With roughly two and a half weeks left in the regular season, here’s the latest Northwest Conference girls’ soccer power rankings that paint an early vision of the playoffs.
1. Squalicum (12-0-0, NWC 8-0-0): The Storm boast a 56-4 goal differential this year. The Kim’s (Hazlett and Dorr) have been as good as advertised with a combined 31 goals. Hard to see anyone beating this Storm team anytime soon.
2. Bellingham (8-5-0, 7-2-0): The Red Raiders are a completely different team following an 0-5 start. Kayla Heidenreich’s emergence has been huge to go along with the play of Morgan Jones and Brooke Baker. Bellingham’s offense is legit with that trio.
3. Ferndale (7-4-1, 6-2-0): The Golden Eagles need someone else other than Jordin Bartel to step up on offense, but Joe Gonzalez has his team believing it can beat anyone. This is a tough, grind-it-out club that wants to make matches ugly. That’s a big positive going into the postseason.
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4. Sehome (7-3-2, 6-1-2): The Mariners have the most diversified offense in the league with 12 players scoring at least one goal. At some point, though, somebody is going to have to become the focal point of their attack. Devin Grahn has the talent to do so.
5. Burlington-Edison (8-3-1, 5-2-1): Edie Breckenridge’s hat trick against Ferndale on Tuesday was the best individual performance I’ve seen at this level. She nearly single-handedly defeated one of the best teams in the league, and every time she touched the ball Ferndale held its breath.
6. Meridian (7-3-1, 5-2-1): The Trojans are talented, but possibly a year away from contending with the likes of Bellingham, Squalicum and Sehome. They do have a big opportunity Thursday against Ferndale to get back on the winning track.
7. Lynden (6-2-4, 4-2-2): The Lions had little trouble scoring in the early part of the season thanks to Peyton Fullner, Jayme Smits and Lexi Smiley. Three of their past four games, though, they’ve been held scoreless. Right now Lynden is on the outside looking in in the 2A playoffs. That offense is going to have to get going now.
8. Lynden Christian (4-6-3, 2-6-1): Brent De Ruyter‘s club has been decimated by injury thus far this year. If the Lyncs can stay healthy, the 1A playoff picture is far from set and Lynden Christian could stun some people.
9. Sedro-Woolley (5-5-2, 3-3-2): The Cubs simply can’t score. Sedro-Woolley has just 15 goals on the season.
10. Mount Baker (2-8-2, 2-6-0): Jessica Mata’s game-winning goal against Blaine last week led to another Mount Baker win. Her presence has given the Mountaineers something to be excited about lately.
11. Anacortes (3-8-1, 1-6-1): The Seahawks’ keeper Tara Augustoni is a hidden gem in the conference. She’s a standout with little help around her.
12. Blaine (1-10-1, 0-8-0): Blaine battled Mount Baker to a tough 4-3 loss last week, showing that at very least the Borderites aren’t going to layover for anyone.
13. Nooksack Valley (0-13-0, 0-9-0): Tori VandeHoef, Tori VandeHoef, Tori VandeHoef. That’s about all I can say about Nooksack Valley.