WASILLA — A pair of seniors led a group of Valley soccer players recognized by the Railbelt Conference.

Colony senior Noah Krozel and Wasilla senior Alexis Friesen were both first-team all-conference selections and led all players in the final voting. Krozel, who was named Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year for boys soccer last season, helped the Knights win the 2019 Division I boys state title last week with a 2-0 win over West Anchorage. The midfielder was a four-year starter for the Knights.

Colony head coach Jeremy Johnson said Krozel progressed and continued to inprove through his time with the Knights.

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“He packed on muscle and speed, and he worked on all of his soccer skills and kept getting better and better,”

Johnson said.

Johnson said that’s part of what separates Krozel from the pack.

“Work ethic, first and foremost,” Johnson said of what stands out about Krozel.

Johnson said Krozel is also a great leader. Krozel will play college soccer at Division II St. Edwards in Texas next fall.

Friesen, who will play at Division I Nevada-Reno next year, helped lead Wasilla to the Division I state semifinals. Friesen is also a four-year starter.

Wasilla head coach Patrick O’Neill said Friesen stood out early in her career, but continued to get better.

“Starting out as a freshman she was very skilled technically and sound tactically,” O’Neill said. “She knew the game.”

O’Neill praised Friesen’s work ethic and motivation.

“She always had that drive inside of her,” O’Neill said. “She kept getting stronger and stronger. It wasn’t a surprise to me that she progressed to be the top player in the conference.”

Krozel was one of five Knights named to the boys’ first team. Connor Friesen, Hugo Pochon, Kyle Dearborn and Mike Sliwa also represented the Knights on the first team. Dennis Gerasimyuk and Eric Kolosov were named first team for the Wasilla Warriors.

Colony’s Sullivan Menard and Travis Bekkedaul and Wasilla’s Hudson Horwath were named to the second team.

Abby Crawford, Aleks Kvalheim and Reese Sande joined Friesen on the girls’ first team. Bella Brown, Gabby Wakaliuk, Samantha Johnstone and Sterling Elliott were named first team for the Knights. Colony’s Ashlynn Cornelison and Mykie McMullen, and Wasilla’s Nicole Catlett, Shayla Donley and Taylin Fraker were named second team for Wasilla.

Houston standout named top player

Houston’s Denali Whitted was named the Northern Lights Conference Player of the Year.

Whitted was also one of five Valley players to earn a spot on the NLC girls’ first team. Palmer’s Catherine Uschmann, Ilse Spiropoulos and Delaney Shults, and Redington’s Hailey Stoker were also named first-team.

Palmer’s Isaiah Montoya and Judah Steele, Houston’s Pearson Richardson and Redington’s Ryan Dahle were named to the boys’ first team.

Palmer’s Elise Wright and Aurora Till, Houston’s Kyla Nicoll and Kiowa Crawford, and Redington’s Abbie Fuller were named to the girls’ second team.

Palmer’s Hayden Hartman and Ben McLin, Redington’s Jaiden Straughn and AJ Corrie, and Houston’s Niko Wilkenson were named to the boys’ second team.

Contact Frontiersman managing editor Jeremiah Bartz at sports@frontiersman.com.

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