BEAVERCREEK — The honors keep rolling in for a pair of Beavercreek High School soccer standouts.
After leading the Beavers to an undefeated season and state title, juniors Diana Benigno and Marcella Cash were named first-team and second-team All-Ohio respectively. Dec. 4 the high-scoring duo was among the 150 named Elite Allstate All-Americans.
Sponsored by Allstate Insurance Company, Benigno and Cash were selected from a pool of nearly 800,00 across the country. Of that group, 40 will be selected to play in the inaugural Allstate All-American Cup and be honored at halftime of the 2019 MLS All-Star Game.
Only four Ohioans were selected.
“It feels surreal to be nominated and was completely unexpected just because the fact that there are so many great players across the country that the odds of being selected are so slim,” said Cash, who led the Greater Western Ohio Conference with 38 goals and 91 points to along with 15 assists, which tied for third.
Benigno was fourth in the GWOC with 61 points. She tied for third with 15 assists and was fourth with 23 goals.
“It’s such a huge honor to be nominated for this, and to be considered good enough for it is an unreal feeling,” Benigno said. “I was not expecting it. I worked hard to get where I am and I am glad it has paid off.”
Former U.S. women’s national soccer team standouts and Olympic gold medalists Julie Foudy and Brandi Chastain will coach and mentor those selected for the game. Rosters will be announced in the spring and the game will take place at 2019 MLS All-Star Orlando, televised on ESPNU. A boys game will also take place.
“I think my chances of being picked are just the same as any other player because we were all picked for a reason,” Cash said. “It’s just what type of player are they wanting versus what a different style a player has to bring. It would mean a lot playing in the game because it’s something that I can make my parents proud, along with Beavercreek.“
Benigno said every player “who was nominated deserves it.”
“To play in the game would mean so much to me,” she said. “Playing alongside and against some of the best players in the nation would be such an amazing experience and certainly would make me a better player.”
Allstate will celebrate the All-Americans by sharing player highlights, unscripted moments and inside stories through the new @AllstateCup handles on social media throughout the year. Allstate hopes that these player and coach stories will inspire current and future generations of soccer players to give it their all on and off the field.
“This unique coaching opportunity is a fun way for me to use the skills and experiences I have gained throughout my playing career to help shape the next generation of rising soccer players,” Foudy said in a press release. “Teaming up with Allstate and having the opportunity to work with some of the best high school soccer players in the country who represent the future of the sport is important for me — not to mention the friendly competition that will ensue with my former teammate, Brandi, when it’s time to kick-off.”
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.