SVSJ preview: Cedarcrest High School soccer aims to be among the best in Wesco not just on the pitch, but off it too……

EDITOR’S NOTE: We have another preview for you to wrap up our Cedarcrest portion of the fall sports previews today, as we close out that set with a look at Red Wolves girls’ soccer and its success not only on the field, but in the classroom as well.

Cedarcrest High School’s girls’ soccer program took the Wesco Conference by storm last season, taking second in the league after dominating the Cascade Conference previously. This season’s Red Wolve team once again is expected to contend so fans can again look for a strong season ahead.

Alex Hickox is back for his fifth season as coach. The squad went 11-3 in league and 13-6 overall, falling in the district tournament and missing out on a trip to state.

Several top players return from last season’s team. These include Grace McKenzie, a junior defender who earned Wesco all-league first-team honors last season; sophomore goalie Natalie McCabe, coming off a Wesco second-team honor in 2018, and sophomore forward – and three-sport athlete – Madelyn “Mad Dog” Davidson, who earned all-Wesco honorable mention last season. The team lost a couple of key offensive pieces with the graduations of Sarah Hommas and Brooke Benson last spring, both of whom are playing collegiately this fall (Hommas at NAIA’s Northwest University in Kirkland, Benson at NCAA Division II’s Minnesota State-Crookston). Natalie Amble will look to fill that void; the senior midfielder missed all of last season due to injury and will slot in looking to provide offensive punch that was left by the two other players’ graduation.

Junior defenders Kati Fulton and Heather Olson will also look to provide a boost on the back line, and the top freshman to watch this year is midfielder Leah Cammarano. “These players will push in making a starting spot for the year and like our top returning unit, will be significant contributors to our team success in 2019,” Hickox told us by email.

Amble leads a group of four seniors this year – the others are midfielders Erin Hall and Makena Guenther, and goalie Melissa Hunt, who is likely to split time this fall with McCabe.

It’s a big team this year, according to Hickox. “We are carrying 18 on the roster – the lightest roster in my tenure. We have capable replacements for all lost positions on the field. We have always been built on a solid defense (year over year, we are among the top 1-2 teams with lowest GAA (goals against average)), we will press high up the field and our attacking players will be exciting to watch (speed and skill),” Hickox told us. But there is something else to pay attention to, and it’s not having to do with anything on the field.

Something we have talked about from time to time in the past involving this program is its’ coaching staff’s emphasis on the kids getting it done in the classroom just as well as on the field. “I want to point out that the 2018 CHS Girls Soccer Varsity Team won the 2A State Academic Title last year and finished second overall for all state (high school) soccer programs. My expectation is that we compete for this same title for this year. This is a super important title that may often get overlooked,” Hickox said. Many of the players on the squad are on the school’s academic honor roll, with several of them having attained better than a 3.5 grade point average in their classroom studies at Cedarcrest.

And that emphasis on academics does pay dividends, as evidenced by both Hommas and Benson getting opportunities to play at the next level – they’re not simply getting them because they’re good soccer players, they’re also getting them because they’re good students. Familes who will be sending their daughters into the CHS program in future years should make sure their kids are developing a strong work ethic academically as that will give them an edge when they set foot on that pitch for the first time as Cedarcrest players.

The teams to watch this year again are likely going to be the same as they were last year. 3A Edmonds-Woodway and 2A Archbishop Murphy both were strong within league last fall, and are expected to be the same this year as well. And then, there of course is the Valley Cup against Mount Si. The game is on September 21 and CHS will be looking to do the same to the Wildcats that Mount Si did to the Red Wolves last year – take the Cup winning it on the other team’s home field. Mount Si is hosting this year so this is a game that a lot of Cedarcrest people have probably marked on their calendars this year as this is a trophy that a lot of those girls will also be working hard to acheive this season.

The Red Wolves open the season on the road at Arlington next Thursday night. They’ll open the home schedule with a game September 17 against Oak Harbor. Senior night this year will be on October 24, against Lynnwood. All home games with the exception of an afternoon game September 28 will begin at 7:00 p.m. with the afternoon game on the 28th starting at 2:00. All of the home contests are at Cedarcrest High School’s stadium, 29000 NE 150th St. in Duvall.

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.
This entry was posted in Previews, Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.