High School Sports

PREP SOCCER PREVIEW: Capsules

ANACORTES SEAHAWKS

Coach: Ken Welk

Last season: 3-13 overall, 3-10 NWC

Players to watch: No information provided

Outlook: The Seahawks have struggled in recent years and the move to the Northwest Conference wasn’t kind. Anacortes allowed the third most goals in the league last season and that’s something that will have to be addressed. The Seahawks should be better, but making the district tournament, not the state tournament, should be the goal for this season.

BELLINGHAM RED RAIDERS

Coach: Mark Wright

Last season: 15-4 overall, 12-1 NWC, lost in the Class 2A state quarterfinals

Players to watch: F Alyssa Michel, Sr., MF Nina Rhea, Sr., GK Ann Hoag, Sr., D Alex Mullarky, Sr.

Outlook: The Red Raiders have won five straight league titles and plan on making it six in a row. Bellingham returns 10 seniors from last season’s team that advanced to the Class 2A state quarterfinals. Leading the way will be Michel. She scored 17 goals and had 16 assists as a junior and could be better this season. Hoag also returns and should be considered one of the best goalies in the league. Another NWC title could be in the works.

BLAINE BORDERITES

Coach: Dan Steelquist

Last season: 6-10 overall, 3-10 NWC

Players to watch: Alison Raine Sr., Wren Baldwin Sr., Breanna Olason Jr., Bailey Richardson Jr.

Outlook: The Borderites might have an uphill battle this season with just two seniors returning. Alison Raine and Wren Baldwin will be asked to lead, but they’ll have help from a solid group of juniors. Depth and inexperience will be Blaine’s biggest obstacles, but a learning year can lead to success in the future. This team won’t lack for energy.

BURLINGTON-EDISON TIGERS

Coach: Jay Powers

Last season: 16-4 overall, 11-2 NWC; lost in quarterfinals of 2A state tournament

Players to watch: Sarah Berentson, Sr., Katie Griffith, Sr., Keri Arendse, Sr.

Outlook: The Tigers came two games away from a Class 2A state championship last season and enough returns from that team to make another run. Burlington-Edison is led by a core group of seniors and should compete for a top spot. Much of the Tigers’ success will depend on how their younger players develop.

FERNDALE GOLDEN EAGLES

Coach: Shelly Chambers

Last season: 9-8 overall, 8-5 NWC

Players to watch: F Tanya Bjornsson, Jr., D Chantel Green Sr., D Danielle Lange So., M Maddie McCloy Sr.

Outlook: The Golden Eagles think they have enough to be the top Class 3A team in the conference under the direction of their new coach and they just might be right. Bjornsson returns after a very good sophomore season, and Green anchors the defense. This is a fast bunch, that will be complimented well by its freshmen. The biggest hurdle could be at keeper, where someone new will be stepping in, but the Golden Eagles are a confident bunch.

LYNDEN LIONS

Coach: Cindy Watt

Last season: 3-13 overall, 3-10 NWC

Players to watch: GK Kirstin Salminen Sr., MF Mackie Watt Jr., D Amy Keiper Sr.

Outlook: The Lions are still in the building stages, but seem to be getting better each year. Once again goalie Salminen is back and should be able to keep the team in games. She’s a college prospect and one of the best keepers in the Northwest Conference. Watt brings experience in the middle and the Lions should also benefit from the return of an experienced defense.

LYNDEN CHRISTIAN LYNCS

Coach: Brent De Ruyter

Last season: 11-8 overall, 6-7 NWC

Players to watch: F Kenzie De Boer Jr., M Roxanne Mouw Sr., M Emily De Vries Sr., M Laura Reardon Sr.

Outlook: The Lyncs just might be the team to beat in Class 1A in the Northwest Conference. They are strong in the midfield and have leading scorer De Boer back. The defense should also be solid with Alisha Vander Laan at sweeper and Mandy Stephenson in goal. It might took a few weeks for the team to gel, but once that happens they will be very competitive.

MERIDIAN TROJANS

Coach: Rick Maloy

Last season: 13-6 overall, 7-6 NWC, lost in the first round of Class 1A state tournament

Players to watch: MF Miranda Heslep Sr., MF Karli Hurlbut Sr., GK Savanah Norris Sr., MF Sarah Capp Sr.

Outlook: The Trojans will be relying on their midfielders to take them back to the Class 1A state tournament after an opening round exit last season. Heslep, Hurlbut and Capp will be patrolling the middle this season, and Norris should see a lot of time in goal. Meridian might not be the power it has been, but it’s good enough to get back to the postseason.

MOUNT BAKER MOUNTAINEERS

Coach: Kelly Grayum

Last season: 2-14 overall, 2-11 NWC

Players to watch: D Emily Hart Jr., F Elly Hagen, Sr., MF Mika Gudmundson Sr., F Lauren Frey So.

Outlook: Injuries and youth derailed Mount Baker’s season last year. Now that players have healed and the team has another year behind it, the Mountaineers are feeling good. Hart is back from a knee injury that forced her to miss most of the season, and that alone makes them stronger. The Mountaineers have are set on getting to the Class 2A district tournament and that could happen.

MOUNT VERNON BULLDOGS

Coach: Gary Warman

Last season: 11-5 overall, 9-4 NWC

Players to watch: No information provided

Outlook: The Bulldogs finished a game behind Squalicum last season in the race for the top Class 3A spot in the conference. The strength of team was on defense, where Mount Vernon allowed just 11 goals. Part of that is team talent, but a lot of that is coaching. The Bulldogs also know how to get the ball in the net, scoring 43 goals last season.

NOOKSACK VALLEY PIONEERS

Coach: David Ostlund

Last season: 1-17 overall, 0-13 NWC

Players to watch: MF Amanda TeVelde Sr., D Annie Lagerway Sr., GK Kristine Sorenson Sr.

Outlook: It has to get better for Nooksack Valley after a rough season last year that produced one win. The Pioneers return several seniors including TeVelde, Lagerway and Sorenson. Lagerway is a four-year starter and Sorenson played nearly every minute last season at goalie. Having no club soccer players will hurt, but the team should be improved.

SEDRO-WOOLLEY CUBS

Coach: Justin Diener

Last season: 9-7 overall, 6-7 NWC

Players to watch: F Mackenzie Shipley, Jr., MF Emily Warman, Sr., MF Noemi Frechette Jr.

Outlook: The Cubs return most of last season’s team that finished 9-7 and feel good about their offense. The top three scorers return, led by Warman. Sedro-Woolley struggled on defense last season and has been working hard to fix that. If the Cubs have, a repeat trip to the postseason is a real possibility.

SEHOME MARINERS

Coach: Andria Fountain

Last season: 14-5 overall, 11-2 NWC, lost in the state playin game to Burlington-Edison

Players to watch: F Mari Tarleton Sr., F Tanya Haggen So., MF Heidi Hunt Sr., D Lauren Dingle, Sr.

Outlook: The Mariners will be looking to make their first trip to the state tournament since 1987 after just missing a berth last season. Sehome is loaded, returning eight starters from last season and 12 varsity players. It also might have the most explosive offense in the league with Tarleton and Haggen back. Sehome should be considered the favorite in a tough conference.

SQUALICUM STORM

Coach: Joe McAuliffe

Last season: 12-5 overall, 10-3 NWC, lost in first round of 3A Northwest District Tournament

Players to watch: MF Stevi Day Jr., MF Danielle Grant Jr., D Katie Poe Sr.; D Hayley Haverstraw Sr.

Outlook: Leadership and experience won’t be a problem for the Storm this season. Senior defenders Poe, Haverstraw and Diane Dentinger are back, as are junior midfielders Day and Grant. Though the conference is going to beh strong this season, McAuliffe likes Squalicum’s chances at winning a NWC title.

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