In his first year as head coach of the Mountlake Terrace girls soccer team, Evan Hatch took a program that had struggled for years – with teams consistently below .500 – to fielding a squad that was one victory away from qualifying the state tournament.
This year, Hatch may have an even bigger challenge: fielding a full squad for any game.
Last year’s abundance of experienced seniors that made up a big part of the starting lineup have all graduated, leaving Hatch with many holes to fill this season. But while Hatch is calling upon a number of first-year players to put on the Terrace varsity jerseys, he is also encouraged by what he is seeing in those new team members.
“Half our starting lineup is freshman,” Hatch said. “There’s a lot of new faces, and a lot of new skill. I think in some ways we are already more skilled than at the peak of our game last year.”
The skill and effort of the newly-formed Terrace team for 2014 held its own during the first week of games, defeating Mariner 8-1 on Sept. 9, then falling 4-2 to a very good Inglemoor squad on Sept. 11.
The Hawks continue their 16-game regular season on Tuesday, Sept. 16, with a road match against the Newport Knights.
While a number of new players are filling the holes created by last spring’s graduations, one vacancy that the Hawks have not filled yet is at goalkeeper. “Right now we’re still in the process of finding a goalie,” Hatch said. The team used a couple “volunteers” to handle the goalkeeping chores during the first week of games while coaches continue to assess student athletes trying out for the position.
“That’s a variable we’re going to have to work hard to overcome and solve this year,” Hatch added. “For now it’s goalie-by-committee.”
Goalie responsibilities against Inglemoor fell into the hands of freshman Sandra Hart, one of three Hart sisters on the team; Sandra’s twin sister Julia played in the Sept. 11 game, as did their senior sister – and the Hawks’ leading scorer last year – Lily.
While Lily Hart will be called upon to provide more offensive punch for Terrace this season, other seniors expected to contribute strongly to the team include Allison Lorraine, Claire Zucker and McKenna Hunt, who scored on a penalty kick in the final minute of the Inglemoor lost.
While the Terrace coaching staff is expecting strong performances from his returning players this season, the key to having any hope for a post-season run for the Hawks may lie in its newcomers. “Those faces that are new are immediately being asked to bring something to the table,” Hatch said.
The mixture of returnees and newcomers to the Hawk lineup won’t have long to gel before important Wesco League games begin. Following the Sept. 16 match at Newport, Terrace jumps into league play with three home tilts against Shorewood, Meadowdale and Marysville-Pilchuck beginning on Sept. 18.
– Story and photos by Doug Petrowski
To view the entire MTHS girls soccer schedule, click http://www.wescoathletics.com/index.php?league=3&page_name=game_schedule&school=40&sport=11.
In other Terrace sports action on Thursday, the boys tennis team lost to Meadowdale 5-2.
MTHS Girls Soccer vs. Inglemoor, Sept. 11
Inglemoor 1 3 — 4
Terrace 0 2 — 2
Records: Mountlake Terrace 1-1-0; Inglemoor 1-1-0
MTHS next match: versus Newport, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m. at Newport High School in Bellevue
MTHS Boys Tennis vs. Meadowdale, Sept. 11
Singles: Bret Matysik (MHS) defeated Jeremy Ansdell (MTHS) 7-5, 6-1; Adam Lorraine (MTHS) defeated Lee Brueme (MHS) 7-5, 6-1; Kris Subcleff (MHS) defeated Drake Day (MTHS) 6-7, 6-2, 6-3; Minchoel Jung (MTHS) defeated Mitch Palmer (MHS) 7-5, 6-4
Doubles: Jacob O’Connell / Ephram Yaret (MHS) defeated Collin Rhodes / Jack Peters (MTHS) 6-1, 6-1; Josheph Ho / Nate Heilpap (MHS) defeated Ricky Bridges / Blake Christianson (MTHS) 7-5, 6-4; Abel Yohanner / Kevin Nguyen (MHS) defeated Caleb Sill / Max Leidig (MTHS) 6-4, 7-5
Records: Mountlake Terrace 0-1 in Wesco League, 1-1 overall; Meadowdale 1-0, 2-1
MTHS next match: versus Woodinville, Friday, Sept. 12, 3:30 p.m. at Mountlake Terrace High School