2016 WSC Unit Awards – Defense

Defense wins Championships. This has been the case for the last three seasons in the 2B/1B ranks. Bear Creek in 2013, Mount Vernon Christian in 2014, and Saint George’s in 2015 each gave up less than 10 goals over the course of the season in which they won the State Championship, featured returning defenders with All-State pedigrees and ultimately had goalkeepers that earned shutouts. We look now at the best defensive units on paper for the 2016 season.

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1 – Tacoma Baptist Crusaders  – Key Returners: GK- Parker Talen (Jr.); Defenders – Ryan Ratliff (Jr) and Jeffrey Solis (Jr)

The tough as nails Tacoma Baptist defense did not concede a playoff in 2015 until they dropped the final match to the SGS Dragons. With the spine of this defense in returning more of the same dominance can be expected in 2016.

 

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2- Crosspoint Academy Warriors – Key Returners: Defender- Matthew Kelley; Goalkeeper – Josh Millermon

 

The third place finish in 2015 was a massive impressive from previous seasons and much of that success can be attributed to growth the Warriors made in limiting their opponents scoring opportunities. Joshua Millermon was also impressive in a number of shootout victories.

3- Saint George’s School Dragons – Key Returners: Goalkeeper – Noah Halliburton-Link; Defender – Connor Cremers

The Dragons had one of, if not the best, defensive pairing seen at this level in Matt Arlt and Collin Cremers. They will be impossible to replace but a goalkeeper and defender that won the State Championship returned and cannot be easily ignored.

4- Prescott Tigers – Key Returners: Defender- Fernando Lopez

The Tigers lose three seniors on defense and need to find a consistent presence in the net, but with Fernando Lopez returning and players like Christian Caro capable of dropping into defense or goal, the Tigers will be solid across the backline as they look to return to Sumner.

5- Providence Classical Christian Highlanders – Key Returners: Jackson Morris GK

PCC lost a heartbreaker to Crosspoint to be limited from the state tournament but their defensive performance over the course of the year was impressive, with first year starting goalie Jackson Morris racking up 10 shutouts. How he does with an inexperienced defense in front of him remains to be seen, but one can’t argue that 10 shutouts is impressive and bodes well for 2016.

6- Mount Vernon Christian

7- Northwest Christian

8- Friday Harbor

9- Orcas Island

10 – Grace Academy

Tomorrow:  MIDFIELD UNIT RANKINGS

 

Week 3 Preview

Key Matches

Monday, September 21

#6 Crosspoint v #4 Tacoma Baptist

Tuesday, September 22

#10 Shoreline Christian @ #9 Orcas Island

Wednesday, September 23

#8 Friday Harbor @ #1 Providence Classical Christian

Thursday, September 24

#6 Crosspoint vs #5 Evergreen Lutheran

Saturday, September 26

#2 Saint George’s School vs. Prescott

#1 Providence Classical Christian @ #3 Mount Vernon Christian

#9 Orcas Island @ #8 Friday Harbor

Northeast 2B League Teams Preview -2015

Saint George’s School Dragons

Head Coach: Heidi Melville

2014 Record: 17-3-0

The offense will be one of the more explosive in the state. Michael Hamilton returns from a very solid season wherein he netted 20 goals. Collin Cremers can feature in the both offense and defense and will be a handful for any team to deal with. Stow Miller is back in the midfield to lead a group that may be the deepest and strongest in the state. The teams leader in Matt Arlt returns at defense . Talent is present on defense.

The season may have ended prematurely for the Dragons when they were eliminated by eventual state runner up Waitsburg/Prescott. That finished coupled with a huge and talented senior class places big expectations on the Dragons. The offense will score a ton of goals. But is the defense, which faltered down the stretch, going to be significantly improved. This team will go as far as their defense takes them.

Key Returners

Matt Arlt (Sr., D) – 2 goals, 2 assists

Stow Miller (Sr., MF) – 8 goals, 12 assists

Michael Hamilton (Sr., F) – 34 goals, 13 assists

Collin Cremers (Sr., MF) – 16 goals, 18 assists

Sam Niven (Jr., MF) – 6 goals, 7 assists

Caelen Angell (Jr., F) – 9 goals, 10 assists

Michael Thew (Jr., MF) – 6 goals, 5 assists

Blaise Osborne – 1 goal, 3 assists

Chris Caporicci – (Sr., GK) – 7 shutouts

Northwest Christian Crusaders

Head Coach: Mica Lamb

2014 Record: 12-8-0

Replacing 11 seniors and 8 starters will be a challenge, but the returners are good offensive players which will keep the Crusaders competitive in matches. The entire defense and goalkeeping unit needs to be replaced which presents the greatest area of concern. There is light in the program, as the incoming freshmen appear to be as solid as the group that won the whole thing in 2012. Cameron Weller will be a dominant high school player, but this year Rolf Veenstra will feature as the goal scorer.

Northwest Christian will likely have a winning season and be able to compete with nearly every opponent. The course that this team is on will lead them to success down the road. Rebuilding the depth will be important and that may be a work in progress as the year goes on. In 2015, the Crusaders will need to overcome their lack of experience in defense and count on a proven scorer in Veenstra.

Key Returners

Rolf Veenstra (Jr. F) – 11 goals, 12 assists

Eli Breithaupt (Jr., MF) – 1 goal, 1 goal

Alex Ramsey (Sr., MF) – 4 goals

Micah Henry (Jr., MF) – 2 assists