The Westview girls think that this is their year to break through
Let's get ready to ruuummmble.
Because in Oregon high school girls soccer, there's no prize fight like almost any night in the Metro League.
The Metro League is home to four of the six teams that have played in the last three state championships, and there's no reason to believe that trend won't continue this year as Jesuit chases a third straight state championship and Westview pursues its first.
'Jesuit and Westview (should) be considered favorites in our league,' said Aloha coach Ron Overton. 'They seem to reload every year with quality players, and their staffs gets the most out of their talents.'
'Until someone knocks off Jesuit, they are the favorites, followed by Westview,' said Southridge coach Jeff Lim. 'Both teams have been at the top of state for the last few years. While both teams graduated key members from last year's squads, they are still the teams to beat in our league.'
While those two teams may have the edge in the race for the league title, they'll have plenty of company.
'I really like Southridge this year,' said Sunset coach Ben Durano. 'They return a lot of players and were pretty strong last year.'
'I would expect Westview, Jesuit, and either Southridge or Sunset to be towards the top,' Westview coach Chris Martin said.
'I think Beaverton and Westview will both be strong, and Sunset has a strong' defense, Jesuit coach Steve Fennah added.
Following are previews of the Metro League's six girls varsity soccer teams.
ALOHA - It's all about getting better at Aloha this year.
The Warriors, coming off a two-win season and a sixth-place Metro League finish a year ago, bring back a handful of talented, experienced players, and believe that they will indeed be better in 2011.
'As with any year, we will battle and attempt to secure a playoff spot,' said Aloha coach Ron Overton. But that 'is difficult in our conference.'
This year's Aloha team will be led by junior defender Betty Becerra (a second-team all-leaguer last year and a two-time honoree), senior defender Dominique Niedziela, senior midfielders Cassie Marussa and Linda Nguyen, senior forward Alina Grawrock, and junior forward Mary Pierce.
'We hope to be more competitive from game to game in conference this year,' Overton said, adding that we hope to avoid 'the inconsistency we showed last year.'
And if they do, the Warriors believe they'll be able to play with the giants of the powerful Metro League.
Goalkeepers: Lex Wood, So.; Taylor Vlahovich, Jr.; Katie Pope, So. Defenders: Bree Chang, So.; Betty Becerra, Jr.; Dominique Niedziela, Sr.; Joanna Dajnowska, Fr.; Laura Nguyen, So.; Eka Archibong, So. Midfielders: Katie Newton, Jr.; Cassie Marusa, Sr.; Summer Rollins, Sr.; Sami Gray, Sr.; Linda Nguyen, Sr.; Marissa Biddy, Fr.; Mikayla Stackhouse, Jr.; Christina Budeselic, Jr.; Sara Emerick, So. Forwards: Alina Grawrock, Sr.; Mary Pierce, Jr.; Monique Vega, Fr.
BEAVERTON - The Beavers would like to hang around a little longer - OK, a lot longer - in 2011.
After battling to third place in league play in 2010, Beaverton saw its playoff experience end with just one game, a 3-2 loss in penalty kicks to Gresham. The Beavers are hoping for much more this time around.
'My team has senior leadership and experience, but (we) need to embrace the younger talent to succeed,' said Beaverton coach Brittni Estep-Carmichael, referring to her team's two freshman starters. They 'have to step up in a very physical and intense league.'
The Beavers bring back experienced leadership in each area of the field, with senior forward/midfielder Erin Saxton (she earned second-team all-league honors in 2010) back up front, senior Lauren Wallberg returning at midfielder, and senior Megan John starting again at goalkeeper.
'Erin has four years varsity experience and great speed up front, while the middle of the field is led by Lauren with her quickness and ball control,' Estep-Carmichael said. And 'Megan holds the back line together with great communication and skill in the goal.'
Goalkeepers: Megan John, Sr.; Brittney Patterson, Jr. Defenders: Michelle Faulbusch, Jr. Ciara Vogel, Sr.; Cori Coon, Sr.; Kendall Chin, Sr.; Robyn Schmutzer, So.; Celia Alvarez, Sr.; Kelly Priest, So. Midfielders: Erin Saxton, Sr.; Inca Gunter, Fr.; Allie Mueller, Fr.; Marisa Huffman, Sr.; Kendall Zewald, Jr.; Caitlin Lavey, Sr.; Schmutzer; Cece Fondren, Fr.; Katie Santos, Jr.; Lauren Wallberg, Sr. Forwards: Saxton; Caitlin Lavey, Sr.; Santos.
BEAVERTON - Rebuild or reload?
That's the question at Jesuit this year where the Crusaders are back in search of a sixth straight Metro League title and a third consecutive state crown, but must do so after graduating a large and talented senior class.
'It's an interesting group this year,' said Jesuit coach Steve Fennah. 'We've got 13 players back, but we're still a young team and only two or three of them were starters last year.'
This year's Crusader crew will be led by senior midfielder Michaela Phillips (she was a second-team all-leaguer last year), along with senior defender Claire Wilson, senior midfielder Ellen Rall and senior midfielder Lilly Pelletier.
'We're a talented group, but very young. It's a new team and we'll have to establish a new identity,' Fennah added. 'My eyes are more wide open than they have been in a while.'
Also back with varsity experience are Lexie Krueger, Madi McNamara, Kat Ascher, Ari Hudson, Shanna Lechelt, Molly Petrusich, Dani Brown, Ilyssa Holt, Lexi Frey and Jessica Bramlett.
Goalkeepers: Madi McNamara, Jr.; Kat Ascher, Jr. Defenders: Mika Chesnutt, Fr.; Jessica Bramlett, So.; Lexi Frey, So.; Ilyssa Holt, So.; Ari Hudson, So.; Patricia Brashear, Jr.; Claire Wilson, Sr. Midfielders: Aliyah Chance, Fr.; Brashear.; Shanna Lechelt, Jr.; Lillie Pelletier, Sr.; Michaela Phillips, Sr.; Ellen Rall, Sr. Forwards: Maddie Kincaid, Fr.; Danielle Brown, So.; Molly Petrusich, So.; Jordan Fleshman, So.; Maddy Gram, Jr.; Lexy Krueger, Jr.; Pelletier; Hannah Weil, Sr.
BEAVERTON - Southridge knows that it's flying under the radar.
But the Skyhawks, with a bundle of talent and varsity experience on hand, still believe they're ready to fly high.
'With every new year, we set goals, among them to make the playoffs and win the Metro League title. This year is no different,' said Southridge coach Jeff Lim. 'The key elements to make that happen are strong leadership, hard work and as always, scoring goals.'
The Skyhawks bring back nine seniors from a year ago, that group led by senior midfielder Kaitlynn Durham (a first-team all-Metro pick in 2010), senior goalkeeper Katie Maginnis (a '10 second-teamer) and senior forward Anisa Maza (another second-teamer).
'With a strong senior class, we expect to get strong leadership … throughout the year,' Lim said. 'Kaitlynn Durham should continue to control the midfield, while … Katie Maginnis will provide a strong presence in our back third, and Anisa Maza will continue to be a threat up front.'
The Hawks will also get leadership from captains Mary Lynn Moshofsky (who led the team in assists in 2010) and defender Abby Lamb.
Goalkeepers: Katie Maginnis, Sr.; Brenna Berry, Jr. Defenders: Abby Lamb, Sr.; Maddie Misi, So.; Hannah Rose, Jr.; Laura Werhane, Jr.; Makenna Bell, Fr.; Meredith Greer, So. Midfielders: Mary Lynn Moshofsky, Sr.; Sarah Werhane, Jr.; Kaitlynn Durham, Sr.; Ariel Kanable, Sr.; Andie Giles, Fr.; Hayley Debois, So. Forwards: Mich Toews, Sr.; Dayna Carlson, So.; Anisa Maza, Sr.; Tayler Clark, Jr.; Lauren Vincent, Sr.; Donna Maleki, Sr.
CEDAR MILL - The 2010 season was, frankly, not everything that the Sunset girls soccer team had hoped that it would be.
But the Apollos, who went just 3-6-1 in Metro League play last year, are convinced that they can turn things around in 2011.
'Sunset returns 16 players this year and is looking to challenge for one of the top two spots in the Metro,' said Sunset coach Ben Durano. 'If we stay healthy this year, we're looking to get deep in the playoffs.'
And why not? Of the team's six 2010 league losses, five were by either one or two goals, and the Apollos are convinced that they can remedy that fact this time around.
This year's team has big-time leadership and experience up front and in the back, that coming from senior midfielder Alicia Alarcon (she was a first-team all-league forward last year) and from senior defender Bridget Coleman.
'Both players are four-year varsity players and have a lot of experience,' Durano said. 'Alicia a major threat up front, and Bridget anchors the defense.'
Goalkeepers: Sam Irwin, Jr.; Taylor Luty, So. Defenders: Ellie O'Bosky, Jr.; Casey Brucker, Jr.; Taylor Coon, So.; Bridget Coleman, Sr.; Hanna Monnier, Fr.; Claire Smith, Jr.; Payten Sonnen, So.; Lindsey Kroon, Jr.; Mary Grace Roselli, Jr. Midfielders: Alex Bibo, Fr.; Ana Quenemoen, So.; Alicia Alarcon, Sr. Forwards: Grace Mettler, So.; Kristen Jondahl, Sr.; Ashley Engesether, Sr.; Ashely Rogers, Jr.; Emmy Owens, So.; Elly Williamson, So.
ROCK CREEK - The Wildcats are ready for a breakthrough.
Westview, which shared the Metro championship with Jesuit a year ago, has already earned a place among Oregon's elite over the past three years, reaching the state semifinals each time and reaching the 6A championship in both 2008 and 2009.
But the Wildcats have yet to claim a state title of their own, an omission they hope to fix in 2011.
'I would certainly hope that we will win the league,' said Westview coach Chris Martin. 'As co-champions last year, I think the girls felt they may have let one slip away a bit and would like to take the trophy outright.'
This year's team features eight varsity returners led by senior midfielders Bekah Carrasquer (who returns from a foot injury) and Desiree Tyner (a first-team all-leaguer in 2010), and senior goalkeeper Kallina Haase.
Carrasquer 'is eager to make her final year a special one,' Martin said, adding that 'Tyner will be a tremendous benefit to our defense again,' while Haase 'has kept us in many games over the past few years. Her success will be key to our season.'
Goalkeepers: Kallina Haase, Sr.; Michelle Coblens, Sr. Defenders: Paige LaFlamme, Jr.; Sarah Jensen, Jr.; Keirra Butts, Sr. Midfielders: Morgan McClincy, Sr.; Ivey Kasai, Jr.; Mary Hare, Sr.; Jayden McMillan, So.; Samantha Kondo, Jr.; Desiree Tyner, Sr.; Allison Messenger, Jr.; Laura Camp, So.; Bekah Carrasquer, Sr.; Erika Cook, Jr.; Jill Thomas, Sr. Forwards: Butts; Thomas; Chelsea Sanford, Sr.; Mac Kearney, So.