With 2014 All-Wesco midfielder Alec Somers and other key players returning, the Mountlake Terrace boys soccer team hopes to re-capture some of the chemistry that sparked late last season and find some success this year in a revamped Wesco 3A.
The Hawks open their 2015 prep soccer season with a non-league road match Saturday at Ballard High School against the Beavers. First kick is set for 2 p.m.
Somers is back for what will be his fourth year playing varsity soccer for the Hawks, and will called upon, along with returnees Ivan Melchor and Eric Hynes, to provide the senior leadership for the squad. Joining them will be a big contingent of sophomores that, although young, did get some playing time with the varsity squad last year.
With so many players back from 2014, head coach George Dremousis is feeling pretty good about his squad. “A lot is going to be the same because these guys played the second half of last year when we were kind of cresting,” he said. “I’m optimistic that we can sustain that and, with the guys being a year bigger, a year stronger, a year smarter, we can build on that.”
The defense will be without the big presence of 6-6 central defender Bryce Pingui, who graduated last spring, but Dremousis likes what he is seeing in new goalkeeper Genaro Ruiz, a sophomore who moves up from playing with the junior varsity last year.
“He’s a good ballplayer. He’s a really nice young man too, hard worker, not very tall but he’s got great range and good hands,” Dremousis said.
Though finishing 4-10-1 last year, Dremousis noted that the record was not indicative to the growth he saw in the team as the season progressed. The squad did compile a three-game unbeaten streak in April and played in a tough Wesco 3A South that sent two teams to the 2014 3A state tournament.
Dremousis thinks this year’s team can pick up right where last season’s squad finished. “I’d say we’re kind of where we were at the end of last year,” he said. “We’re going to be very, very competitive – it’s just a matter of health and luck. We’ll see if we can get some momentum early on.”
The Hawks have four non-league matches this month before beginning league play against Everett on March 26. Changes in the structure and schedule for the Wesco 3A boys soccer teams this season will likely bring more intensity to league matches, Dremousis said.
“The league is going to be different because you got all 14 teams in one big division,” he explained. “The top seven will go to the playoffs.”
Teams in the 3A Wesco League will play each other only once this season, a change from the home-and-home schedule used in previous years. “If a team beats you, you don’t get a chance at payback a second time through,” Dremousis noted.
Following Saturday’s opener the Hawks have two home matches scheduled for next week, versus Redmond on Tuesday, Mar. 17, and against Lynnwood in a non-league match on Friday, Mar. 20. Both matches will be played at Lynnwood High School with first kick at 7:30 p.m.
To view the entire 2015 MTHS boys soccer schedule, click http://www.wescoathletics.com/index.php?league=3&page_name=game_schedule&school=40&sport=9.
– By Doug Petrowski