Northshore girls soccer teams are hitting the pitch with gusto, versatility and team chemistry this season. A multitude of players are cracking the back of the net, and rugged defenders and goalkeepers are shutting down the opposition as well.
Here’s a look at our local squads as they roll through their 4A KingCo and 1A North Sound schedules:
Head coach Kent Nelke said the Vikings have gotten off to their best start in recent memory with a 5-0-3 overall record at press time.
“I have a fantastic group of young ladies playing for me and for each other,” he said of the Viks, who were 3-0-1 in 4A KingCo at press time after a 1-0 victory over Redmond on Oct. 2.
As of Oct. 2, junior forward Ashly Berge led the way in scoring with five goals (including the game-winner in the 80th minute against Redmond), followed by sophomore forward Julia Monson with three goals. Senior co-captains Rachel Conchi and Maya Oleynikova anchor a solid Inglemoor defense.
Nelke said that the Vikings’ team chemistry is at a premium and he enjoys watching how the players have bonded on and off the pitch.
“My biggest point of emphasis with the girls has been to be the best Viking team they can be that day and to enjoy our success, but recognize that we have not yet achieved our goals,” he said.
Former University of Oregon scoring standout and Jaguar head coach Chalise Baysa’s eyes light up when she noted that her team is netting more goals this season from the boots of a host of different players.
Junior forward Sarah Kovich notched a hat trick in North Creek’s 6-2 victory over Newport, and senior forward Lauren Grout, junior forward/defender Graci Evers and sophomore forward Sheila Koutelieris have also tallied for the Jaguars.
Another big victory came in a nonleague match against Sumner by a 2-1 count. While it was a notch in the win column for the Jaguars, it was also a triumph for Baysa against her former Oregon teammate and Spartans head coach Robi Turley.
Also making an impact for North Creek (2-3-1 overall and 1-2-1 in 4A KingCo at press time) are senior defender Kaylin Gaiser, senior goalkeeper Sierra Hein, senior midfielder/forward MeadowRain Hay, sophomore midfielder Melia Cordero and sophomore defender Katie Hudson. Cordero has been huge in her first year with the Jaguars after moving over from the Crossfire Academy, Baysa said.
“(We) have a lot of solid players that are versatile, so it makes our bench a little deeper. We can kind of move people around just depending on how the game’s going,” the coach added.
Bothell’s three core values are family, desire and discipline, according to head coach Travis Bear.
“Staying focused and doing all of the little things right at a high work rate for our teammates every time we step on the pitch is a constant talking point,” Bear said.
At press time, the Cougars were 2-6-0 overall and 1-4-0 in 4A KingCo.
In a 3-0 victory over Meadowdale, Bothell received goals from sophomore midfielder Ella Stroup, senior forward Haley Zirker and junior defender Katy Branscomb. Goalkeepers Kaitlin Baldwin-McCurdy (freshman) and Isabella Gutierrez (sophomore) shared the shutout. Other top players are junior midfielder Hannah Cecil and freshman defender Ava Hudson.
“We have had a new player of the game, each game, which shows the vast amount of talent we have on the varsity team,” Bear said.
CEDAR PARK CHRISTIAN
Led by four first-team 1A all-North Sound Conference players from last season, the Cedar Park Christian Eagles girls soccer squad was off to a 5-3-0 overall start at press time this fall, including 7-1 victories over Coupeville and Annie Wright. The girls were 2-2-0 in league at press time after a 2-1 victory over Granite Falls on Oct. 1.
“The outlook is great for this season with this amazing group of girls we get to coach. I have coached some of these girls since they were in sixth grade. We are one big family,” said head coach Lija Devine. “Our season looks very promising. We are really coming together and working as a team.”
Some of the Eagles’ top players include all-leaguers Jadie Calvert, a senior captain and goalkeeper; Hailie Paul, a senior stopper; Hayley Devine, a senior captain and center midfielder; and Abby Perrigoue, a junior forward. Also providing solid play are Hannah Paul, a senior sweeper; Trinity Mischel, a junior center midfielder; and Mac Minnick, a junior forward.