SVSJ preview: MSHS girls’ soccer looks to reload following graduation of top scorer from last season

EDITOR’S NOTE: We bring you another high school sports preview today, as we continue our series looking at Valley high school fall sports teams. This morning, we feature Mount Si High School’s girls’ soccer team.

Mount Si High School’s girls’ soccer team graduated a lot of offense after last season, primarily in the form of Karli White, but what they lost in offense they will make up in defense this fall, and it is hoped that it will be enough for them to stay among the elite teams in Kingco 4A.

Nellie Joselyn, seen here last season playing for Mount Si High School's girls' soccer team, is among several key returners this fall for the Wildcats. (Photo courtesy Calder Productions)

Nellie Joselyn, seen here last season playing for Mount Si High School’s girls’ soccer team, is among several key returners this fall for the Wildcats. (Photo courtesy Calder Productions)

Junior defender Natalie Weidenbach is back this fall, and the star back line veteran looks to have a strong season without any distractions – either from her injury or her college search. “I can just focus on improving in soccer and school,” Weidenbach said. The Wildcat player missed all of last season recovering from a knee injury she suffered in a preseason workout, and earlier this month, she announced her college decision, verbally committing to the University of Texas. We’ll have more on that college decision later here in the SVSJ.

Back for his 13th season as coach of the Wildcats is Darren Brown. The team last season went 12-5-1, and missed making state by just a couple of games. He’s looking forward to a great year. “We have a lot of veterans obviously from the back moving forward back,” he said.”If you look at our back line and goal with Nellie (Joselyn), we’re real strong, we have a foundation in the back. Really, what we have to do is work on our pieces in the middle and up top.” Joselyn returns as potentially the top goaltender in Kingco this fall, and she’s expecting a lot from her team. ”I think we’re going to work hard more than anything,” she said.

Brown is especially excited about having Weidenbach back. “Man, she looks good. Her training regimen is legendary. Everyone around here talks about it,” he said. “If she’s not on the pitch, she’s going to be in the weight room.” The coach believes that hard work ethic is already producing results for his star defender. “She’s stronger than she’s ever been,” Brown said. “Her legs are already college-ready.”

So with a work ethic that might be among the best, if not the best, of any athlete in the entire high school, either boys or girls, the challenge for Weidenbach is to get her teammates to at least follow suit on a basic level. She’s ready to provide that leadership. “I want them to realize that if they have the dedication to soccer,” she said, ”that training hard, having the right kind of regimen, the healthy lifestyle, eating right, training right, all in the right order of things, is so important.”

Look for Issaquah, Skyline, Woodinville and Eastlake to be the primary competition for Mount Si within the league this fall. The Wolves, according to Brown, could be a wildcard in the title discussion, as they have reportedly had several top-level players who didn’t play last year turn out this fall as the result of an offseason head coaching change. Mark Wilson is the new EHS coach, taking over the Wolves for Valley soccer veteran Chuck Krieble, who left the program after last season. MSHS alum Jordyn Wilson remains with Eastlake as their junior varsity coach.

As for coaching, Eastlake is not the only school to have coaching changes – Mount Si’s staff also had some changes in the offseason. Out is assistant Nikki Stanton, and in is another Wildcat alum, Sophie Rockow. The former MSHS goalkeeper is back as part of Brown’s staff this fall, and brings considerable experience as a college player, with Bellevue College. “She brings a lot to the table having experience playing at BC,” he said. Stanton was unable to come back due to her outside commitments as a professional soccer player, playing for the National Women’s Soccer League’s Sky Blue FC team in New York/New Jersey.

The big thing the rest of the league will notice is how the offense changes as the result of White’s exit. “We have some pieces,” Brown said, “But anytime you remove Karli White from your team, you’re going to have a hole.” White is now playing for Seattle University, and is starting as a freshman there. She’s already made an impact for her new college squad, having scored the game-winning goal in overtime for the Redhawks in their recent win over the University of Oregon.

Joselyn thinks this team can go far. “As far as we want,” she said. “It’s all about how much we want it.” Brown loves being a part of 4A. “4A is no joke,” he said. “It’s tough, but I love it. I love that challenge.”

Mount Si opens its season this coming weekend, on Saturday, September 5. It will be an afternoon home date with Wenatchee, with a kickoff of 1:00 pm. Their Kingco opener is September 29 against Skyline at SHS. Weeknight home games will begin at 7:30 pm, with the Wenatchee game and a September 19 home date with Juanita being Saturday afternoon games, at 1:00 pm.

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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