Girls soccer snags second in state


Siri Christopherson, Sports Editor

Rewarding. That’s one way to describe the how the girls soccer team felt about its advance through the ranks to the 2A finals. Left with only five returners from last year’s varsity team, the odds were stacked against the Patriots, but the girls were able to unify as a team and work towards success together.
“We were all unsure of how good we could be this year, but as we started winning, we gained more confidence and knew we could compete with the top teams,” coach Tami Nguyen said.
The girls showed promise in the beginning of the regular season, accumulating two wins and two ties before their first loss, and finished it with a 9-4 record, impressive considering that the league includes larger schools.
“We play in a conference with KingCo 3A teams,” Nguyen said. “This serves as a huge advantage for us when we go into the postseason.”
If the KingCo league set them up for postseason success, then the Patriots clearly seized it, getting a winning streak of six games in the state tournament before losing at finals to Columbia River.
“We were very successful,” freshman Nikayla Copenhaver said. “Even though we took second, I still think we improved a lot throughout this season from the beginning.”
Junior Cassidy Rimmer believes that the improvement came from the girls’ ability to work together and contribute equally to the success of the team.
“Tami told us at the start of the season that we need to give every training session 100 percent,” Rimmer said. “We all are so competitive that it makes the training environment higher level, and everyone pushes each other.”
This season was especially unique because of how young the team was.
“It was definitely such a surprise that we didn’t have a lot of seniors,” senior captain Callan Mackey said.
Mackey, the sole senior on a team with three freshmen—an unusually high number—said the welcoming atmosphere, along with having numerous team bonding events, allowed chemistry to develop.
“The freshmen didn’t feel terrified that there were so many older people, so they could just blend right in,” Mackey said.
Creating a welcoming, positive environment was an integral part of the Patriots’ success this year, and it pushed the players to give their best effort throughout the season.

“Before every game Callan says ‘keep it going,’ so that’s kind of been our motto this year,” Rimmer said. “Keep our success going; keep our positive mindsets going; keep our competitiveness going every game. Play every game like it’s the most important game and we’re going to win.”