Cedarcrest High School’s girls’ soccer team’s push to state starts today. A preview of today’s game and our thoughts now……..

It’s a big playoff day for Valley girls’ high school sports. We just had for you Mount Si High School’s volleyball preview and pick, but now the scene shifts to the lower Valley and Cedarcrest High School, where it’s girls’ soccer team opens the playoffs this afternoon.

WESCO 2A/3A GIRLS’ SOCCER
NORTHWEST 2A DISTRICT PLAYOFFS – QUARTERFINALS
CEDARCREST RED WOLVES (2) VS. LYNDEN LIONS (7)
CEDARCREST HIGH SCHOOL, DUVALL, 1:00 P.M. KICKOFF

The Red Wolves fell on Senior Night to Archbishop Murphy back on Tuesday night 1-0 at home, but that didn’t matter in the end, as their overall success in Wesco this fall earned them the coveted second seed in this district tournament and two, yes, two home games in these playoffs. The first of those is today and with Mount Si High School’s team being eliminated from postseason this week with their Senior Night loss at home to Issaquah also this past Tuesday, the Red Wolves become the focus for all Valley girls’ soccer fans, and why not? There’s plenty of reasons why you should get down there and spend the $6 on admission to sit in those CHS bleachers and support these girls. We’ll discuss that more in a moment.

First, though, let’s talk about Lynden. The Lions won their loser-out first round game in this tournament on Thursday beating Anacortes and are seeded seventh in this tournament. They have a solid 11-5-1 record this season, including an early-season win over Red Wolve Wesco rival Arlington, the only common opponent both of the teams have played this season. So, the Lions certainly can argue that that win shows they can hang with Wesco foes, but on the Red Wolves’ side of the ledger, playing this tough Wesco schedule and having the kind of success they had with it this year helped prepare them for the tough Northwest Conference opposition that awaits in these playoffs, and let us tell you, Lynden is a very solid crew.

Their MaxPreps page had video on three of their top players. Sophomore Jenna Smith had the most video, and from watching it all, we can say that Smith can be expected to be a player that CHS’ defense, very tough as it is, will need to focus a lot of energy on in this one. Smith in the clips demonstrated many of the skills that good goal scorers have – speed, ability to shoot accurately toward the goal, ability to get loose and get rebound shots back on goal, etc. etc. We don’t have any stats for you, but we would guess she’s among, if not the top, goal scorer for this Lions group this season. Other players who also had video clips we watched include juniors Madelyn Nolte and Keylie Hershey. Both of them also looked good in the clips, so again, players that will need to be focused on by the Red Wolves today.

In all, with Lynden having done fairly well in the conference and competing very well against NWC powerhouse Burlington-Edison this season, falling to them 4-3 a couple weeks ago, this Lion team will not be easy for CHS today.

You know the deal with the Red Wolves. They are deep, and they are loaded. And even though they’ve fallen three times on home turf this year – to Mount Si, Edmonds-Woodway and ATM by the combined total of 3-0 – this crew does a great job at home and will look to do that today in front of hopefully an entire soccer community. We put out word on our Twitter, then it was picked up by the local soccer organization Cascade FC for their Twitter feed, about today’s game with an eye on hopefully filling those stands full of soccer parents and supporters from all over the Valley. Many of the players from Cedarcrest either are currently or are past players within both Cascade and its parent organization, the Snoqualmie Valley Youth Soccer Association, so these are homegrown players being developed by people in your community, and they’ve got a lot of good ones on their roster up there.

Seniors Brooke Benson, Lauren Miller, Abby McKenzie, Olivia Fulton, Piper Parish and Taylor Burton anchor the CHS midfield along with junior Makena Guenther and sophomores Sidra Griffin and Sam Fairbanks. Senior Sarah Hommas, sophomores Ava Erhardt and Treena Bolin, and freshman Madelyn “Mad Dog” Davidson are up front. Watch Davidson today. She’s had a strong freshman season and could surprise in this one. Seniors Brianna Johnson, Taylor Berberich and Haylie Scott, along with sophomores Emme Rezoski, Heather Olson, Annaliese Irwin and Grace McKenzie, handle the defensive duties for CHS and they’ll be seeing plenty of Lynden’s Smith and others today. Goalies Natalie McCabe and Jessi Polacek will be manning the pipes, and you know how dominant both of them have been, especially the freshman McCabe.

All of these CHS players are poised to make an impact on the field, and many already have. But what’s more, and another reason why you, even if you’re not a soccer fan, should perhaps head up and provide these girls support this afternoon – they’re not just dominating on the field, they’re dominating in the classroom, too. The school and Riverview School District announced late yesterday that the program has received the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s 2A girls’ soccer All-Academic Championship for the fall 2018 season. These players on the Red Wolves roster have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.91. 3.91. Think about that. 4.0 is a perfect GPA in high school, so this 3.91 means that there’s perhaps only a few “B” grades or lower out of any class at CHS by any of these players. Only a few. Amazing to say that’s for sure.

Head coach Alex Hickox praised the recognition. “What a great honor and a true testament to the hard work these young ladies do, day in and day out,” Hickox said in the statement released by the district. “Our Girls Soccer program places heavy importance on not just passing classes, but earning higher achievement. We set this expectation at the beginning of the year and throughout the season, actively engaged with our players about how the academic year is going.”

To that end, the district notes that the program at the beginning of the season discusses this with all of their players regardless of which team they are on, whether that be varsity or the program’s junior varsity or “C”- level teams, both of whom also had great seasons this fall, and this discussion focuses on two points:

1. “Remember, you are a Student first and an Athlete second, please note the order,” underscoring that athletes should be committed to their classroom work first and foremost.

2. “Strive in having at least a 2-star asterisk on the game day roster (2-Star = 3.5 cumulative GPA).” The district playoff roster that you will see if you pick one up at the admission window today will show 17 of their players with those two-star or better asterisks next to their name, with Fairbanks, Rezoski, Benson and Grace McKenzie all having four stars, which we assume means those four all are earning 4.0’s. These girls are truly committed to what they do both on the field and in the classroom, and it shows every day. Many of these players will likely end up playing collegiately in coming seasons, and if their commitment to excellence is any indication, a lot of these girls will pop up on college conference All-Academic teams if they play at the college level. Folks, this is a group of girls that lead by example and are showing the good side of our local high schools.

With that all said, it’s no wonder that regardless of the end result of this game today or of the playoffs for that matter, these girls have already won. But today, on the pitch, we like CHS’s chances a lot, but they will have to work for it. Work for it, you say? Well, these girls are already accustomed to that ethic, so to them, it’s just another day at the office.

CEDARCREST 3, LYNDEN 1

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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