While her high school career concluded months earlier, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy alumna Kayla Mills is still receiving awards.
The current USC freshman was recently named a 2013 National Soccer Coaches Association of America Girls High School All-American for her exploits during the 2012-13 season.
“I was super excited to hear about the award,” Mills said. “To be given such a high honor is humbling and I’m blessed to win such an award.”
The acclaim came as a bit of a surprise for Mills, who had no clue she was in consideration.
“I was shocked and I had no idea I was even a candidate,” Mills said. “I’m just super thankful.”
Mills was invited to receive her award, which will be handed out at the Pennsylvania Convention Center Grand Ballroom on Saturday, Jan. 18. The award ceremony is being held in conjunction with the 67th annual NSCAA Convention.
“What can you say about Kayla except she’s received everything she’s deserved,” Tologs Coach Cesar Hidalgo said. “Obviously, this award is big for her, but it’s also big for this program to have a player of her caliber.”
Previously this year, Mills was named the Mission League Most Valuable Player, a CIF Southern Section Division I first-teamer and an All-Area first-teamer, while she was also lauded as an Elite Soccer Report All-American second-team selection in July.
Those awards come on the heels of a season in which Mills anchored the defense as a center defender and paced the Tologs to nine shutouts. Overall, Flintridge Sacred Heart allowed 17 goals in 21 matches in a season in which the Tologs finished runner-up in league and ended the season with a 15-2-4 record.
“We knew that in order for us to be successful, we needed someone who could lead us in the back. Kayla could have played anywhere, but she knew that we needed her in the back,” Hidalgo said. “She did a fabulous job back there, playing somewhat of a sweeper position in our diamond defense.
“But if Kayla had a chance to move the ball forward or get on offense, she would do it.”
Mills did add four goals and two assists for the Tologs.
At USC, Mills concluded her freshman campaign having tallied four goals and eight assists and was named a member of the PAC-12 All-Freshman Team.
“It seems like high school was so long ago, I guess that’s why I was surprised with the award. It just came out of the blue,” Mills said. “I’ve received some congratulations for my teammates, which was nice. For one day, I was back in high school.”Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun