Mia Ferro was the anchor of an FPD defense that was among the best in the state — if not the best — during the GHSA girls soccer season.
And she’s just a sophomore.
Ferro and the Vikings cruised to the GHSA Class 1A championship game behind their defense. And Ferro, a sweeper, was right in the middle of that dominant defensive effort.
“For one, she is very confident, and she’s got amazing skills,” FPD head coach Joshua Trieste said of The Telegraph's All-Middle Georgia Girls Soccer Player of the Year. “Her confidence back there from last year moving forward has just been amazing. She got out there last year as a freshman and looked like she had been playing for years.
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“She was really the only one who played the same spot back there (this season), and I think to be able to bring out the play of those around her and to just kind of lock down a defensive unit that changed a little bit as the season went along was pretty important.”
Ferro and the Vikings allowed five goals in their 23 games and recorded 21 shutouts with a goals against average of .21. The Vikings had 17 shutouts in 18 regular-season games and didn’t allow a goal in the playoffs until their 4-1 loss to Wesleyan in the championship game.
“I think this was our year,” Ferro said. “Last year we had a good year, but this year, with all of our players, we just clicked, especially when we made a couple of changes to the formation. Everything just meshed together, and we really found our glue.”
Ferro, who was voted to the all-area team in GHSA Area 2-1A, has started every game at center defender during her two seasons in high school. She credits her club team experiences with helping her improve her game and be quickly ready for high school play.
“That gave me a lot of confidence,” Ferro said of jumping right into the starting lineup for the Vikings last year. “I play club, so I have seen the competition of all of these girls before. But it’s a different mentality here because you’re not with your other club team that you’ve spent time with. You’re with all these girls that change every single year, and you’re getting new players, and you’re with old players.
“So it’s a lot different, and you don’t have that much time, and we start earlier with a lot of team bonding.”
Previous All-Middle Georgia selections this spring
All-Middle Georgia Girls Soccer Team
Player of the Year
Mia Ferro, FPD
Coach of the Year
Joshua Trieste, FPD: The 10th-year head coach steered the Vikings to a 22-1 record and trip to the GHSA Class 1A championship at Mercer.
Emory Sutherland, Stratford, Soph.
The returning first-teamer had eight multi-goal games en route to 28 goals and 12 assists.
Emma Lako, FPD, Sr.
The returning honorable mention pick racked up 35 goals with 12 assists to lead the Vikings’ offense.
Brenley Townsend, Veterans, Fr.
Townsend scored 35 goals with 11 assists in her first season on a perennial playoff team.
Jansyn Samples, FPD, Soph.
She was second on the Class 1A runner-up with 30 goals, second in steals and third in assists.
Danielle Coumbs, Veterans, Soph.
An honorable mention pick last year, Coumbs scored 30 goals and had 12 assists playing mostly mid. Co-offensive player in Region 1-5A.
Kate Patterson, FPD, Sr.
The returning honorable mention pick had 13 goals and nine assists while helping the Vikings’ stellar defense.
Hannah Theriault, East Laurens, Jr.
The returning first-teamer and three-time region player of the year scored 43 goals with 20 assists for the Class 2A runner-up.
Deja Wilson, Houston County, Sr.
The returning first-teamer also played some forward, and had 13 goals and five assists in her fourth year as a starter.
Georgia Bostic, Houston County, Sr.
The returning second-teamer bound for South Alabama helped lead a defense that allowed 19 goals, while adding a goal and assist.
Mia Ferro, FPD, Soph.
The returning second-teamer and two-year starter was a major impact player on a defense that had 21 shutouts, .
Monica Montalvo, Stratford, Sr.
The returning second-teamer scored seven times with four assists and keyed a defense that allowed .8 goals per game.
Shannon Walsh, Houston County, Sr.
The returning first-teamer at midfielder moved to defense and helped the Bears surrender 19 goals. Walsh was the Region 1-6A defensive player of the year.
Victoria Moore, Veterans, Jr.
In 20 starts, Moore had 89 saves and gave up only nine goals.
Janeyce Brown, Veterans, Jr.
The captain had 14 goals and four for the 18-2 Warhawks.
Hailey Hasdell, Lamar County, Soph.
Hasdell scored 34 goals with three assists, helping the Trojans to a fourth straight region title and trip to the Class 2A semifinals.
Elizabeth Nelson, FPD, Jr.
The returning second-teamer was third in goals (21) and first in assists (16) for the Vikings, also playing some mid and leading the team in steals.
Elizabeth Rodenroth, Howard, Fr.
The co-offensive player of the year in Region 2-4A had 27 goals and 14 assists.
Emily Barnes, Mary Persons, Sr.
The returning second-teamer had four goals and 10 assists for the Bulldogs, who lost to eventual Class 4A champ St. Pius X in the second round.
Michaela Black, Mount de Sales, Jr.
The returning second-teamer, at forward last year, had 13 goals and eight assists.
Lizzi Clayton, Stratford, Sr.
The returning first-teamer had 13 assists to go with nine goals.
Alyssa Key, Warner Robins, Soph.
She already has set the program single-season record with 52 goals this season, to go with 17 assists. She was an all-region pick in Region 1-5A.
Alanna Byrne, Mount de Sales, Jr.
The Cavaliers’ top defender had seven goals and two assists, and she was second on the team in steals.
Adrianna Hunnicutt, Upson-Lee, Sr.
Also a midfielder, the Region 2-4A first-teamer had one goal for the Knights, and is headed to Wesleyan.
Jasmine Westbrooke, Houston County, Sr.
The three-year starter and Region 1-6A selection scored as many goals (19) as opponents did against her and the Bears’ defense.
Jalaxia Wright, East Laurens, Soph.
The Region 3-2A defensive player of the year helped the Falcons to seven shutouts and reach the state title game.
Caylee Ann Sutton, FPD, Jr.
The returning second-teamer had 40 saves in 21 shutouts, while again starting every game for the Vikings.
All-Middle Georgia schedule
A look at the schedule for All-Middle Georgia teams to be released with the days the results will be posted on Macon.com and in The Telegraph:
June 21/22: Boys soccer
June 22/23: Baseball
June 23/24: Girls Athlete of the Year
June 24/25: Boys Athlete of the Year