Sports Blog: NWC boys' soccer power rankings

Posted by Alex Bigelow on April 4, 2014 

Bellingham's Noe Betancourt-Cruz tries to hold off Squalicum's Brandon Burbank as Bellingham and Squalicum tied 1-1 in a boys' soccer game at Civic Stadium on Saturday, March 29, 2014 in Bellingham.

ANDY BRONSON — The Bellingham Herald

Northwest Conference boys' soccer power rankings as of Friday, April 4.

Squalicum (4-0-2 overall, 2-0-0 NWC): The Storm weathered some difficult games against Lynden and Bellingham with several of its key players being gone for Spring break. A healthy and complete Squalicum lineup remains primed for a deep run in the playoffs, possibly even a state title, if all goes well.

Bellingham (3-0-4, 2-0-1): The Red Raiders are, despite all they lost from last year, still one of the tougher teams in the conference. Noe Betancourt-Cruz and Keegan Nutt are emerging as coach Matt Zigulis' go-to scorers, and the offense will go as they go. Defensively, with senior center back Lars Botterill leading the back line, Bellingham should continue to be one of the better groups on that end.

Sedro-Woolley (5-0-1, 2-0-1): The Cubs battled to a tie with Sehome, another top team in the NWC, and have scored at least three goals in four games this season.

Anacortes (4-1-1, 1-0-1): The Seahawks handed Sehome its only loss of the season with a 2-0 win on Friday, March 28.

Sehome (3-1-3, 1-1-1): The Mariners have secured ties against both Squaliucm and Bellingham in early non-conference matchups, but the Mariners' youth in the attack is beginning to show. Sehome has only scored nine goals in seven games thus far this season.

Lynden (2-3-2, 1-1-1): The Lions are young, but coming of age on both offense and defense. Goalkeeper Hector Gutierrez is proving to be potentially the best keeper in the league.

Lynden Christian (0-2-1, 2-2-2): The Lyncs fought through a tough battle against Bellingham, losing 1-0 on Friday, March 28, but they showed they can play with anyone. An early-season 1-0 win over Lynden did, too.

Mount Baker (2-4-0, 1-1-0): Alex Tyska and Manuel Mendez are leading the attack for the Mountaineers. A strong 3-0 conference win over Ferndale on March 26 was a move in the right direction.

Blaine (2-2-2, 0-2-1): The Borderites have twice tied with Lynden Christian while splitting a pair with Nooksack Valley. Nick Butschli's three goals an two assists has him near the top of the scoring list in the NWC thus far.

Burlington-Edison (2-4-0, 1-1-0): The Tigers secured a 2-1 conference win over Blaine, but have since fallen to Mount Vernon and Squalicum by a combined 8-1.

Nooksack Valley (2-4-0, 1-2-0): The Pioneers have struggled scoring goals thus far this season, managing just seven through six games. They did, however, put three up against Blaine on March 28.

Meridian (1-5-0, 1-2-0): The Trojans handed Nooksack Valley a 4-1 loss on March 26, but other than that game, they have scored just four goals in five games.

Ferndale (0-1-1, 0-5-1): The Golden Eagles are a young team, and it is showing on the defensive end. Ferndale is being out scored 17-3 thus far this season, although it was able to 2-2 tie against Anacortes on March 24.

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