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Sports Blog: Thoughts on the 2014 All-Whatcom County Player of the Year selection

Squalicum forward Kim Hazlett was selected as the The Bellingham Herald’s 2014 All-Whatcom County Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year but it wasn’t without deliberation. We selected Hazlett for her Whatcom County-leading 27 goals and her performance in the state tournament, when she scored six goals in four games. But here are five other players that certainly made their cases.

Jordin Bartel, Ferndale - The strong forward led the Golden Eagles to their best season in school history and her 23 goals were mighty impressive. She really was the heart and soul of the Ferndale offense and her constant motor and drive was fun to see on the field. She was mighty close to being selected as Player of the Year, if not for Hazlett’s state championship. Carly Bannerman was also considered for Ferndale.

Tori Vandehoef, Nooksack Valley - No player probably meant more to her team than Tori Vandehoef. The star forward scored 25 of her team’s 28 goals. She was constantly double and triple-teamed and still got goals; she was that good.

Michelle Saunders, Squalicum - Saunders is a holding midfielder naturally, but when two of Squalicum’s defenders went out with injury, she accepted the challenge. Her ability as a passer not only started the Storm attack but she was a very tough defender too. Her 19 assists, including four in the state tournament helped the Storm to a title.

Emma Brice, Bellingham - Lockdown defenders aren’t extremely common in high school soccer, but Brice certainly fits the bill. Coach Mark Wright used her to shutdown whoever the top player was and she held Kim Hazlett to one goal in three meetings. She didn’t start playing for the Red Raiders until her junior year, but she’s been fantastic since she joined them. Hattie North and Mia Hodges were also considered for Bellingham.

Kim Dorr, Squalicum - Yes, this list gets a bit Squalicum-heavy at this point but the Storm are deserving. Even more so, Dorr is deserving. She scored 20 goals on the year and formed a great 1-2 punch with Hazlett. She scored seven goals during Hazlett’s battle with injury during the season and led the Storm through that period. Plus, she had a flair for the dramatic as she scored game-winners on numerous occasions. Her most memorable likely coming in the championship match, but her best was probably a 30-yard strike against Ferndale.

Read the full All-Whatcom County team here.

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