Coach: Kevin Rus
Last year: Suffered through a rough winless season, where they went 0-14-2 overall and 0-10-2 in the Northwest Conference (13th), despite having one of the conference’s best scorers, Tori Vandehoef, who tallied 25 of the team’s 29 goals. ... Allowed a league-worst 123 goals. ... Improved late in season, drawing with Lynden Christian and Blaine in their last two games.
Players to watch: Caitlyn Macy (M, Sr.), Sabrina Macy (M, Fr.), Courtney Haak (Jr.), Robin VanWingerden (So.), Jolene Kingma (So.), Dulce Garcia (Fr.), Amy Zeilstra (D, So.)
Outlook: The Nooksack Valley Pioneers are much younger than past years, and that may just be what they need to turn the program in the right direction. Heading that youthful vibe is first-year varsity coach Kevin Rus, who coached the junior varsity team last season and is familiar with many of the girls. Rus said he won’t make any drastic changes as head coach, but he plans to just try to continue to build. “Their goal is to improve throughout the year,” Rus said in a phone interview. “In season, they want to make districts. That is our goal. We’re focused on that. ... We don’t have to beat every team we play; we’re just focused on a few schools.” To get to districts, the Pioneers will rely on lone senior Caitlyn Macy along with freshman sister Sabrina Macy. That duo will join a group of young returners, including Courtney Haak, Robin VanWingerden, Jolene Kingma and Amy Zeilstra. If the Pioneers can build experience over the next couple of seasons, they have a chance to mimic what the boys accomplished last spring, recording the best season in school history.
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Kimberly Trujillo Mendoza
at Lynden Christian
at Mount Baker*
*NWC game; ^at Northwest Soccer Park; &at Bender Fields, #at Nooksack Elementary