By René Ferrán
With only six weeks of competition and no state championship events, it won’t be a normal high school sports season. Nevertheless, we examine the top returning players and outlook for every Class 4A girls soccer league in Oregon.
Kaiah Fisher (Hidden Valley) photo by Ken Waz
First team: M Casmira Fox, Jr., Valley Catholic; F Lauren Snook, Sr., Valley Catholic; F Mariella Gunther, Jr., Valley Catholic; D Madeline Jacobs, Sr., Banks; D Abby Turner, Sr., Banks; F Camila Narvaez, Sr., Banks; M Kate Hailey, Sr., Banks; F Megan O’Meara, Sr., Astoria; F Elle Espelien, Sr., Astoria; M Emma Biederman, Sr., Astoria; D Lilli Taylor, Jr., Seaside; M Gihre Lopez, Jr., Seaside; M Mary Merritt, Sr., Banks; M Maddie Sisley, Jr., Astoria; M Angelica Valencia Gonzalez, Sr., Tillamook; GK Coleen Kralik, Jr., Tillamook.
Honorable mention: M Tyler Rose, So., Banks; M Hailey Strimple-Fields, Jr., Seaside; GK Abygale Brien, So., Seaside; M Adriana Rico, Jr., Tillamook; D Anna Kinder, Jr., Valley Catholic; D Quinn Walker, Sr., Valley Catholic.
Valley Catholic reached the state final three consecutive seasons from 2016-18, winning the 2017 title, but got bounced by eventual champion Woodburn in the first round in 2019. The Valiants should again be strong offensively led by Fox, a second-team all-state selection, but Banks has steadily improved the past two seasons and could challenge for a first league championship.
First team: M/F Brianna Lewis, Sr., Gladstone; M/F Mya Hammack, Sr., North Marion; F Holly Rae, Sr., Molalla; D Delaney McNett, So., Gladstone; D/M Katie Zapata, Sr., North Marion; M Danielle Christenson, Sr., North Marion; M Katie Willis, Jr., Estacada.
Second team: F/M Josie DeLine, So., Corbett; RW Kaityn Curry, Sr., Molalla; M Anneliese Hugo, Sr., Molalla; F Rhyli Grim, So., Gladstone; M Hailey Welch, Sr., North Marion; M Audrey Walter, Sr., Estacada.
Honorable mention: D Adrie Lader, So., North Marion; F Dominique Huapeo, Jr., North Marion; M Gracie Embree, So., Corbett; D Hana Yamaguchi, Sr., Corbett; M Natalie Hunt, So., Estacada; M Brooke Delamarter, Jr., Madras; M/D Teagan Welch, Jr., North Marion; D Annika Molina, Jr., Molalla; GK/F Hannah Evans, Jr., Corbett; GK Meadow Copher, Sr., Estacada.
Gladstone took the No. 1 seed into last season’s state playoffs but got knocked out in the quarterfinals by eventual champion Woodburn. Lewis was a first-team all-state selection with 17 goals and 14 assists, but the league’s top returning scorer is Hammack, who had 31 goals with 10 assists to lead North Marion to the semifinals for the first time. The Huskies return 10 starters. Rae moved to striker last season for Molalla and scored more than 20 goals to help the Indians qualify for the state playoffs for an 11th consecutive season.
Oregon West Conference
First team: F Alivia Pittman, Sr., Philomath; M Braedyn McNeely, Sr., Philomath; F Maddie Pask, Sr., Stayton.
Second team: F Kalili Saathoff, Sr., Philomath; D Chloe Jurva, Sr., Philomath; M Kirsten Burt, Sr., Stayton; F Natalie Rodgers, Sr., Sweet Home; D Mia Rust, Sr., Philomath.
Honorable mention: F/M Kali Crawford, Sr., Newport; D Atira Fairbanks, Sr., Philomath; F Hollie Lewis, Jr., Sisters; M Alissa Humphreys, Jr., Stayton; F Rian Hill, Jr., Stayton; D Abby Green, So., Newport; D K Bacho, Jr., Philomath; D Analise Backus, So., Sisters; D Sage Wyland, So., Sisters; D Allie Hlavinka, Sr., Stayton; D Kenzie Pugh, Sr., Stayton; GK Hallie Couture, So., Philomath; GK Karlee Tyler, Jr., Stayton.
Philomath, which has qualified for the state playoffs every year since 1995, edged 4A state champion Woodburn for the Oregon West title last season and returns some key players, including Pittman (11 goals, seven assists) and McNeely. Stayton graduated OWC player of the year KJ Nyquist but should not fall off too much.
Sky Em League
First team: M Chanel Leach, Sr., Cottage Grove; F/M Sawyer Weybright, Sr., Cottage Grove; F Abbie Chambers, Sr., Marist Catholic; M Jillian Liebersbach, Sr., Junction City; GK Andrah Cobb, Sr., Elmira; GK Tessa Woodrum, Jr., Marist Catholic.
Second team: D Anna Watts, Jr., Marist Catholic; F Paige Meador, So., Marist Catholic; M/F Maddie Deleon, Sr., Marshfield; D Reese Fitzpatrick, Jr., Marist Catholic; M Mackenzie Wisner, Jr., Elmira; F Madison Fuller, Jr., Marist Catholic; D Adiana Taylor, Jr., Junction City.
Honorable mention: M Isabell Perez, So., Marshfield; M Avery Anderson, Sr., Marist Catholic; M/D Meghan Hawley, So., Cottage Grove; GK Dahlia Kanui, Sr., Marshfield; GK Raina Herzog, Jr., Cottage Grove.
Marist Catholic graduated state player of the year Ella Coulombe but returns top scorer Chambers (23 goals, headed to Spring Hill College), Fuller (six goals, eight assists) and Woodrum, who posted 12 shutouts as a sophomore stepping in for injured senior Teagan Peterson during the Spartans’ run to the state final. Cottage Grove has qualified for the state playoffs each of the past two seasons and figures again to be the Spartans’ toughest competition in league play.
First team: F/M Macy Clemens, Sr., Mazama; F Ryane Mattox, Jr., Henley; M Justice Hartford, Sr., Hidden Valley; GK Kaiah Fisher, Sr., Hidden Valley.
Second team: D Emily Bergeron, Sr., Hidden Valley; D Karlee Touey, Jr., North Valley; M/F Lanie Cox, So., Henley; D Hannah Darrah, So., Mazama; M/F Kendry Gordon, Jr., Henley; M Taya Mendoza, Jr., Hidden Valley; M/F Cassidy Mahan, Jr., Klamath Union; F McKinley Casson, Sr., Klamath Union.
Honorable mention: M Alex Hernandez, Sr., Phoenix; F Leah Beachy, Jr., Hidden Valley; F Jessica Harrington, Jr., Mazama; M/D Eva Smith, Sr., North Valley; D Gracie Poe, So., Henley; M/D Addi Smith, So., North Valley; M Hailey Field, So., North Valley; M Shanelle Balbin, Jr., Klamath Union; F/M Makyla Pedersen, Sr., North Valley; D Marly Marcoulier, Sr., Hidden Valley; D Linnea Gebauer, Jr., Klamath Union; M Madelyn Kaefring, Jr., Mazama; M/F Beth Hamilton, Jr., Henley; GK Kaylee Wright, Jr., Mazama; GK Gracelyn Hedlund, So., Henley.
North Valley and Hidden Valley have dominated the conference the past few seasons, with the Knights winning the 2016 state championship and the Mustangs finishing second in 2017 and winning the 2018 title. This season figures to be one of transition for North Valley, but Hidden Valley has all-state keeper Fisher and several other key pieces to make the Mustangs the favorite. The dominance of the top two hasn’t left many openings for Henley or Mazama, but a young Hornets team can build momentum this season to make a push in the fall.
Greater Oregon League
First team: F Audrey Garlitz, Jr., La Grande; F/D Cece Aguilera, Sr., La Grande; M Lauran Rinker, Sr., La Grande; M Taryn Miller, Sr., La Grande; M/F Maya Smith, Jr., Baker.
Second team: D Tiffany Nelson, Sr., Ontario; D Boston Garcia, Sr., Ontario; M Ashley Cano, Sr., Ontario; D/M Anna Belding, So., Baker; F/M Sydnee Pierce, So., Baker; F/M Taylor Gyllenberg, So., Baker; F Starra Ullman, Sr., La Grande; D Bethany Brock, Jr., La Grande.
Honorable mention: M Yessenia Rodriguez, Jr., Ontario; GK Mary Galindo, Sr., Ontario.
La Grande scored the most goals of any 4A team last season in reaching the quarterfinals. The Tigers graduated GOL player of the year Katie Perry but return three players who contributed heavily to that state-leading goal total — Garlitz, who had 35 goals and 14 assists to make the all-state second team, along with Aguilera (12 goals, 14 assists) and Rinker (10 goals, eight assists). Ontario improved from one win in 2018 to finishing second in the GOL and making the state playoffs last season. The Tigers and Baker should battle for second place in the league standings.