The long-awaited kickoff has arrived.
The high school sports “fall” season makes its triumphant return today, about 2 1/2 months after the actual fall 2020 season ended.
The coronavirus pandemic has left Oregon without any high school sports since last March, and no one’s more ready to get back to competition than the athletes themselves.
“As we continue to invite and include new players to the team, we are very anxious to begin our upcoming season,” Dallas girls soccer coach Kendra Steele said Feb. 19. “Modified or otherwise, we just want the chance to compete.”
The Oregonian/OregonLive started its “fall” season preview by highlighting cross country athletes. Today we’re focusing on girls soccer players in Class 5A and 6A who stand out to coaches not only for their skills on the field, but for their work ethic, attitude, leadership and perseverance during a trying past year.
“This year, in the midst of this pandemic, it has become more important than ever that the focus is character,” Crater coach Bryton Kiger said.
Megan Adamec (defender), Morgan Linde (wing) and Kendall Walton (defender)
West Albany, seniors
Adamec, a two-year captain of West Albany, “is powerful, a field general and the leader of our defense,” coach Erik Ihde said, while Linde is a “speedy wing with an explosive first step.” Ihde described Walton as an excellent one-on-one defender who spreads the field and attack up the wing. She has “battled injuries and surgery, and never lost her passion or smile,” Ihde said. “She is the sparkplug of our team.”
St. Helens, senior goalkeeper
A straight-A student at Connections Academy, Alexander will be graduating a year early to attend the University of Portland, where she plans to play on the Pilots’ club team. “She started her goalie career as a freshman on my JV team three years ago,” coach Angela Nichols said. “Because of her hard work and dedication, she made tremendous improvements and even swung up to varsity that first year. By the end of her sophomore season, she was the starting varsity keeper and was recognized by all the district coaches with an all-league award. I am super proud of this young lady and feel fortunate to have her for one more season.”
McNary, sophomore forward
Alfano began as a JV player last year but quickly showed she deserved a varsity spot, finishing the season with four goals and three assists. “Sydnee is an outstanding forward whose speed is hard to match,” coach Lauren Brouse said. “We expect to see even more from her this season.”
Sherwood, senior midfielder/forward
Coach Katie Harman loves Alvarado’s combo of skill and tenacity, and said she’s always willing to do everything in her power to make things happen on the pitch. “Her knack for playmaking and getting her teammates involved is one of her strengths,” Hartman said. “She has an enormous amount of perseverance that she depends upon daily and is able to shine when presented with both challenges and opportunities.”
Sedona Anderson, Riley Buehler and Greta Halvorson
Anderson and Halvorson will form the backbone of the Lincoln defense this season, while Buehler will be strong in possession in the midfield. “With COVID-19, recruiting has been especially difficult for athletes, but this set of players is still looking to play collegiately,” coach Lainey Hulsizer said.
Angevine is a 4.0 student taking honors coursework while also playing basketball and tennis at McMinnville. Her club commitments include the Westside Timbers 04 Copa team. Coach Anna Heuberger described Angevine as “an exceptional athlete who has shown great perseverance battling back from an ACL injury over a year ago. She really is the glue of our team and we are so proud of her.”
Wilsonville, junior forward
Antonson’s coaches describe the reigning Class 5A player of the year as a forward with a high soccer IQ plus top-notch technique. “While she tends to be quiet, she leads by example,” co-coach Dallas Malone said. “Lindsey demonstrated this as being the top goal scorer in our league last year. She is both remarkably humble and an incredible role model for younger players. She is an OSU commit, and we look forward to continuing to see her growth as a Pac-12 soccer player.”
Lakeridge, senior midfielder
Bachman has been a four-year varsity player, as well as a team captain, for Lakeridge. She was a first-team all-league midfielder in each of the past two seasons (and second-team all-state last year) and can also play up front. Assistant coach John Bass said she forms an excellent leadership trio along with club teammates Payton Moffenbeier and Keely Lipp.
Beaverton, senior forward
Coach Jennifer Kirwan says the returning second-team all-Metro League forward has an excellent work ethic and is a leader on and off the field. “She is an incredible striker with an eye for the goal,” Kirwan said.
Scout Bale and Marcella Franco
Ridgeview, senior defenders
Bale and Franco hold down the back line for Ridgeview. “Each exemplifies integrity, focus, intensity, excellence,” coach Nic Sedor said of the team co-captains. “Their teammates are challenged and encouraged by these ladies.”
Hood River Valley, senior defender
Barajas is the defensive leader for Hood River Valley, coach Amanda Orand said. “She is incredibly driven, committed, focused and knowledgeable about the game,” Orand said.
Jesuit, senior defender
The first-team Class 6A all-state selection anchored a defense that allowed six goals all season in 2019 and recorded 15 shutouts in earning a third consecutive state championship.
Wilsonville, junior midfielder
Borgen thrives on being a leader and controls the game in the center of the field with her reliability and creativity. “She is a player that younger kids can look up to and is always working to coach younger players to be better versions of themselves on and off the field,” co-coach Dallas Malone said.
Redmond, freshman forward
Bremont was a starter and the team’s leading scorer in the matches Redmond was able to play in October and November. “Everyone calls her Jet because she is so fast,” coach Martha Segura said. “Each team we played became very aware of her speed right away and had a difficult time defending her. She has a lot to learn, but in my opinion, will be a top recruit by her senior year if she works hard and sticks with it.”
Clackamas, senior midfielder
An Oregon State signee, Brown after this season will participate in the All American High School Game in St Louis at the end of May. “Aidan is a technical center mid that can play in the 6, 8 or 10 role for us,” Oregon State coach Matt Kagan said in a news release. “She has great vision and can make a lot of passes others can’t. We are looking forward to her great personality. She is a great fit for our team and program.”
Southridge, senior midfielder/defender
Burns is a versatile player who shifts between playing center mid and outside back. “Abby is natural leader with a passion for the game that’s infectious,” coach Maia Hardy said. “She continues to impress us with her drive and skill.” After graduation, Burns plans to take a gap year and keep playing with her club team, Portland Thorns academy ECNL.
Aloha, senior defender
First-year coach Joel Rojas says Byars “has a never-say-die attitude that helps her keep going in practice.” Even when injured, she’s been on the field with Rojas helping out at practices and boosting team morale. “I can see her next year being on my coaching staff as someone her future ex-teammates can look up to,” Rojas said.
Gresham, sophomore defender
Carter plays club soccer at Eastside Thorns, where her teams have won multiple state championships. “Grace has a fantastic happy-go-lucky attitude, which goes a long way with her peers,” coach Brandon Tatum said. “She will represent our team as a captain this year on the field and is also involved in student government at the high school.”
Dallas, sophomore midfielder
Coach Kendra Steele says Coursen likes to be challenged and to try new things, and the sophomore midfielder backed that up by trying out for the boys varsity team. “Trista is a sound player when it comes to footwork, positioning, and is very competitive,” Steele said. “She’s a kindhearted, multi-sport athlete capable of many things.”
Scappoose, senior forward/midfielder
Davidson has earned first-team all-league honors the past two years and “has been a wonderful leader through the COVID experience,” coach Summer Jark said. “She was always trying to find a way to get the team united. She was on almost all our zoom workouts and was great in lifting others’ spirits.” Jark said Davidson has been playing club soccer since 5 years old and has a deep understanding of the game. She’s still considering her college options.
Aloha, junior midfielder/defender
Feuerbacher started training with the team in December, and coach Joel Rojas said her presence had an immediate positive effect on her teammates. “Her attitude is very positive, and that helps keep the morale high for the girls,” Rojas said. “She has been very welcoming and positive toward the incoming ninth-graders. I can see her being a future captain in the fall of 2021.
Crescent Valley, senior defender
Foster leads a senior-stacked team that’s won the past two Class 5A state championships. She’ll join teammate and fellow returning first-team all-state forward Ana McClave at Western Oregon in the fall, though McClave will be playing basketball. Other seniors on the team heading for college soccer are midfielder Val Lending (Illinois Tech) and goalkeeper Anna Wilson (Pratt Institute of New York).
Sherwood, senior defender
An Idaho State signee, Fried is a four-year varsity player and is a source of strength and calmness for the team — a tough and skilled defender who creates frustration for other teams. “She leads by example through grit and her unwavering determination,” coach Katie Hartman said. “She is one of the hardest workers in the program and we never question her commitment or integrity. She is the ‘we before me’ player and models that mentality for everyone.
Sandy, senior forward
Giusto is the only senior on a team comprising mainly freshmen. “Not only is she one of the most technical and creative goal scorers, but her work rate and grit make her stand out among the top,” coach Zane Fernandez said. “Since the beginning of preseason trainings she has been very inclusive and welcoming of new players; I have no doubt she will leave her mark on the Sandy girls soccer program and inspire our younger players to carry on the legacy and heart of our program.”
Southridge, junior wing
A definitive team player, “Avé is quick on the outside, which continually generates momentum on our offensive attack,” coach Maia Hardy said. “She is incredibly consistent as a player, teammate and leader. She is positive and proactive on and off the field.”
Crater, junior defender
Coach Bryton Kiger said Gugliotta understands the concept of being a teammate and works very hard to contribute to the group’s goals and values. “Kayleigh puts in the extra work on and off the field to be the best she can be, always,” Kiger said of the 4.03 student. “She gives her teammates rides when they need it and is always ready to give directions and answer questions.” She’s been looking George Fox, several universities in Oklahoma, St. Michael’s in Vermont and Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Redmond, junior forward
Harris showed an incredible nose for the net in her sophomore year, scoring 20 goals, five of them hat tricks – including a five-goal game against Pendleton. She had five more goals than the second-highest scorer in the conference and was named first-team all-league in the Intermountain Conference. “She works her tail off and is always setting a good example on and off the pitch,” coach Martha Segura said. “She is definitely planning on playing at the next level.”
Scappoose, senior midfielder
Havlik was first-team all-league last season and led the team in assists (and led the team in goals in 2018). She’s in the process of applying to the Air Force Academy and recently completed the work required to earn a gold medal Congressional Award. Havlik completed over 400 hours of service, 200 hours of personal development, 500-plus hours of physical fitness, and a five-day/four-night expedition in the Mt. Hood National Forest. “She is an outstanding player and could absolutely play (at Air Force) if accepted,” coach Summer Jark said. “She is also a wonderful role model, achieving a great deal at school and serving her community.”
McNary, senior defender
Hawley is an extremely busy student. She plays soccer, participates in mock trial, Future Business Leaders of America, leadership, and is a member of the National Honor Society. “Ashley competed with her mock trial team in a virtual event through Oregon where she received the MVP attorney award,” coach Lauren Brouse said. “Ashley hopes to be a forensic science technician after college.”
The Dalles, senior midfielder
Hert provides a “positive, calming presence and always is there to lend a hand or an ear for her teammates,” coach Colby Tonn said. “She leads by example on and off the field by being active in rigorous courses and community service.”
Finley Heslam (sophomore forward) and Hazel Levin (freshman midfielder)
For the first time, the Roosevelt girls team has two Olympic Development Program players, Heslam and Levin. “Every aspect of Hazel’s game is strong,” coach Jennifer Lohse said. “Every one. Finley is all about sheer athletic ability and dominance. They are both examples of players who are helping change the face of Roosevelt soccer by choosing their neighborhood school!”
Abi Hoffman, Erin Marynik, Kennedie Shuler and Mikayla Topaum
Hoffman and Topaum are senior forward/midfielders, Marynik is a junior defender and Shuler is a sophomore forward/midfielder. Hoffman, one of the top players in the state, was invited to the All American High School Game in St Louis at the end of May and will play for Portland State in the fall. Topaum is a two-time first-team all-state midfielder and has signed to play at Northern Arizona. “All of them are great leaders and even better people,” coach Jay Jacobsen said, adding that they “get it done in the classroom and represent my program and the community in a great way.”
David Douglas, senior midfielder/forward
Huskic, who’s committed to play for Clark College in the fall, “is an offensive force who leads our team with strong technical skills and tactical awareness,” coach Amy McQueen said.
Jesuit, senior midfielder
The returning second-team all-Metro League selection had nine goals and 10 assists in 2019 for the state champion Jesuit Crusaders and has signed to play at Arizona in the fall.
Centennial, senior defender
Kramer is a two-year captain, two-time first-team All-Mt. Hood Conference player and the returning co-defensive player of the year in the conference. She’s signed to play next season at Clark College. “She is the leader and the hardest-working girl on our team,” coach Kelsey Birkhofer said.
Willamette, senior forward/midfielder
Kubli is a versatile playmaker who’s technically talented, gifted with speed, and can defend. “She has been our leading scorer for a couple years now,” coach Christine Guldager said. “She may be small in stature, but she is fierce on the field!”
Cleveland, senior midfielder
Kyle, a four-year varsity player for Cleveland, has committed to Louisiana Tech to play Division 1 soccer in the fall and major in sports marketing.
Grant, junior midfielder
Loescher has played varsity soccer since her freshman year and is starting to think about her college options as a junior, coach Manolis Tjuanakis said. She’s interested in pursuing a career in physical therapy and is talking to UTEP, Gonzaga, Western Oregon, Heidelberg University in Ohio and Huntingdon College in Alabama.
Maya Loudd and Avery Porter
Tigard, sophomore defenders
Loudd and Porter cover each other very well as Tigard’s two center backs. “We won league last year with these two as our starting center backs (as freshmen last year),” coach Kale Dwight said. “Both so good and composed.” He said they’re both great communicators, go on long runs with the ball and are excellent at tackling.
Tigard, sophomore midfielder
Mathis is an attacking midfielder who has an excellent shot and a great dribbler who’s willing to take on players and attack with regularity, coach Kale Dwight said.
Maycumber, a returning first-team all-leaguer, will be moving on to the Pac-12 in the fall, playing at Arizona. First-year coach Lainey Hulsizer said she’s worked with Maycumber for only a few months but has noticed she’s “constantly focused on the small details in drills that elevate players to the next level.”
Wilsonville, junior defender
Although McDougal plays center back, her coaches say she could play anywhere. Her “athletic ability and technical skill is unmatched, and her ability to slice through players with ease is exceptional,” co-coach Dallas Malone said. “Katelyn brings a calming and confident feel to the field, while also being incredibly consistent and reliable.”
Wilsonville, junior defender
Mermis is a key part of the Wilsonville defense and a powerhouse on the back line. “Dalton is one of those players that you immediately notice on the field,” co-coach Dallas Malone said. “She is a high-impact player and gives 110% effort in any play she is involved in. You can see her passion for soccer through her resilience and effort.”
Hillsboro, senior midfielder
A returning first-team all-league and second-team all-state midfielder, Miyama has committed to play soccer at Whitworth University in Spokane. Coach Dean Miyama describes as a “very solid, consistent all-around player.”
Scappoose, senior midfielder
Negelspach was Scappoose’s leading goal scorer last year with 15 and made first-team all-league. “She is a fantastic center midfielder who has great vision and composure on the ball,” coach Summer Jark said. “She is exceptional at finishing balls in the box coming from corner kicks or crosses. … She loves the game and has been at all kick-arounds offered over the past four years on top of attending all her club practices.”
Hood River Valley, senior midfielder
Coach Amanda Orand lauded Olson’s work ethic, saying she lifts her teammates’ playing level. “Every great play runs through Mira, and she moves the balls quickly and effectively from the defense to our forwards,” Orand said. “She leads her team by problem solving at halftime and through her play on the field.”
Southridge, junior goalkeeper
Coach Maia Hardy describes Pinnell as “one of the hardest workers you will find at her level. Her dedication to her position and constant drive to improve and grow as a player is incredibly admirable. She is a phenomenal goalkeeper, and we are lucky to have her.”
Hood River Valley, senior forward
Preciado is coming back from surgery this year after leading the team in scoring last year with 14 goals, one shy of a tie for the school record. “Vanesa is a crafty player who loves to use her creativity to beat defenders and find the back of the net,” Amanda Orand said.
St. Helens, senior midfielder
Reardon, a four-year varsity player, is a center midfielder but she could play any position. “Her intensity tends to intimidate her teammates, but I have channeled this enthusiasm by making her captain of the team,” coach Angela Nichols said. “Her standout performance last year earned her a second-team all-league award. I am excited to see what she brings to the table this year. She will be attending Lower Columbia College in Longview and will play soccer there on a scholarship.”
Sofia Rios Nogales
Beaverton, senior midfielder
Rios Nogales missed a year battling back from ACL surgery but played varsity as a sophomore. “She is a very collected player with a lot of insight for the game,” coach Jennifer Kirwan said.
Cleveland, senior midfielder
Ruhoff has played varsity all four of her years at Cleveland. Between her high school and club season in 2018-19, she had 13 goals and 38 assists. Coach Doug Diller said she’s “planning to study kinesiology and Chinese in college next year, and being recruited by Southern Methodist University and Coastal Carolina University.”
Sherwood, senior goalkeeper
Coach Katie Hartman says Sproul is focused, determined and never quits working to improve her game. “Sidney is the most energetic leader,” Hartman said. “She has the ability to raise the energy level due to her constant encouragement. … Her hard work and ‘all-in’ attitude are some of her greatest attributes.”
Milwaukie, senior defender/midfielder
Stein intends to focus on engineering as a college student, but her coach says she’s “been a great program leader and player her entire soccer career” at Milwaukie. “Jenna Stein is the kind of person anyone wants to work with,” coach Kent McCarty said. “She shows up. Works hard. Gets outstanding grades. She is involved in so many school activities. We appreciate Jenna and her contributions to our team, school and community.”
Dallas, junior midfielder
Toll leads a young team by example on and off the field. “She encourages players to do her best, she grits and bears the toughest times, and shares in the enjoyment of the best of times,” coach Kendra Steele said. “She is a quiet phoenix who is humble and deserving.”
Crater, senior forward
A 4.04 GPA student in the classroom, Waters “is a natural leader with a bold, positive attitude that her teammates gravitate toward,” coach Bryton Kiger said. “She is cheerful and inspirational to her younger teammates.” Kiger said Waters performed well in January at Surf Cup in Phoenix, Arizona, and is looking at Oregon Tech, Clarke University (Iowa) and Colorado Mesa to play college soccer.
Tigard, senior midfielder
The team captain for the defending Three Rivers League champs, Wesson is an always-composed holding midfielder with excellent footwork and a good shot, coach Kale Dwight said.
The Dalles, senior goalkeeper
White is an athletic goalkeeper who just started playing soccer as a junior. She has a “great attitude in practice and is complimentary and supportive of her teammates — can always put a smile on your face with such a positive demeanor,” coach Colby Tonn said.