Geoducks fall sports underway
This week the Cascade Collegiate Conference released their preseason polls for the three sports and the Geoducks garnered a second place pick for men’s soccer, a ninth place ranking for women’s soccer and a last place spot for volleyball.
The Evergreen men’s soccer team returns the CCC Defensive Player of the Year Brady Espinoza, CCC Newcomer of the Year Willie Spurr and a pair of solid senior goalkeepers in Colin Harlow and Mauricio Sanchez to a team that finished 12-2 in conference play and advanced to the conference finals in 2012. They will have to replace two of their top scorers, Kevin Flavin and Mirza Memic, but will feature forward Jeff Roland, who tallied four goals and two assists last season, and will welcome Aberdeen’s two time 2A Evergreen Conference Most Valuable Player Juan Lopez to the midfield.
The Geoduck men will open their season with a home game against Trinity Lutheran on August 17th at 1:00 PM. They open CCC play on September 17th at home against Warner Pacific and will host defending champ and preseason #1 Concordia on October 1st.
It took 11 games but the Evergreen women’s soccer team won two of their last three games last season to finish 2-11-1. The Geoducks will return four starters from last season including CCC honorable mention midfielder Sophie Krauza, goalkeeper Kaitlin Mackenzie and leading scorer – albeit with just three goals – Rayna Murphy. Capital star Loren Switzer, the 2A EvCo Defensive MVP last season, is one of the team’s top newcomers.
The Geoducks scored just 11 goals in 14 games last season and and are picked to finish ninth in the CCC. The women open their season with a scrimmage at Saint Martin’s on August 23rd.
Angela Spoja takes over the reins of the Evergreen volleyball program and will try to get the Geoducks their first win in over two years. During the last two seasons under Greg Spector, they went 0-46 and were never competitive.
Spoja comes to Evergreen with an impressive resume at Tacoma Community College and has brought in a host of transfers to join seniors Meredith Gurr, Brittany Covert and Cassidy Watkins on the court. Natimia Barker-Doss is an outside hitter from Pierce College that earned NWAACC West Region First Team honors last season, Kelsey DeLaGrange is a 2005 graduate of Kelso High School and was outstanding for Mount Hood in their NWAACC championship season – eight years ago – and Capital star Gabriela Vega returns to Olympia after a stint at Pacific University.
They are still picked to finish 10th in the CCC this season but there is a definite sense of optimism surrounding this program for the first time in a long, long time.