Tribune boys soccer player of the year: Kyle Ciliento, Pinnacle - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Tribune boys soccer player of the year: Kyle Ciliento, Pinnacle

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Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2008 1:04 am | Updated: 8:43 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Believe it or not, there was a time when Kyle Ciliento thought he was never going to score a goal in high school. As a freshman at Phoenix Pinnacle, Ciliento failed to score in his first two matches.

See the print version of the All-Tribune prep sports section

“I was thinking maybe I shouldn’t be on the varsity,” Ciliento said. “My coaches and teammates kept telling me I was going to be OK.”

OK? That’s like saying Michael Jordan had a decent run in basketball.

Ciliento finished his prep career as the state’s unofficial all-time leading scorer with 160 goals, and with the unofficial state record for career assists (88).

And to make his run at Pinnacle complete, he joined close friends and fellow teammates in winning the 5A-II state championship, beating Tucson Rincon, 2-1, in overtime.

“Winning state was unbelievable. I think it finally sunk in just a few days ago,” said Ciliento, whose teams had come close in his first three seasons but always came up short of a championship.

“I wouldn’t trade my time with my friends in high school for anything,” he said. “I am so happy I stayed with high school (over playing club soccer).”

Ciliento finished this season with 60 goals, including the game-tying score against Rincon. In overtime, his pass to Jordan Wade led to the game-winning goal and Ciliento’s 37th assist.

This fall he will head to St. Mary’s (Calif.) College to begin his collegiate career.

“I know I will be on the team, but I’m still nervous,” Ciliento said. “You always wonder if you’re going to be good enough to score a goal.”

Ciliento may be the only one who wonders.

Looking Back: Memorable moments from the 2007-08 season

Big-school dominance: The final four teams in the 5A-I state tournament were local teams — Phoenix Brophy, Phoenix Desert Vista, Gilbert Highland and Tempe Corona del Sol. And only three teams in the 16-team tourney were from outside the East Valley, and they won just one match in the postseason.

4A help: As well as the local teams did in 5A (Pinnacle also won the 5A-II state title), 4A schools struggled come tourney time. In the 4A-I and II postseasons, eight teams combined to win just one match and that came from Cave Creek Cactus Shadows.

Mesa on the way back: The Mesa schools made plenty of noise in the regular season. Dobson, which dominated play in the late ‘90s, earned a No. 7 seed in the state tourney. Mesa High also made the playoffs, but had to play Dobson in the first round. Red Mountain won the East Valley Region tourney title after sharing the regular-season title with Dobson and Mesa.

Class 5A All-Tribune first team

Player School Yr. Pos. Comment

Kyle Ciliento Pinnacle Sr. F State’s all-time leader in goals, assists

Temi Molinar Brophy Sr. F Heading to Duke after 26-goal season

Finlay O’Neill Highland Sr. F Fiesta Region offensive POY

Nick Ayers Brophy Sr. F Netted 18 goals for state champs

Tyler Schultz Pinnacle Sr. MF 50 points for pinball-like offense

Alan Puga Highland Sr. MF Big reason Hawks won Fiesta Region

Colby Thornton Corona del Sol Sr. D Made Aztecs a tough matchup

Ryan Baker Highland Sr. D Big reason Hawks had 11 shutouts

Toby Wright Chandler Sr. D Fiesta Region defensive POY

Jimmy Meglio Brophy Sr. D Champs’ top defender, Xavier bound

Connor Redd Pinnacle Sr. GK Backstop for 5A-II state champs

5A Player of the year: Kyle Ciliento, Pinnacle

Coach of the year: Marc Kelly, Phoenix Brophy. The coach finally got a state championship for his alma mater, beating Desert Vista, 2-1, in the 5A-I title match.

Class 5A All-Tribune second team

Player School Yr. Pos. Comment

Derek Freeman Dobson Jr. F East Valley Region offensive POY

Brandon Hansen Mtn. Pointe So. F Talented distributor for Pride

Scott Grode Basha Sr. F Led Bears as they became contenders

Austin Fares Red Mountain Jr. F Led Lions to share of E.V. Region, tourney title

Ryan Fuertsch Gilbert Sr. MF Named 1st-team All-Fiesta Region

Anthony Cascio Hamilton Sr. MF Arguably top MF in Fiesta Region

Andy Hoffman Dobson Sr. MF Led Mustangs back to state contention

Sean Miller Highland Sr. D Four-year standout for Hawks

Joe Wirth Mtn. View Sr. D East Valley Region defensive POY

Kete Meskill Basha Sr. D Foes had trouble scoring on Bears

Kyle Orne Desert Vista Sr. GK Got Thunder to 5A-I state title match

Class 5A honorable mention

BASHA: Kevin Parsons, Sr., D CASA GRANDE: Alex Ouma, Sr., MF. CHANDLER: Sean Moorehouse, Sr., MF. CORONA DEL SOL: David Lutz, Sr., MF; Colby Thornton, Sr., D. DESERT VISTA: Dan Fromm, Sr., D; Brian Holmes, Sr., F. DOBSON: Tyler Hancock, Sr., MF GILBERT: David Urbina, Sr., F; Brad Mason, Jr., F. HAMILTON: Connor Berg, Sr., D. HIGHLAND: A.J. Goshinska, Jr., F; Josh Zaun, Jr., MF; Zack Kampf, Sr., D. HORIZON: Jordan Diana, Sr., MF. MARCOS DE NIZA: Javier Ramirez, Sr., F. MESA: Daylen Ray, Sr., MF; Jaime Lara, So., D; Antonio Lara, Jr., GK. MESQUITE: Adam Rassas, Sr., F. MOUNTAIN POINTE: Gonzalo Nemi, Sr., MF; Kris Lounsbury, Sr., GK. RED MOUNTAIN: Colby Bauer, Sr., MF; Michael Smith, Jr., GK.

Class 4A-1A All-Tribune first team

Player School Yr. Pos. Comment

Paul Barker Valley Christian Sr. F 34 goals, 15 assists for 1A-3A champs

Brandon Norem Arcadia Sr. F Offensive catalyst for team

Brad Turner Valley Christian Sr. F 22 goals, including two in title game

Sebastian Proano Fountain Hills Sr. F Recorded 54 points

Kenny Sale Fountain Hills Jr. F Scored 21 goals

Westen Glen Chaparral Sr. MF Team leader for 4A-I tournament team

Craig Masselink Valley Christian Sr. D Kept Trojans back line in order

Isaac Nelson Valley Christian Sr. MF Played entire field for Trojans

Mario Barajas Queen Creek Sr. F Led Bulldogs to top of East Sky Region

Obedd Fuentes Tempe Sr. F Solid season in rebuilding program

Jorge Figueroa Coronado Sr. GK Top keeper in East Sky Region

4A-1A Player of the year: Paul Barker, Valley Christian.

Coach of the year: Paul Schanaker, Valley Christian. The Trojans are always looked upon as a team to beat, but this year they beat everyone they were supposed to — including Wickenburg in the 1A-3A state title match — and that doesn’t happen very often.

Class 4A-1A All-Tribune second team

Player School Yr. Pos. Comment

Alberto Lopez Cactus Shadows Sr. MF Helped get team to 4A-I quarterfinals

Matt Moorer Cactus Shadows Jr. F Offensive leader for team

Jared Rayes Paradise Valley Jr. MF Should help team contend next year

Berekk Blackwell Notre Dame Sr. MF 2nd of consecutive solid seasons

Rey Acosta Florence Sr. D Solidified the back line

Duane Alexander Florence Jr. F Has team heading in right direction

James Carew Queen Creek Sr. GK Anchor for Bulldogs

Daniel Bingyou Chaparral Sr. MF Helped team improve throughout year

Thomas Biones Chaparral Jr. D Dependable all over the field

Jorge Figueroa Coronado Sr. F Top threat for Dons

Steve Ryoo Surrey Garden Sr. MF Could help build competitive program

Class 4A-1A honorable mention

CORONADO: Jair Rebollar, Sr., F. FLORENCE: Chris Alexander, Jr., MF. HIGLEY: Pedro Rios, Sr., MF. TEMPE: Andres Cerbantes, Sr., MF; Patricio Quihano, So., D.

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[Stats Courtesy of MaxPreps]