High School Soccer

Lynden Lions girls’ soccer preview

Coach: Carlos Melendez

Last year: 5-7-4 overall, 3-6-3 NWC (eighth place). Finished with 23 goals scored against 24 allowed and failed to make the Class 2A Northwest District playoffs. Biggest win of the season came 2-1 against 1A playoff team Mount Baker on Oct. 8. Also tied second-place Sehome 1-1 on Sept. 28.

Players to watch: Alexa Smiley (Sr., F), Jayme Smits (Sr., F), Elisa Kooiman (So., F), Cassidee Barclay (Jr., D).

Outlook: The Lions last year struggled to create many quality opportunities, scoring just 23 goals, which ranked near the bottom of the Northwest Conference. With that, though, new coach Melendez does have a strong returning forward in Smits, who led the club with nine goals and one assist. Smits even had a hat trick against La Conner, showing her unique offensive skill set. She will pair with fellow senior Smiley, who had four goals and four assists, and sophomore Kooiman to make up Lynden’s attack, which played together for much of last year. Melendez should be able to rely on a strong back line, which allowed just 24 goals last year. Barclay, Kelsey Potts and Kellie Fiebig should lead that strong group.

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