SVSJ previews: Mount Si High School boys’ soccer and girls’ lacrosse aim to build off dream 2019 seasons this spring….if things get underway soon

Good Monday morning. We will have an important announcement about our coverage of local sports here in the Journal shortly, but once again, we have some spring sports previews for you today, as we for the moment wrap up our high school preview series for Mount Si and Cedarcrest High Schools. We want to thank all of the coaches who did send in questionnaires to us and let all of the rest of you know who haven’t sent yours in we are happy to take those if you want us to run something. So with that, we finish out with Mount Si High School’s boys’ soccer and girls’ lacrosse programs. A note and that of couse is that games yet are not underway and will not be until at least April 24 due to the school closures.

Boys’ soccer: It was quite the run last spring as you all remember. Then-coach Darren Brown guided this team to levels not ever seen in the history of the soccer program at Mount Si in 2019, as the team finished 17-3-0 and made it all the way to the state title game, falling to Puyallup last Memorial Day weekend at Sparks Stadium.

Brown, as you all remember, announced during the season that last season was to be his last as he assumed full-time duty this past fall as the school’s athletic director. So Brown turned to his longtime lieutenant and confidant Ben Tomlisson to take the reins, and the longtime social studies teacher at Mount Si, who has helped the program organize a pair of exchanges with his old school in the north of the United Kingdom (Malpas, near Manchester) over the years, takes over a team that will have, once play resumes if it does, have a very tough act to follow if it wants to make a repeat appearance. First off, Kingco 4A is a really tough league, and Tomlisson expects it to be no different this spring, with Redmond, Skyline, Eastlake and Issaquah all expected to contend.

Secondly, a lot of top players from last season’s team, like Drew Harris and Mateo DiDomenico, graduated so there’s some shoes to fill. Senior defender Jake Jimenez and underclassmen Colby Ramsey (goalie) and Sullivan Smith (forward) will be the nucleus of the group, and among others to watch, Joey Salem, Marco Baker and newcomer Patrick Kearney also will be worth paying some attention to, according to Tomlisson.

The team is once again senior-laden this year. In addition to Jimenez, Kaidan Popp, Sebastian Bednik, Daniel Paya, Banner Hovinga and Rune Van Caenghem all bring experience to the tbale. Van Caenghem is new this fall; he is home schooled.

This year’s goals are modest. “Our goal is to just win every game and see where that takes us and have fun doing it,” Tomlisson told us. “We talked last year about ‘enjoying the ride’ rather than waiting for a final to have fun. We are going to bring that Mount Si physicality and pressure we are known for and also develop that technical nature of our play.”

Tomlisson has a pair of new assistants – both former players under he and Brown: Nate Popp and Kevin Isackson. Having those assistants in the fold, who know the expectations and culture of this program, should help this year’s players understand what’s expected of them this spring, but seeing the guys make state last spring should be enough knowledge for this group of what it will take to get there. Isackson and Nate Popp will be able to convey that in a way that the players will be able to understand, making the transition to high school soccer easier for everyone, from new players on up to seasoned vets.

As noted, there are no games at the moment, but once things are back if that occurs, expect the games to be mostly within division, so Eastlake, Skyline, Issaquah and Newport will be likely opponents, with home games at Mount Si’s stadium.

Girls’ lacrosse: Mount Si’s girls’ lacrosse program has especially been hit hard, as they were, prior to the closures, unable to practice at the school as they are not a WIAA-sanctioned sport, but now with the closures and resulting other restrictions, their season, too, has been put on hold. Which is a shame, too, as the Wildcats were looking this spring to build off of their best season in the young history of the program last year, in which they went 11-2 and made the playoffs.

Olivia Bean is the new coach this season for Mount Si, and she has plenty of experience to draw from this season. Seniors Victoria BearBow, Gracee Gorrell, Jackie Stone and Misa Kalvelage will anchor this group, with teammates Emme Rezoski, Hillary Curd, Kendal Forrest and Anna Simmons also expected to provide significant contributions. Rezoski, Simmons, and Forrest are all midfielders, while Curd, Stone and BearBow will be up front and Kalvledge will be on defense. But a pair of other defenders are also getting notice from Bean.

“I’m really excited about Ellen Vincent and Katie Kanzler, both (on) defense, at the moment this year,” Bean told us. It should be noted that a good number of these players play other sports for their high schools – Rezoski with Cedarcrest HS’s girls’ soccer team, and BearBow, Forrest and Vincent all part of various Mount Si sports teams. The Wildcat lacrosse team is able to draw players from Cedarcrest as that school does not offer a similar program. We are told, though, that the boys have separated this year and both schools have their own separate teams.

Bean looks to build a strong team through fundamentals. “Our team goals are fitness and communication. We are wanting to be tough competition, the ones that can out run and out play the other teams,” she told us. “As the coach, I really want the girls to be the best players and the best teammates they can be. I want the girls to know that I’m in their corner, but will push them to be better each time they play.”

The Snoqualmie Conference of the Washington Schoolgirls’ Lacrosse Association, the sanctioning body for girls’ high school lacrosse here in this state, is among the top leagues, with a lot of solid players and teams from Kingco high schools. But the new coach likes her team’s chances. “We are in one of the hardest conferences in the league and have tough competition, but I believe that we are a smart team,” Bean told us. “We have (great) talent and heart and believe that we will put up a tough fight and land towards the top at the end of the season.” Expect Issaquah and Bellevue to be at the top of the ladder in the conference if play is able to get underway.

And that of course is a big if at the moment. If play does get underway, it should be against conference opposition, with home games at one of three sites – Mount Si HS’s stadium or Jeanne Hansen Park in Snoqualmie, or Chief Kanim Middle School in Fall City.

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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