Former George Fox soccer coach takes over Crimson Tide

New year, new coach, new team.

Glencoe’s girls soccer team has a totally different look than last fall, but if all goes well, the Crimson Tide could be pretty good again.

Last season, the squad went 4-3 and finished third in the Pacific Conference, ended at 6-8 overall, and advanced to the first round of the Class 6A state HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: AMANDA MILES - Glencoe senior Grace Diller (left) battles Liberty junior Haley Hanns for control of the ball during a non-league soccer match last Thursday.

The Tide’s leader on the sidelines is a new face, but he is by no means new to the game. Andy Hetherington led the George Fox women’s soccer team for 11 years before stepping down after last season. A Hillsboro resident, he had not been planning to coach this fall, but the Glencoe job opened up and he got it.

His team has gotten off to a solid start, knocking off a talented Liberty squad 1-0 last Thursday. On the first-half scoring sequence, Dominique Mossman made a run down the left side of the field and played the ball in. Grace Diller got her foot on the ball, which Heather Melton then played for an easy tap-in.

“I’m absolutely thrilled, I am delighted for the girls, that they came out in their first game and played the way they did,” Hetherington said afterward. “And they moved the ball along the ground. There are a few flaws, a few errors that we need to work on and to fix, but overall, their work rate, their work ethic, the way they play together, communication — just fabulous. I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Glencoe had 11 seniors last year, so this Tide team is a young group with only three seniors in Diller, Melton and Tayler Fitzsimmons. Junior midfielder Becca Burney was an all-conference player a season ago, and freshman Olivia Dendinger “is just an outstanding talent.”

Against Liberty, Hetherington started five players participating in their first varsity game. Some of the fresh faces included sweeper Aubrey Herigstad, left back Karina White, and goalkeeper Caitlyn Kastelic, whom Hetherington described as a team anchor.

“If we can finish in the top three (in league) and go to state, we’ll be very pleased with that,” Hetherington said. “It’s a rebuilding year for us.”

Century Jaguars

The Century girls soccer team didn’t make the postseason last year after going 5-7-3 and finishing fifth in the Pacific Conference, but that could change this season with six returning starters and a roster that features 11 seniors.

The Jaguars return loads of experience from last year’s squad, which lost 3-0 to Oregon City in a Class 6A play-in game.

“We have six returning starters and that’s very nice to build around,” said second-year head coach Taylor Hukill. “Things are going pretty well so far. We’ve got a lot of returning players and we’re starting to incorporate some of the new kids. We’re jelling as a team.”

Hukill named seniors Emma McWilliams and Micaela Brophy as captains for this season, and said they are “both working their rear ends off” to help the team come together. Fellow senior Cassidy VanDomelen, who plays out wide on the left side of the field, is another veteran and a steadying presence on the pitch.

“Cassidy is showing a lot of leadership on that left side,” Hukill said.

For all of the Jaguars’ combined experience, however, a few important positions will be manned by underclassmen.

Yelitza Garcia Rojas, who started last year as a freshman, will anchor the defense from her center back position, and fellow sophomore Natalie VanDomelen will provide much of the scoring punch as the team’s starting striker.

“Natalie is huge up top. We’re going to look to her for offense,” Hukill said.

Meanwhile, precocious freshman Liz Hansen, who has extensive experience playing in the regional Olympic Development Program, will crack the starting lineup in her first season of varsity soccer.

“She’s just phenomenal,” Hukill said of Hansen. “She plays with heart and she’s got great foot skills. This level of competition doesn’t faze her at all.”

Hillsboro Spartans

Can Hillsboro continue to build on its 2012 success?

A season ago, the Spartans went 7-6-3 overall and 1-3-3 in the Pacific Conference, where they tied for fifth place. In the postseason, the team hit the afterburners, picking up a play-in round advancement against Aloha on penalty kicks before losing 1-0 to eventual state semifinalist Lakeridge.

Hilhi has had varying results so far this season, dropping a well-played 3-1 decision at Liberty to open the season before blitzing Sandy 7-2 last Thursday. Coach Dean Miyama did say after the Liberty match that his team controlled possession and was implementing what was being worked on in practice.

“Ideally we’d like to win a playoff game or two, but we’ll see,” Miyama said. “That’s way down the line.”

Last season’s squad included six seniors, but the 2013 Spartans still have a lot of talent on their roster. Brianna Miyama won first team all-conference honors in 2012 as a freshman midfielder, and fellow all-star Diana Santiago also returns. Honorable mention pick Sami Moellmer is back at forward as well.

Sophomore Emily Jones is new to the varsity and takes over goalkeeping duties. Kelly Grover, Summer Olson and Kylee Taube are all senior captains with varsity experience, and midfielder Kennedy Taube, Kylee’s younger sister, is a freshman to watch.

Liberty Falcons

By all accounts, Liberty had a successful season in 2012, going 9-5-1 before falling in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.

The team graduated eight seniors from last year’s roster, but the Falcons are hardly bereft of talent. Sophomore dual sport star Rachel Khaw is back after being the squad’s only NWOC first-teamer last year, and senior Bianca Andrade Torres, a second team forward, also is back.

Other key returners include McKenzie Oster and Kaytee Carrigan. The senior class includes goalkeeper Katie Blake, forward Sarah Martinez, defender/forward Tianna Dolson and defender Maria Tellez.

“I think for the most part just because there was … a good enough turnover, we’re still kind of fresh and new,” Maine noted. “The seniors that we do have, they’re all really good leaders and really good girls. I think that’s going to carry us a really long way.”

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