After one full week of play, here are the first iteration of the Northwest Conference girls’ soccer power rankings.
1. Squalicum (3-0-0): The Storm will in all likelihood hold this top position for the remainder of the season. Simply put, they are the best team in the conference, and they proved that by beating Sehome and Bellingham in back-to-back games.
2. Bellingham (0-3-0): Admittedly, the Red Raiders are No. 2 because I believe they are truly the second best team in the league despite early-season struggles. Bellingham dominated possession against Sehome despite losing, and if there is ever a team I wouldn’t count out, its this one.
3. Ferndale (1-1-1): The Golden Eagles got a strong 2-0 win over Sehome on Sept. 11, offering a big boost for the program. Jordin Bartel scored both goals, too, showing with her out front Ferndale can compete with anyone.
4. Sehome (1-2-0): Don’t quite know what to make of this team yet. They have talent, that’s for sure, but I think it will take a while before everything comes together. Expect some up-and-down performances as the year progresses.
5. Meridian (2-0-0): Janessa Murphy, Ryley Zapien and Payton Lunde make for a solid core, but this team has yet to face anyone of note. I’ll hold off until they do before putting them above more-established programs.
6: Lynden Christian (2-0-2): The Lyncs, through four games, look to be tough team to beat. Brent De Ruyter always puts together a good team, and while Lynden Christian might not have the most talent, it will still be tough win no matter what.
7: Blaine (1-1-1): Ashley Quesada scored five goals against Nooksack Valley, and assisted on the sixth. I still don’t know what to make of that stat line. Nothing flukey about FIVE GOALS!
8. Lynden (1-0-2): First-year coach Carlos Melendez is still undefeated through three games. How long can he keep that trend going?
9. Burlington-Edison (2-1-0): Matchup against Blaine on Tuesday should be a key game for both teams, forecasting where they are going in the future. It’s not make or break, but its a great opportunity.
10. Anacortes (2-1-0): Lynden Christian, Ferndale and Squalicum over their first three conference games. Not the best way to start out.
11. Sedro-Woolley (0-2-0): Back-to-back losses to rivals Anacortes and Burlington-Edison doesn’t a great start make.
12. Nooksack Valley (0-3-0): The Pioneers have been consistent through their first three games, allowing six goals in each. Defense is going to have to improve if Nooksack Valley doesn‘t want to finish in the NWC cellar. On a good note, Tori Vandehoef is a scoring machine.
13. Mount Baker (0-2-1): An 11-0 route to start the season against Meridian isn’t telling. The Mountianeers aren’t that bad, with much better showings against Blaine and Lynden Christian. They open against Lynden, so that should be a decent test.