DANVILLE -- San Ramon Valley High soccer star Alexa Vandevanter described the ending as picture perfect.
In one snapshot, the Wolves hugged and savored a 1-0 win over rival Monte Vista in the North Coast Section Division I championship match on Feb. 23.
Vandevanter, a senior, had endured three straight losses in the section finals before that fateful night. This time there were tears of joy.
"It was definitely the best way to end the season," she said.
Vandevanter, a center midfielder whose superb playmaking and confidence elevated her among a deep cast of college-bound players, has been selected as the Bay Area News Group's East Bay Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
The Wolves (20-0-5) earned the first unbeaten season in NCS Division I girls soccer since Castro Valley finished 25-0-2 in 2010. The Wolves also repeated as East Bay Athletic League and Tri-Valley Classic champs.
The East Bay Athletic League MVP, Vandevanter had eight goals and three assists overall. She set up Megan Turner on the goal that won the NCS crown.
"Our team chemistry was so good all season," Vandevanter said. "That had so much to do with it. We're all really close."
The youngest of three athletic siblings, Vandevanter is headed to the powerful Cal program, coached by Neil McGuire.
"I picked Cal because I love the campus and I love the coach," she said. "Just visiting Berkeley and seeing all the players. It's always been a dream of mine to play there."
Vandevanter, who followed in her sister Heather's footsteps in the Wolves' program, also excels on the powerful Mustang Blast club team, along with many of the East Bay's top players.
Vandevanter was selected to the 2012 NSCAA Youth Girls All America Team and the 2011 under-17 national team. She is adept at finding calm amid the chaos with the ball at her feet.
"I love finding the ball and doing combination plays and working with teammates," she said. "I love that feeling when I see a run being made and you can play a ball to them. It's always fun."
McGuire is thrilled to know that Vandevanter is headed to Cal.
"Lex is a creative attacking midfielder who has the ability to change a game," he said recently. "She has tremendous speed and endurance and the ability to score important goals from deeper positions."
Plus, she has an NCS championship on her resume. It makes the big picture seem, well, perfect.