Shoreline Christian Chargers
The Chargers managed to finish last season with four wins. Moving forward to 2015, questions abound. Who will score goals with Young Kim graduated? Will the midfield be bigger and better? How will defensive starters who graduated be replaced makes this a tough team to forecast. They will be resilient to say the least. They made slow and steady progress and 2014 and should in 2015 as well.
Orcas Island Vikings
Head Coach: Matt Stolmeier
2014 Record: 5-11-0
2014 Rankings: Offense – 16th (State) – 4th (League) – Defense – 18th (State) – 3rd (League)
Offensive midfield control and efficiency will be focus for the Vikings on offense, who will be led by All-League personnel in Wylie Kau and Javier Orantes. They will get a boost in 2015 by fielding an experienced offense that returns all starters from 2014. The defense in 2014 gave up a lot of goals and will miss the play of the underrated William Coe. To improve on 5-11 the defense will need to improve as well. The good news is that like with the offense, key players return who have starting experienced. The depth returning is significant. Three goalkeepers also return with starting experience.
If Coach Matt Stolmeier can get the defense to make improvement from week to week, the offense may be good enough to push the Vikings to at least 10 wins. But if Orcas Island doesn’t find a consistent goalkeeper or get defensive help from the defense, the team may struggle to make a huge leap this year.
Mount Vernon Christian Hurricanes
Head Coach: Joel Adeline
2014 Record: 22-0-0
2014 Rankings: Offense – 1st (State) – 1st (League) – Defense – 1st (State) – 1st (League)
The Hurricanes move the ball and score on offense. The Hurricanes should be explosive once again as they return three goalscorers in Dalton McIlrath, Jack Hammingh and Bryson Smith. They also return speedster Caleb Twedt who will look to be a threat on offense. The loss of the likes of James Hurd, Tyler Houtsma and Jayson Withers will undoubtedly be felt but talent that supported this trio returns to take the reins. The Hurricane defense was impenetrable last season, allowing 7 goals over 22 games. Key starters return in Tim Cummings and Riley Hood in goal. Hood is a major presence in goal and should be considered a Player of the Year candidate. The midfielders are capable of playing defense as well.
Last season the Hurricanes steamrolled their way to a State Championship and undefeated season in the process, bringing their defense to another level during their run with 16 shutouts. With five starters returning, three with All-State resumes, talent in all areas and a Championship in their pocket, the Hurricanes face the biggest challenge of maintaining their edge.
Key Players (Career Stats)
Dalton McIlrath – Sr – MF – 5 goals, 15 assists
Tim Cummings – Sr – D – 3 goals, 6 assists
Bryson Smith – Jr – F – 6 goals, 10 assists
Jack Hammingh – Jr – MF – 16 goals, 12 assists
Riley Hood – Sr – GK – 21 shutouts
Cedar Park Christian Lions
Life was not easy for Cedar Park Christian last season, winning 2 games while giving up 88 goals in 16 matches. The Lions ave a long way to go before they can compete with the best of the Northwest District. Improving on their record will depend upon whether the coaching staff can find offense to make up for a defense that will struggle against elite competition once again.
La Conner Braves
A solid number of midfielders return, but four important offensive pieces in Reinstra, Crawford, Gregory and Ebersole need to be replaced. Riley and Preston Stewart return which will help. The defense loses two all-league pieces and will be unproven until the season starts rolling. Matt Semrau will need to be strong in goal until the defense solidifies. La Conner has been consistent over the past few years in racking up between 7 to 10 wins. More of the same is likely for 2015.
Friday Harbor Wolverines
Head Coach: Andy Duke
2014 Record: 15-7-0
2014 Rankings: Offense – 5th (State) – 2nd (League) – Defense – 8th (State) – 2nd (League)
The offense which ran an impressive style in 2014 has been left relatively bare by the graduation of key seniors. Gone is Junior of the Year Arno Issanjou. Will Christison will be looked to to score goals for Friday Harbor. His speed and stgrength will be a concern for opposing defenses. Nick Armstrong is an experienced midfielder as is Joe Stewart in the defensive midfield position. Competition for playing time will be stiff. Success will depend upon the play of the midfield. The defense loses all four starters and their starting goalkeeper from the best finish in school history. Depth will be a concern. Zach Porter is a key defensive returner.
Friday Harbor soccer has high standards. They begin a transition season. The schedule is challenging for all Northwest District teams, but the Wolverines are a lock for at least 10 wins, even in a transition year. This team has the potential to again press far into the postseason and with their intensity and passion, coupled with an improved defense over the season, a semifinal trip is not unreasonable.
Key Returners (2013 & 2014 stats)
Will Christison – Sr – F – 11 goals, 5 assists
Nick Armstrong – Sr – MF – 4 goals, 1 assist
Joe Stewart – Jr – MF – 2 goals, 2 assists