VIRGINIA BEACH — Doubling down on her talent, Karleigh Minson set season highs in goals and assists while leading the best women’s soccer team at Hampton Roads.
“You can’t say enough about what she does in terms of training,” First Colonial coach Joe Tucei said. “Not just in football, but physically in the gym, hitting the weights, running, working out. All those things behind the scenes.
Whether in rehearsal or in the main event, Minson shone. She led the Patriots to their second straight Class 5 state final, where they lost 1-0 on a first-half penalty from Briar Woods. First Colonial finished with 17 wins and was undefeated against 757 opponents.
For clutch scoring, distribution and essential leadership, Minson is the All-Tidewater Girls Football Player of the Year for a second straight season.
“I’m so grateful for the positive relationships and incredible team culture that we’ve built over the past season,” said Minson, who will play at Longwood this fall, “and honestly, I couldn’t have do otherwise. I love all of my teammates and how close we’ve come. I told them to keep their heads up and we’ll get back to where we were next year and years to come.
Minson’s 34 goals and 14 assists were career highs as she finished with 75 goals and 29 assists in three seasons (her second year was canceled due to the pandemic).
“I had no idea what career I would have looking back on it,” Minson said. “On this drive back from my last game, I remembered all the times we had good games, bad games, and the team culture we’ve built over the last four years is just amazing. I keep in touch with some of the seniors from my freshman year. I had the best experience possible.
Contact and building a network were Minson’s main goals as a leader. She monitored the team’s mood, communicated with the coaching staff when problems arose, and acted as a calming influence during the most stressful times.
His main project for the Academy of Legal Studies at First Colonial involved athletes and mental health.
“I really think it’s really important to have a level-headed person,” Minson said. “I would describe myself that way. We have a lot of great personalities. I never want to yell at my teammates and tell them everything they’re doing wrong. We are all responsible. Ultimately, our entire team is accountable for our actions. Everyone on the team knows that if there’s a problem, they can come to me.
And she will come back to them.
“I’ll be back next year helping with practices when I get back from college,” Minson said, “and I’ve told them I’m always a text or a call away.”
Ray Nimmo, [email protected]
2022 – Karleigh Minson, first colonial
2021 – Karleigh Minson, first colonial
2020 – The season was canceled due to the pandemic
2019 – Kaylee Kozlowski, Kellam
2018 – Idelys Vazquez, Colonial Premiere
2017 – White Star, Maury
2016 – White Star, Maury
2015 – Darby Moore, Maury
2014 – Alani Johnson, Cape Henry
2013 – Alani Johnson, Cape Henry
2012 – Brittany Krause, Cox
2011 – Jessie Klamut, Helmsman
2010 – Jessie Klamut, Coxswain
2009 – Emory Camper, Cox
2008 – Brittany Michels, Kellam
2007 – Kristen Carden, cox
2006 – Liza Woodward, Cox
2005 – Chichi Nweke, Princess Anne
2004 – Meredyth Gehrig, Cox
2003 – Kristen Furlough, Kellam
2002 – Amanda Swiader, coxswain
2001 – Amanda Swiader, Cox
2000 – Mindy Nixon, Princess Anne
today’s best stories
Start your morning knowingly with the best stories of the day.
1999 – Sally Harrison, Kempsville
1998 – Amy Caddies, Princess Anne
1997 – Lauren Rafal, Kempsville
1996 – Angela Hucles, Norfolk Academy
1995 – Angela Hucles, Norfolk Academy
1994 – Angela Hucles, Norfolk Academy
1993 – Amy Rosenbaum, first colonial