This article was originally published by PrepSoccer staff writer, Matt Smith, on the PrepSoccer website. Matt Smith is a special news and communications correspondent with SF Elite Academy and will providing viewers with an inside look into SF Elite and what makes our club so special.
Last week we examined the top keepers in the City of San Francisco, and that list was loaded with excellent talent. For this installment of the SF City series, we move from between the posts to the back line, the players in front of the keeper who keeps her safe.
These are some of the top defenders in San Francisco:
Ava Couden | St. Ignatius | Sophomore | Central Defender
Couden is a 2006 player, who played on the 2005 SF Elite GA team and now plays for De Anza Force. She is a fast player, a fantastic tackler, a great communicator who is great in the air and is very strong. She’s very dangerous on set pieces as she is a threat to score a goal.
Stella Etcheverry | St. Ignatius | Senior | Outside Back
Etcheverry has been a key player for SI since she was a freshman, and can play all over the field. She’s great with her left foot, she is very competitive and is intimidating when she’s running at players. She is committed to UC Santa Barbara.
Bridget Fox | Lowell | Junior | Central Defender
Fox features mostly at center back for the SF Elite 2006 team but plays the No. 6 role for Lowell. She loves the game and is a true soccer head. She’s a very tough player and does all the necessary work to get better. She’s learning how to compete at a high level and is getting better, and tougher, by the day. She is a modern center back as she is good in possession and picking out a pass to help build up play.
Hanae Kambara-Coughlin | University | Sophomore | Central Defender
Kambara-Coughlin, who plays her high school soccer at San Francisco’s University High and plays her club for the 2007 Mustang FC team, is a versatile player. She is a standout center back but can also play the No. 6 and play forward. She is tall, but fast and covers ground quickly and is very good on the ball, making her good in possession whether she’s in the back line or in the midfield. She played in a backline with three seniors during the high school season and still stood out because of her ability to defend and possess. She is a solid ball-winner, who helps build in possession but can also take players on.
Noa Marks | Urban | Senior | Outside Back
Marks was a second-team All-BCL West defender last year for Urban, and she plays her club for the 2005 SF Elite team. She is a shut-down outside back, who can defend and keep up with attackers, but can then turn around and move up the line quickly and put herself in a position to be a threat in the attack either with overlapping play or by sending a ball into the box from wide positions.
Tessa Morris | Washington | Sophomore | Central Defender
Morris is a no-nonsense type of center back. She’s tough, she reads plays well, she’s a good tackler and is generally in the right place a the right time. She is the captain of her SF Elite 2007 GA team.
Lucy Rios | Sacred Heart Cathedral | Central Defender
Rios was a starter as a freshman, made the All-WCAL team for the Irish and is a standout player for the MVLA 2007 team. She is a very athletic player and is very good on the ball. She is a center back who can possess. She doesn’t panic when on the ball, but when it comes to defending she’s fast, reads the game and is tenacious.
Eloise Stone | St. Ignatius | Sophomore | Central Defender
Stone plays her club soccer with FC Bay Area, and was a standout for the SI team as a freshman. She has already been in regional PDP camps, and it’s because she’s a player who is just good at everything. She’s smooth on the ball when in possession and can calmly build up play. She’s a vocal leader, she’s organized, reads the game well and is a ball-winner in the air or on the ground. She is a literal do-it-all center back.
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