Monday, December 18, 2017
The club sends congratulations to its many players that had a successful high school campaign, particularly the 33 who were honored by their leagues with awards following the season. Defender Alyssa Molina led the contingent as the Greater Spokane League Defensive MVP and another 20 were honored as All-League players, including seven on the First Team.
AJ Crooks was voted as the league's top netminder as the First Team goalkeeper choice and was joined by her fellow Bears and Spokane Sounders players Kailyn LaBrosse and Kaelyn Barnes. The University duo of Kendall Bastine and Kelsey Crosby were also named First Team players along with Lewis & Clark's Paige Malm and Gonzaga Prep's Chelsea Le, the lone sophomore recognized on the first or second teams.
The Mt Spokane duo of Emily Williams and Payton Stiles were honored on the Second Team along with Taylor Ward (Ferris), Anna Hilbert (CV) and Alli Schoultz (LC). Receiving Honorable Mention nods were the Frahm sisters Tia and Sarah from Mead along with fellow Panther Olivia Sloan and Mallory Daines (CV), Olivia Lauffer (GP), Kiki Bourekis (LC) and Amber Hickman (Mt Spokane). Former club coach Matt Leonard (North Central) was recognized as GSL Coach of the Year.
Five Spokane Sounders players at rivals East Valley and West Valley were recognized by the Great Northern League coaches. Kaitlyn Harvey (EV) and Chelsea Koker (WV) were honored as forwards on the All-League First Team along with midfielder Chloe Gellhaus while Madison Savoie (EV) was a Second Team defender and Frankie Schade (WV) was a Second Team forward.
A trio of Sounders were recognized in the NEA with Jaxyn Farmen (D, Medical Lake), Callie Pangerl (D, Riverside) and Emmy Moore (M, Deer Park) receiving All-League honors.
St George's Mary Neder was also recognized in the Northeast B League as an All-League midfielder and across the border in Idaho four more received honors in the Inland Empire League. Maddie Grangaard was named Goalkeeper of the Year in the 5A class with her Post Falls teammate Maddie Lasher receiving All-League recognition. Sandpoint's Yeo Yarnell and Jezza Hutto were named All-League at the 4A flight. There were no league awards for St George's on the boys side due to lack of teams, but standout Mitch Ward is among the players expected to be recognized at the state level where he was named MVP a year ago.
GSL at a Glance...
Loaded with 11 Spokane Sounders players, Central Valley essentially rolled through the GSL campaign en route to an unbeaten season with only a trio of close games, scoring at least three goals in seven of their nine league games. The scoring trend continued into the postseason where they opened with 4-0, 3-2 and 4-0 wins in their first three regional playoff games against Walla Walla, Richland and University, respectively. Megan Robertson caught fire in the playoff spotlight, scoring three goals and setting up two others in those first three playoff games while LaBrosse tallied twice.
Robertson's streak continued as they opened the state tournament with a 2-1 shootout win over Sumner and downed league rival University for a third time in a narrow 1-0 contest to reach the Final Four. She scored both goals. They edged Kennedy Catholic with a goal from Barnes, who also tallied the lone goal in a 2-1 loss in the final to Issaquah. Also aiding the Bears on their run to second in state were defenders Mallory Daines, and Rachel Rennaker and midfielders Dori Ames, Marissa Bankey, Kalle Crouch, Anna Hilbert.
While CV's run was expected, University's was not. The Titans, featuring 10 Sounders players, finished fifth in the league with a 5-4 mark [just one win less than a trio tied at 6-3], but ignored the placement and did not play like a fifth seed in an exciting postseason run with Crosby leading the way with three goals and two assists (and a foul that led to a penalty). They started it off with a stunning 3-2 overtime win against Gonzaga Prep just three days after having lost 4-2 to the Bullpups. Crosby set up the second, tallied the winner and then scored the lone goal in the 1-0 win over top MCC 4A seed Chiawana in the second round. That created a rematch with Mead, allowing the Titans to knock the Panthers off 3-2 after suffering a late-season 3-1 league loss to the north siders. Grace Rogers tallied the opener with Crosby notching the second and her sister Gracen converting from the spot after Kelsey was fouled in the final minutes.
After a 4-0 loss to rival CV is frozen conditions, the Titans rebounded to keep the run going with a 2-0 victory in the opening round of state against West Valley thanks to a pair of goals from Amanda Gerard, who was celebrating a recent return from a season-long absence from injury. That created a third showdown with CV for a spot in the Final Four at stake. It was another narrow contest with the Bears slipping by with the same 1-0 scoreline from the regular season - the only time CV had been held to one goal during the season. Also helping lead University on the run were Kendall Bastine, Peyton Bastine, Anna Byquist, Emma Fiala, Emma Knudson and freshman backup keeper Josie Krum.
Mt Spokane also advanced to the state tourney, but after an initial 2-1 loss to MCC second seed Southridge in which Williams scored the Wildcats had to take the long route to earn the second 3A state berth. In an easy second game, Williams scored the opener and Hickman would go on to tally three in an 11-0 rout of Kennewick. They then edged North Central 1-0 on a Williams tally and avenged their earlier loss to Southridge with a 2-1 comeback win on a pair of Hickman goals to earn the spot at state. The season, though, would come to a close in the opening round 1-0 at Lakeside. Also helping lead the Wildcats in their run to state were Payton Stiles and Gracyn Ulias.
With her three playoff goals, Williams would finish with the best goals and points tallies in the GSL for the season and playoffs with 11 goals and 23 points. Barnes was not far behind with 10 goals and Hickman, Labrosse and Malm were all at eight. The points race was also close with Barnes just one point back and Crosby two behind with seven goals and a league-leading seven assists. Malm came in with 20 points. The Bears finished with a GSL best nine shutouts, which was second best behind Kamiakin's 13 among all the 4A-1A schools in eastern Washington. Crooks, due to a multitude of split games, only finished with five shutouts, but that was the highest tally within the league through the postseason. The Bears were also never once shutout themselves, joining Mead as the only playoff teams in the 4A and 3A classes in eastern Washington to accomplish that feat.
GNL at a Glance...
The five who were honored helped lead their sides in successful campaigns. East Valley captured the regular season league championship with a 9-3 record, but it was West Valley that went on a stunning playoff run after finishing fourth at 5-7.
While the Knights waited in the district final, the Eagles were busy with a pair upsets against Cheney and Clarkston. Koker set up the opener in a 3-0 win at Cheney and then scored the first two goals in a 4-3 win down in Clarkston to set up a rivalry showdown for a spot at state. In crazy back-and-forth affair, Koker and Schade each scored twice and Harvey tallied a goal and assist for the Knights. It was West Valley advancing though, forcing the Knights into a cross-over playoff that they fell 2-1 in versus Selah. Harvey scored the goal via Gellhaus.
The Eagles kept their amazing run rolling in the state tournament, posting 4-1 and 4-3 wins over Lynden and Port Angeles in the first two rounds with Koker scoring the first and Schade tallying three total. The run came to an end in the Final Four though with a 6-2 semifinal loss to Liberty and a 3-2 defeat in the Third Place contest. The Eagles also featured Kennedy Cargile and Baylee Trejo on the roster.
Koker and Schade finished second and third in the scoring table for the regular season and playoffs in the GNL. Koker tallied 13 goals and six assists for 32 points while Schade had 15 goals, which was tied for first in the league, and an assist for 31 points. Gellhaus, meanwhile, was the league leader in assists with 10 on the year.
NEA at a Glance...
Third-seeded Freeman won its playoff opener 3-1 against Riverside with goals from Sounders players Lindsay Balkenbush and Peyton Brewer while Pangerl tallied in the loss. A repeat of last year's surprise playoff run for the postseason district champs was short-lived though as Deer Park took care of business in the next round. Moore set up the opening goal with Balkenbush tallying the equalizer, but the Stags advanced 2-1 in overtime. Moore went on to score the first two goals in the district final en route to a 3-0 victory over regular season champion Lakeside. She then set up the equalizer in a 3-1 comeback win against Cle Elum in the first round of the state tournament before they were knocked out in the second round 2-1 by La Salle. The Stags also featured freshman Sounders players Hannah Carnahan and Sophia Stoop on the squad.
Moore finished third in the league in points at 33 with 12 goals, (fourth) and nine assists (second). Farmen, a defender, finished not far back in the assist table with seven. Balkenbush was also among the league leaders with nine goals and three assists.
St George's at a Glance...
Defending state titles from a year ago, both sides returned to the Final Four on the west side again this season. Both returned to their respective finals with Ward scoring the opener and setting up the final tally in a 3-1 boys victory against Prescott while the girls needed a shootout against Brewster after a 1-1 draw in which Neder converted in a 5-3 tiebreaker win. Both sides, however, came up short in the finals with the boys falling 2-0 to Crosspoint and the girls 1-0 to Life Christian.