It’s not necessarily a novel concept, but in soccer, to win, you have to score. Here’s a look at the top five scorers in Whatcom County this season, with a brief explanation of what make’s them so lethal.
1. Christian Chala (Sr., Squalicum).
Stat line: Six goals, three assists. Top performance: Chala scored twice against Burlington-Edison on March 26. Scouting report: He’s a big, physical striker that plays the game with as much finesse as anyone in the conference. His foot skills don’t just get himself open looks, but he’s also facilitated several other opportunities for his teammates, some of which he didn’t get credited for. But just based on physicality, he’s almost unmatched in that respect.
2. Sam Willis (Sr., Sehome).
Stat line: Eight goals, three assists. Top performances: He scored three goals twice this season, the first one coming against Ferndale on April 10 and then again on April 21 against Blaine. Scouting report: Sehome’s coach John Sylvester went in to this season worried about who would step up and score for the Mariners. Willis has most certainly provided the offense they so desperately needed. He’s quick, although not flashy, and simply has a knack for scoring. His play up front may be the deciding factor for how far Sehome makes it this season.
3. Noe Betancourt-Cruz (Jr., Bellingham).
Stat line: Four goals, two assists. Top performance: He scored a goal and recorded two assists in an early-season matchup with Ferndale.
Scouting report: Betancourt-Cruz’s stat line doesn’t do him justice. He’s sixth in total points in the NWC, but he gets double-teamed as often as any striker in the conference. Opposing teams key in on him and try to force other Red Raiders to step up, and it was his goal against Sedro-Woolley on April 21 that may have saved their season. This team will go as he goes unless other players start to step up.
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4. Nick Butschli (Sr., Blaine).
Stat line: Six goals, two assists. Top performances: Twice this year has Butschli scored twice in one game. His first came against Meridian on March 17 and then again against Ferndale on April 15. Scouting report: Despite the new coaching regime, Butschli has showed that he’s still one of the best goal scorers in the conference. He’s not surrounded by a ton of experience in the front line, but he’s still managed to get his. That should continue to be the case for the rest of the season.
5. Gabe Guidroz (Sr., Squalicum).
Stat line: Five goals, one assists. Top performances: His late penalty kick against Sehome was the securing goal in a big conference win on April 8. Scouting report: Not to be entirely out-done by his team Christian Chala, Guidroz is as fast as anyone in the conference in terms of starting an attack. He continually burns defenders when they relax, lending his strong foot skills to often-times pretty goals.
In consideration: B.J. Flood (Squalicum); Sam Diehl (Sehome); Cody Fransen (Lynden Christian); Quinn Carpenter (Squalicum); Alan Eyoub (Meridian); Nicolas Parris (Lynden); Keegan Nutt (Bellingham).