After a 2016 season that was capped off with a berth in the 3A state tournament, Mountlake Terrace Hawks’ boys soccer coach George Dremousis has high expectations for his 2017 squad.
“We have grown as a team and are ready to take the next step this season and contend for a 2A state title,” Dremousis said.
Terrace takes to the pitch on Saturday to kickoff their 2017 season against West Seattle at Edmonds Stadium. First kick is slated for 1 p.m.
The Hawks finished 2016 with three straight wins in the District 1 3A Boys Soccer Tournament before suffering a season-ending loss in the 3A state tournament 3-0 to eventual state runner-up Mercer Island.
That taste of state tourney action is serving as a catalyst for a squad chock full of returners.
“We are very deep at every position and with a roster of 22 players there will be a lot of competition for minutes,” Dremousis said. “We are optimistic, confident and looking forward to a great season.”
Terrace’s strengths start at the goalkeeper position and extend through the center of the field. Senior Genaro Ruiz returns in goal this year, much to the delight of Dremousis.
“With Genaro in the net, we are going to be in every contest,” Dremousis said. “He is as fine of a goalkeeper as anyone playing in the state. People want to overlook him because of his height, but that is a mistake. He is lighting quick, has amazing reflexes and is as good of an instinctive keeper as I’ve seen.”
Dremousis, who also serves as head coach of the men’s soccer program at Shoreline Community College, has already offered a scholarship to Ruiz to play for the Dolphins after graduating from Terrace.
Playing directly in front of Ruiz this season will be seniors Sam Polevoy and Colin Cockbain. “You will not find a more physical yet polished pair anywhere in the league,” Dremousis stated. “They have both been starters going on three seasons now and provide a very solid last line of defense for us.”
Two more starters from last season are anticipated to lead the way on the offensive end for Terrace–senior Gavin Scott and junior Bobby Stoyanov combined for 15 goals last year and will be expected to continue that kind of production this season.
Although the Hawks have dropped down to the 2A classification, the team will still be part of the 3A Wesco League, a league that has produced a state semi-finalist six of the last eight years. Edmonds-Woodway, which placed fourth in last year’s state tournament, is expected to be tough again this year. Lynnwood will have All-Wesco forwards Dane Evanger and Ryley Johnson returning to their formidable offense, and Marysville-Pilchuck will be out for revenge after the Hawks beat them out for the final state tournament berth last season.
Coach: George Dremousis (4th year)
2016 record: 8-9-4 overall; third place in District 1 3A Boys Soccer Tournament; 0-1 in WIAA 3A State Boys Soccer Tournament
First 2017 game: Saturday, Mar. 11, 1:00 p.m. at Edmonds Stadium
Key players: Genaro Ruiz (goalkeeper), Sam Polevoy (defender), Colin Cockbain (defender), Gavin Scott (forward), Bobby Stoyanov (forward)
2017 schedule: click http://www.wescoathletics.com/index.php?pid=0.3.40.9.321&sid=5540
–By Doug Petrowski