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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  High school sports

West Valley girls soccer has 1-2 punch of future Division I players on offense, defense

UPDATED: Wed., Oct. 6, 2021

By Justin Reed The Spokesman-Review

The West Valley Eagles feature the best record in the 2A Greater Spokane League and two future Division I soccer players.

One will stay an Eagle after this season as senior Delani Walker, a prolific striker, is committed to Eastern Washington.

The other is junior Abbie Sicilia, a speedy and commanding center back, who orally committed to play for Gonzaga in July.

“(Walker) is our lone striker, so she’s our target player,” WV head coach CC Collins said.

The Eagles look to find her so she can hold up play, using her strength to jockey defenders off the ball. Her vision and ball skills allow her to dribble around defenders and find teammates in scoring positions.

As the forward at the top of the formation, she has to find the back of the net. While she loves being a team player, he also has a drive to score goals – as every good forward should .

“She has also got one of the strongest shots I think I’ve ever seen,” Collins said.

Walker transferred from Loyola Sacred Heart High School in Missoula after last season, but she has loved her time in Spokane and knew she would be a good fit.

“She’s amazing. She reached out as soon as she moved over (to Spokane) and she came to a couple summer scrimmages and got to know the team right away before season even started,” Collins said. “And then she knew a couple players from playing club ball, so she made that transition really easily.”

Sicilia is from Spokane and listened to the advice of her club coach, Lexi Brown, who is an assistant on the GU women’s soccer team and helped persuade Sicilia to stay home for college.

“Everything kind of worked out there,” Sicilia said. “It’s a great team, great coaching staff. I’m really excited.”

As a defender, she rarely allows anyone to get behind her, but if that happens, she has the pace to make up the ground and win the ball back. After she does, her distribution to start the attack also makes West Valley a dangerous team on the counter.

On occasion, Sicilia will even march the ball down the field to find herself in attacking situations.

Collins likes to move Sicilia into the box on corners or long throw-ins because of her height and nose for the goal as a center back.

Sicilia tries to emulate her talent on the pitch in the classroom.

She has a 4.0 grade-point average and is involved with leadership at West Valley.

That desire to lead in the classroom transfers back to the field.

“I think all the girls just really trust her and are willing to listen to her and willing to learn from her, which is great going forward and building for future years,” Collins said.

West Valley is 9-1 overall and 5-0 in league play. Collins said one of the biggest reasons is because of the Eagles’ depth .

The Eagles had 40 players come out for soccer, gifting them plenty of talent from which to choose. Collins said many 2A teams only have seven players on their junior varsity squads, so weathering illness and injuries on the varsity team is difficult.

“I’ve got a lot of my younger players who come right off the bench and are just as competitive as the ones that are starting, and they’re coming in and creating all kinds of opportunities for us,” Collins said. “Matter of fact, I even have some JV players that I would be willing to put on the field at this point too, because we have a lot of talent on both of the teams.”

The Eagles have aspirations to win the league and achieve success at state. Sicilia believes the opportunity is theirs to grab if they take it game by game to give them the best shot.

“I just think, keep working together and just keep on going,” she said. “I mean, it’s hard to keep winning over and over and over again.

“But I think if we just work together and play hard, and do what we’ve been doing lately, I think it’s something we can definitely obtain.”

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