Pre-Season Teams to Watch by Matt Massey
Bellevue – The Wolverines will still be a talented team despite losing Jojo Harber (15 goals, 2 assists) to higher-level soccer, the U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team camp. The 2014 squad went 18-2-0 and tied a school record by finishing fourth at Class 3A state, dropping a 3-0 decision to eventual state champ, Edmonds Woodway, in the 3A semifinals. Junior Sophie Butterfield (attacking midfielder/forward), junior Katie Foster (holding midfielder) and senior Noelle Mitchell (defender) give the Wolverines the talent at each position to put them in the state mix again.
Edmonds Woodway – The Warriors lose their top player – Madison Schultz – to higher-level soccer and that will be a big loss. Schultz moves on to U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team camp and E-W must fill a big hole in the lineup with multiple players. Schultz, who is hoping to start school at University of North Carolina early, put up 32 goals and 3 assists last season, so a group effort will be needed. Alison Monroe and Ellie Shull could be this year’s playmakers.
Shorecrest – The Scots lost three of the 2A state runner-up team’s four defenders, but return offensive standouts Alexa Iacolucci, Rachael Moulton and Sophia Viviano. Can that trio of seniors offset the loss of steady experience at the back? Shorecrest looks to get back to the 2A final again – losing 2-1 to Squalicum in 2014 – but the task looks tougher.Jackson – The Timberwolves (16-5-1) were a surprise Class 4A finalist in 2014, but they talent returning will make them a targeted team in 2015. Jackson had six key returners back, led by two senior players committed to NCAA Division I programs in MF Madison Cooley (Gonzaga) and Kristina Serres (Boise State). Another late-season run could have the program talking 4A state title.
Issaquah – The Eagles have the firepower to contend for the school’s fourth state title in girls soccer in 2015. The program, which won state crowns in 2004, 2005 and 2007, has reached state nine times in the past 10 seasons and made seven trips to the state finals during that time. In addition to Pang, key returners for the Eagles are seniors D Madison Phan, GK Anna Mille, MFs Tori Lawless (midfielder) and Carly Danner and sophomores D Kirstie Johnson and F Catey Nelson.
Kentridge – The Chargers (13-2-2) have some unfinished business to attend to in 2015 after ending 2014 with a painful first round defeat in the Class 4A state playoff to Gig Harbor 2-1. KR has plenty of young, improving talent to contend again in the state tournament. Back for the Chargers are four of the best players in the league in senior F Peyton Chick (11 goals, 2 assists), junior F Sophia Chiczuk (9 goals, 6 assists), junior MF Olivia Vanderjagt (5 goals, 4 assists) and junior D Grace Klinkenberg. Add freshman MF/D Ashley Gormlee and junior MF Emily Sugimoto, who returns from injury after missing last fall, and KR will be tough to overhaul. KR is 0-5 in state action with four first-round exits and this team hopes to change those fortunes.
King’s – With first-team 1A all-state defender Anna Parker back and second-team 1A all-state goalkeeper Madeline Nielson back, the Knights will no doubt be strong on defense. King’s went all the way to the 1A state-title match in 2014, falling to Klahowya 1-0 in the finale and that was after going 13-0-1 in the Cascade Conference. The Knights are off to 2-0-1 start in 2015 with a 1-1 tie against 3A Kennedy Catholic.
Liberty (Issaquah) – The Patriots reached the 2A state quarterfinals in 2014, only to fall 4-3 to 2A state runner-up Shorecrest and finish 11-6-3. The team’s leading scorer, forward Makenna Carr, is back for her junior year to build on totals of 19 goals and 2 assists last fall. Also bolstering the lineup are senior MF Jordan Hemmen (8 goals, 7 assists) and junior F Sydney Abel (4 goals, 5 assists).
Sumner – The Spartans have turned into an SPSL 3A and 2A juggernaut in recent years under coach Robi Turley. This season should be no different in SPSL 3A except for a younger cast of characters. The lost to 4A Tahoma 3-1 to open the season, then bounced back to take its SPSL 3A opener 1-0 at Auburn Mountainview. Junior D Jordan Thompson, who has verbally committed to Gonzaga University, anchors the defense as returning All-SPSL 3A first-team selection. Also back is sophomore F Sam Larberg, who was named All-SPSL 3A second team as freshman. Two incoming freshmen – D Jaylin Borden and F Luxee Cardin – should have an impact on the team’s success.
Holy Names – The Cougars return nine starters from last season’s 15-6-0 team that won the Metro League tournament championship, giving them the experience to succeed in 2015. Holy Names, second to Seattle Prep in the Metro Sound Division, reached the Class 3A quarterfinals, but lost there to Columbia River 5-0 but gained valuable postseason experience. Leading the charge on offense is senior MF Annie Flora, who had 3 goals and 8 assists last season. Also key returners are senior MF Claire Tevaseu, a Montana State-Billings commit, and junior Ds Katy Mockett and Sam Miller. So far the team is off to a 4-0-1 start in 2015 with a 17-2 goals advantage. The Cougars last reached the 3A state semifinals in 2012 and they won their only state title in 1999.