Valley’s own Stanton back in the States for another pro soccer run in the Windy City, plus the weekly look at the college hardwood and Valleyites in action…..

Good Tuesday morning. We’ll hit the hardwood in a second but we first have some big news from the soccer pitch. A Valleyite is coming back stateside to play professionally.

In a move that was very well-received by fans, the National Women’s Soccer League’s Chicago Red Stars welcomed back MF Nikki Stanton, signing the one-time Red Star to a one-year contract yesterday. Terms of the deal were not announced.

Stanton, from North Bend, is a 2008 Mount Si High School grad who spent the 2018 and 2019 seasons with Chicago after the team acquired her in a trade prior to the 2018 campaign with the NWSL’s New York-New Jersey based squad, Sky Blue FC. She did not play last season with the Red Stars, instead playing overseas in Norway.

But, Stanton’s back, and she can’t wait to get back on the field in the red and blue of the CRS. “I am super excited to be a Red Star again,” Stanton said in a statement released by the team. “I look forward to being back with my people and at such a professional club. Most of all, I’m excited to play for the best fans in the NWSL. Chicago, I have missed you.”

The Wildcat high school program, which she starred for so many years ago, is also excited, too. “It’s awesome to see her return to the NWSL. She’s such a great role model for our student-athletes both on and off the field, and we’re excited and proud to be able to root her on as our alumni and professional athlete,” Mount Si coach Sophie Rockow told us via social media. Stanton played for Rockow’s predecessor, former MSHS coach and athletic director Darren Brown, and also briefly assisted as a coach with Mount Si a few years ago.

Stanton’s return as we just noted was praised by the Chicago fans; she was one of the more popular and outgoing members of the team during her previous two-year run with them; an example of this is below, in which she is interviewed by a young supporter during the 2019 season in what turned out to be a very adorable exchange:

It is not known if COVID-19 related issues factored into the signing; with border closures, quarantines and other travel restrictions still in effect, this could impact American players who play overseas and overseas players who play in the NWSL, so rosters could be seriously impacted all over the league this season as a result. That will be something to keep an eye on as that might open a door into the NWSL for another Mount Si alum, Karli White, who played professionally last summer in Japan.

Chicago’s schedule has not been announced as of yet; the pandemic and resulting restrictions will be factored into that, as Illinois has been one of the more aggressive states in fighting the virus.

On the hardwood this week……
Time now for our weekly look at our four local Division I college hoopsters, and what’s on the schedule this week, along with how you can catch them in action and support them.

St. Mary’s College men (Jabe Mullins): It’s the biggest week of the regular season for St. Mary’s as they host their two biggest West Coast Conference rivals and do so both on national television.

The Gaels host Brigham Young University Thursday for an 8:00 p.m. tip and then meet top-ranked Gonzaga University Saturday night at 5:00. ESPN2 has Thursday’s game and ESPN has Saturday’s broadcast as Jabe and company look to rebound from their loss last Saturday to Santa Clara.

Portland men (Hayden Curtiss): Hayden and teammates have a little less daunting schedule this week than their rivals at St. Mary’s, but it’ll still be challenging nonetheless as they look to get back into the win column after going 0-2 this past weekend. The Pilots host the University of San Francisco on Thursday in a rematch from last Thursday’s game in the Bay Area which USF won easily thanks to a dominant second half, then on Saturday they head down to southern California, Malibu to be exact, for a game with Pepperdine University, coached by former longtime University of Washington coach Lorenzo Romar.

Thursday’s gane is at 5:00 p.m. and Saturday’s is at 4:00. Both games will be available on the WCC Network, which is part of the Stadium streaming app on phones, tablets, and set-top devices.

Montana State men (Tyler Patterson): We mentioned this previously but Tyler and his mates are back home Thursday and Saturday hosting Portland State University. Game time Thursday is at 5:30 p.m. while Saturday’s game is at 11am our time. Both games will be available on PlutoTV’s streaming service, also on phones, tablets and set-top devices, but Saturday’s game also will be available over the air in Montana on SWX, the Spokane-based regional sports channel that is owned by KHQ and the Spokesman-Review newspaper.

California women (Sela Heide): As we noted yesterday, Sela and friends are headed into the mountains Friday and Sunday. The Bears are at the University of Colorado Friday for a 2:30 p.m. tip, then will be at Utah Sunday for an 11am start. Both games will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks, but distribution for the two games will be different. Friday’s game will be broadcast on the national P12N feed which is available on Comcast and Dish Network in the Valley, but Sunday’s contest is slated for regional distribution only on P12N’s Mountain regional channel in Colorado and Utah. Dish however may pick the broadcast up on an alternate feed so you’ll need to check the listings.

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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