Lady Eagles net 16 accolades

Published 7:33 pm Monday, June 11, 2018

Prince Edward County High School’s varsity girls soccer team was led by a senior and freshman among its four 2018 All-Region 2A accolades, and the squad had outstanding representation among the 2018 All-James River District honors, including Madeline Buczek being named Coach of the Year.

Making the all-region first team were senior midfielder Samantha Buczek and freshman forward Waleska Brito, and senior forward Natalie Cheyne and freshman defender Amber Gillen were named to the second team.

“I was very, very pleased,” Coach Buczek said of her team’s all-region representation. “That was awesome. It’s been awhile since I think any of them have been nominated. I think Samantha was nominated last year, but that was it for our team. But other than that, having four girls even up for it was awesome.”

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The coach explained that some of the other teams in the running for regional awards had rosters featuring more experienced players than the Lady Eagles.

“So it was really nice to see, statistically, how our girls hung well with them,” Buczek said.

At the district level, Prince Edward was the dominant force to be reckoned with. The Lady Eagles finished the season 14-2 overall, including going 9-1 in the district during the regular season. In acknowledgement of this, they ended up with 11 all-district players, including six on the first team.

“I was very pleased and surprised,” Buczek said of the 11 selections. “That was actually our whole starting lineup (that) either made first or second team. Yeah, so that was pretty awesome.”

Selected to the all-district first team were Brito, Samantha Buczek, Cheyne, Gillen, senior defender Audrey Butler and senior goalkeeper Jayden Comer.

Prince Edward all-district second-team selections included senior midfielder Katelyn McAbee, senior midfielder Laura Bisaillon, freshman midfielder Makylah Tillerson, freshman defender Grace Militello and freshman defender Dianna Quick.

Coach Buczek, a Lady Eagles player from 2010-13, led the team as coach to a season this year that Prince Edward Athletic Director Rodney Kane said was at least tied for the best in program history. She did not have the Coach of the Year accolade on her mind, though, and it caught her off guard.

“I was just blown away and completely shocked,” she said. “It was a surprise, but I was very happy, but I definitely couldn’t have done it without my assistant coaches, Megh (Yanchulis) and then Jessica (O’Bryant). They were both amazing, and the knowledge that they brought, we all just kind of worked really well together. So, it was really a team effort.”

This was Buczek’s final year as head coach of the team, at least for now, as she looks to begin nursing school soon. She was head coach for two years and an assistant coach for one.

She spoke in glowing terms while describing what it was like to work with the group of Lady Eagles this year that advanced as far as the Region 2A tournament quarterfinals.

“We had just such a blast every day at practice,” she said. “… We truly enjoyed playing soccer and just being around each other.”

Brito was Prince Edward’s No. 1 scorer in 2018, finishing with 29 goals. She also had 24 steals, 13 intercepts and a couple assists.

Among Prince Edward’s other first-team honorees, Samantha Buczek finished this year with 11 goals, 24 assists, 26 steals and 18 intercepts.

Cheyne had 13 goals, five assists, eight steals and nine intercepts. Gillen registered 32 steals, 29 intercepts and scored six goals. Comer recorded 125 saves and eight shutouts in goal, and out of goal, she scored once. Butler generated 26 steals and 21 intercepts.