningful than any rewards they got,” Hagge said.
Still, Hagge acknowledged that his team reaching its first state title game probably had an impact on coaches’ voting.
Faith Lutheran finished 16-1-1, losing 2-0 to Truckee (Calif.) in the state final.
Sniezyk, the Southern League Most Valuable Player, scored a school-record 101 career goals for the Crusaders.
Faith Lutheran also had senior midfielder Chris Longi, senior defender Terry Unruh and junior goalkeeper Marc Davies named to the first team. Junior midfielder Chris Ortwein was named to the second team, and junior forward Wade Norman and senior defender Rob Bethel were given honorable mention recognition.
“It was just great to have seven guys on the team and equal some of the numbers the Northern guys have done,” Hagge said. “It was a great feeling to know a team in the South could be compared to a team in the North.”
Truckee senior midfielder Max Brixey, who had six goals and three assists in two state tournament games, was named 3A state MVP.
Defensive Player of the Year went to Truckee senior goalkeeper Ryan Newland.
The first team was rounded out by: forwards Pedro Pasaran (Yerington), Ruben Camacho (Incline) and Avey Quintino (Sparks); midfielders Michael Ceragioli (Incline), Raul Cardenas (Truckee) and Bradley Nilsen (Boulder City); defenders Quinn Hesterlee (Spring Creek) and A.J. Delforge (Truckee); and utility player Johnny Luna (Incline).
In girls awards, Faith Lutheran junior forward Sydney Spoon was named co-Offensive Player of the Year along with Spring Creek’s Rebecca Paul.
MVP went to Truckee senior midfielder Adele Shaffer, who led the Wolverines to a 5-3 win over the Crusaders in the state title game.
Virgin Valley senior goalkeeper Jacque Olivé took Defensive Player of the Year after posting six shutouts in helping the Bulldogs finish 7-11-5.
Pahrump Valley’s Greg Leseberg was named Coach of the Year after guiding the Trojans to an upset win in the Southern League semifinals and into the state tournament.
The first team is comprised of: forwards Katie Dill (Truckee), Melissa Ewing (Pahrump Valley) and Sasha Rupp (Whittell); midfielders Andrea Empey (Spring Creek), Stephanie O’Neil (Truckee), Krystal Onyema (Faith Lutheran) and Samantha Sposato (Pahrump Valley); defenders Kelly Bradley (Fernley), Chloe Breider (Incline) and Jessica Nelson (Faith Lutheran); goalkeeper Kyla Siri (Spring Creek); and utility player Krista Klebenow (Spring Creek).