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Curry, Smith named Daily Times top player and coach in girls soccer

FARMINGTON − Farmington High School's Jessi Curry, one of the top goalkeepers in the state of New Mexico, has been chosen as the Top Girls Soccer Player in the region by the Daily Times.

Meantime, Kiera Smith, who led the Kirtland Central Lady Broncos into the postseason and to the team's best record in more than a decade, has been chosen as the Girls Soccer Coach of the Year in San Juan County.

Curry, who wrapped up her senior season with 272 saves and an average of more than 14 saves per game, was tops in both categories this year in the state, well ahead of her nearest challenger, Anjali Patel from Deming.

The Lady Scorpions failed to reach the postseason representing District 2-5A, but competed well with the likes of La Cueva, giving up only a pair of goals in two matches to the Lady Bears.

"With a district as stout as ours, her statistics are nothing short of fantastic," said Farmington girls soccer coach Bryce Frost. She has a positive and tremendous impact on the team."

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The Lady Scorpions soccer team finished the season with a record of 8-9-2, but surrendered only 27 goals through 19 matches, including a meager goals against average of 1.4 during their 10-game stretch in District 2-5A.

"(Curry) is one of the most impressive people I've ever met and I am excited to see what she achieves," Frost said.

Since joining the girls soccer team as an eighth-grader, Curry has logged nearly 3,000 minutes minding the net, recording 630 saves, allowing only 74 goals. She had five shutout wins this season.

"It's her persistent need to become better and consistency in pursuing excellence that have set her above other athletes," said Frost. "She spends countless hours pushing herself to be and achieve more."

Honorable mentions for top girls soccer players this season go to Kirtland Central's Jesse Garcia, who scored 30 goals, as well as Rheala Herrera from Aztec with 23 goals and Desirea Gurule who scored 22 times this season.

Smith, who took over as head coach of the Lady Broncos during the offseason, led the team to their best record in more than a decade, finishing 15-5-1 before being knocked out of the Class 4A state postseason tournament by district rival Bloomfield.

"You couldn't ask for more from a first year head coach," said Kirtland Central athletic director John Zecca. "She had a good mix of both older and younger players and was able to get them to gel and have a great season."

More:Panthers, Bobcats, Tigers roll in season finales; Scorpions stumble at La Cueva

Smith took over the Lady Broncos program after the conclusion of last season from Eric Hooper. Prior to this season, the team's best record was in 2012 when they went 15-7 before losing in the state quarterfinals to Aztec.

"This team was made up of a special group of girls who pushed me out of my comfort zone," said Smith. "The way the veterans supported the newcomers was inspiring. This season we accomplished some great things. I couldn't have asked for a better team."

Honorable mentions for girls soccer coach of the year go to Bloomfield's Jamey Jones as well as Aztec's Leroy Nelson.