Freshman Erik Guerrero joined Westmont soccer veterans Braeden Pryor and Daniel Tuscano on the All-Golden State Athletic Conference team. He was one of only two freshmen on the honor squad.
Guerrero, an alum of Santa Ynez High, was the Warriors’ all-around best newcomer during the regular season, as he tallied 16 points during his debut. He collected five goals and had a tied for a team-best six assists.
“Erik has really had an outstanding first year,” said Westmont head coach Dave Wolf. “The first year, oftentimes, is a period of adjustment and struggle, maybe even more so for players who are a bit more talented and used to having things their way.
“In Erik’s case, he’s been impressive in every facet of the game. Not only is he talented, but he’s produced immediately. It’s one thing for people to recognize your talent, but it’s another to have that talent and be able to put points on the board.”
Durability wise, Guerrero was also seventh on the club with 910 minutes played.
“I give him a lot of credit for being physically ready to come play college soccer,” added Wolf. “I think there were some questions about Erik’s durability as a high school and a club soccer player. We got a bit of a look at that last spring, while he was training with us.
“When the time came though, he was ready to go. When you’re ready to go, you give yourself the opportunity for your talent and ability to show itself. He gave himself that opportunity this season.”
Pryor displayed a great amount of production in his third season at Westmont. He had a team-high 18 points on the season, collecting a club-high six goals to go along with his six assists.
“This year, he’s moved from potential to producer,” said Wolf. “The statistics might not say this, but to me, I thought he was the best attacking player in the league. He caused problems for everybody all year long. It’s an unusual statistic, but when you look at penalty kicks drawn, I have to think he was atop the leaderboard.
“He’s a tough guy to deal with. This year, Braeden had his foundation of fitness, which allowed the talent to really flourish.”
Tuscano, a junior from San Clemente, earns the honor after one of the most resilient campaigns for a Warrior in recent memory. Despite several hardships both on and off the field, Tuscano provided a consistent presence and high level of leadership on the pitch, recording the second-highest mark of minutes played for a Warrior, with 979.
“I think Daniel is the best two-way midfielder in the league,” expressed Wolf. “His ability to play on both sides of the ball is just different. He’s got a massive engine. He runs and runs and fights and works, but he’s not just a grinder.
“He’s developed a really sophisticated forward passing game. Daniel is oftentimes making the pass that’s the ‘hockey assist’. It’s often the pass that leads to the pass that ultimately gets the assist. Daniel touches every blade of grass. If anything, we have to keep him from running too much, and that’s a good problem to have.”
The Warriors begin play in the GSAC Quarterfinals this Friday at 11 a.m. in Surprise, Arizona. Westmont (9-4-2, 4-4-1 GSAC), the five seed, will be battling fourth-seeded Ottawa (Ariz.) (10-5-2, 5-3-1). The Spirit won the regular-season meeting, 3-1, on Sept. 29.