Even as a sophomore, Maiya Pencile dominated the competition. The Matoaca striker tallied 30 goals and 14 assists this past season, earning Conference 12 player-of-the-year honors, and being named to first team all 5A South Region. More importantly, her team made regionals for the first time since 2011.
Pencile’s scoring instinct has led her to two very prolific seasons to start off her high school career. Last season she broke the school record with 32 goals, and she followed that up with 30 more goals this year.
Maiya is a clinical finisher, whose skill and finesse push the team to a higher level, which impacts everyone around her. With her blazing speed and a strong midfield feeding the her ball, she picked apart any opposing defense.
“She has improved her touch a lot,” said Matoaca coach Erin Kutsko, “and she is faster than anyone we play.”
Her constant effort and drive to get better puts the program in a good position in the coming years. Adding to her list of contributions, she even succeeded in a leadership role in her sophomore year.
This is Pencile’s second straight year being named to first-team All-Conference, and this year she was also named to the All-Academic team. Furthermore, she reeled in 5A South Region first-team honors. Her combination of skills and academics should warrant interest from colleges in the upcoming years.
“She is attending a camp this summer at VCU, she would love to play there,” said Kutsko.
She should find an opportunity to show off her talents at the next level. The sky’s the limit for this sophomore striker who’s already assaulting the Matoaca record book.
The best way to lead a team is by example, and Justin Dyke does exactly that for Matoaca. His experience as a four-year starter is evident on the field, and he has helped guide the Warriors to back-to-back Conference 12 championships.
Dyke may not be the most vocal leader, but he lets his actions speak loudest, and along the way anchors the defensive unit for Matoaca. He has started 63 games over a four-year span securing the back line, and he has been the heart of the Warriors’ team.
His impressive list of honors includes being a three-time All-Conference player, and two-time All-Region player, as well as collecting All-State honors last year and Conference 12 Co-Player of the Year for the 2016 season.
His dominant play can largely be attributed to his large frame and high soccer IQ.
“He is huge, he uses his body well, and he always knows where to be, and when to be there,” said coach Jay Parker.
Besides being the heart of the backfield, another main responsibility of a center back is to win balls out of the air, and Dyke excels in that regard as well. In this year’s Conference 12 finals, Dyke won a corner kick out of the air and set up Mason Beltrami for the game-winner against rival L.C. Bird. This was even more special for Dyke because he had just returned after missing the end of the season with mononucleosis.
“We missed him a lot when he was out,” said Parker. “There was a hole in the lineup when he was gone, and everyone’s confidence went up when he got back.”
After the Conference championship, Dyke led the team to regionals. Unfortunately, the Warriors were bested by a strong Douglas Freeman team from Henrico County.
Although Dyke won’t be playing soccer at the next level, he is very intelligent off the field, as well and he will be attending the University of Virginia.