2B Girls Soccer: Central 2B League Hoping to Maintain Success
COMPETITION: Adna Hopes to Get Back to State in Tough League
By Matt Baide
The Central 2B League had two teams place in the top four of the State 1B/2B girls soccer tournament last year, and the league is hopeful for yet another successful season.
Last season, Adna faced Kalama in the state semifinals, with the Chinooks’ earning a 1-0 win in a shootout over the Pirates. Adna is hoping to maintain that high level of play this year.
“I feel like the team looks pretty good. The girls have a lot of drive and they’re having a lot of fun,” Adna coach Juli Aselton said. “We’ve actually added some players and haven’t lost any, so it’s good that girls actually want to come play. We have some work to do on playing together.”
The Pirates’ main offense last season came from Devanie Kleemeyer and Holli Edminster, both of whom graduated. But Aselton sees some players that are looking to step up to fill the void.
“We’ve got some sophomores that are going to step in. Cierra Swenson, she’s a quick forward and she’s got some moves,” Aselton said. “(Senior) Rachel Burke has speed. As far as our center-mids, Payton (Aselton) is going to add some shots for us. She’s worked hard on that during her select season.”
The Pirates were 17-2 overall last season, and 13-1 in league games, including winning the league title. Adna also won the District 4 title against Kalama and made it to the state semifinals for the fourth consecutive season.
But even with all the success, Aselton noted it’s not an expectation to make it that far every year.
“I wouldn’t say expectation, especially with the way the RPI is coming through and this year is a practice run for that,” Aselton said. “We do expect to be in the top for our league, the top for districts. When you get to the end of the season and you have girls that are tired and girls that are hurt, things can happen. We are looking forward to being in the playoffs again for sure, but we have to work hard all season to get there.”
There will be plenty of teams trying to knock off the defending league champions. State runner-up Kalama will be vying for the title, as will Life Christian, which returns most of its players from last season’s team that handed the Pirates their only C2BL loss.
The Toledo Indians are hoping to bounce back from a disappointing 2016 campaign. Head coach Noel Vasquez has liked what he’s seen from his team so far.
“I think the team is young, but at the same time, we’re pretty experienced,” Vasquez said. “We have seven seniors, eight freshman. We are young but experienced.”
The team will be returning some key players for their senior season, such as captains Ally Bacon and Alyssa Ewers.
“We’re all around equal. Our defense is strong with Ewers back,” Vasquez said. “Our midfield looks good with Anna Tauscher. Ally Bacon on the top, always a threat to other teams.”
Toledo was 6-10 overall last season including a 5-9 league record. Vasquez knows the league will be tough, but he has a few goals in mind for this season.
“No. 1 goal, first day of practice, make sure everybody stays healthy,” Vasquez said. “From there on, our main goal is get into districts and maybe find a way to make it to state.”
Onalaska was 5-10 and Winlock was 3-13 last season, with both teams looking to improve and get back into contention in the Central 2B League.
Napavine finished last in the league and was 2-14 overall, but the team has a new head coach in Emily Boettcher.
“Practice is going good, getting used to the new girls, to the school. I’ve only been there a year,” Boettcher said. “They look promising, the girls are excited and are actually asking for two-a-days. I’m enthusiastic to see what they can do this year.”
Boettcher coached two years in California, and moved up here about a year ago to teach at Napavine.
“I know it will be a little challenging. Their record for last year was not that great,” Boettcher said. “There are a few tough teams but nothing too outstanding. I feel like they need some extra motivation and positivity and I feel like we can be part of that competition.”
When it comes to goals for the season, Boettcher has goals for the community.
“I just want them to do better than last year, but I also just have a whole goal for the Napavine community as a sport to get more popular, and just getting it more support from the kids,” Boettcher said. “The girls feel bad. Football, baseball overshadows it. I’d like to see more people come to the games and support these girls because they are great.”