Thursday, August 29, 2013

INW 2013 College Preview - Northwest Conference at a Glance

The Whitworth women open up their 2013 season at home this weekend with the Whitworth Classic, playing host to Cal Lutheran Friday and Southwestern (Texas) on Saturday, both at noon, with the duo the facing Northwest Conference's Pacific Lutheran on opposite days in the second half of the doubleheaders. The holiday weekend will also feature Carroll University (Wisconsin) visiting to play Whitman Sunday and the Pirates Monday for a total of six games in four days.

The lady Pirates took the race for the 2012 conference title down the very end before ultimately coming up short. The team was sparked by standout debut performances by freshmen Tiara Pajimola and Hannah Bokma offensively while being led defensively via a steadfast performance from Jami Hegg, who returns for her senior season.

Jami Hegg
Despite their performance a year ago, conference coaches gave all their first-place votes to Linfield and Puget Sound in the preseason poll with Whitworth finishing third. Linfield nipped UPS, the reigning 11-time champions, by two points in the poll.

Walla Walla's Whitman College, meanwhile, was picked to finish near the bottom of the conference after going 4-9-3 a year ago, ranking only above George Fox University, who come into the season with new head coach Cory Hand, a former Whitworth player (career ended by injury) and girls development director at Westside Timbers, where he also served as assistant coach of the WPSL team.

INW Players
Lewis & Clark (1) - Kailee Carneau (Richland, WA); Linfield (5) - Taylor Collinsworth (Bend, OR), Molly McCool (Bend, OR), Lindsey Hall (McCall, ID), Lindzee Baker (Spokane, WA), Julia Vaughn (Haines, OR); Pacific Lutheran (1) - Nicoya Benham-Marin (Eagle, ID); Pacific University (3) - Kendall Stratton (Sandpoint, ID), Deanna Quadrel (Richland, WA), Kaeli Laxson (Nampa, ID); Puget Sound (4) - Lauren Hamilton (Spokane, WA), Annie Prickett (Bozeman, MT), Lauren Swanson (Eagle, ID), Samantha Dittman (Whitefish, MT); Whitworth (11) - Jami Hegg (Spokane, WA), Molly Smith (Missoula, MT), Megan McCart (East Wenatchee, WA), Amy Sterk (Pullman, WA), Amber Craig (Pasco, WA), Hanna Bokma (Spokane, WA), Polly Blakely (Spokane, WA), Ashley Rothrock (Spokane, WA), DeNae Vandam (Missoula, MT), Rachel Jones (Spokane, WA), Tiara Pajimola (Spokane, WA)


Morgan Cathey
Despite featuring a new head coach, the Whitworth men were picked to repeat as champions of the Division III Northwest Conference this fall, picking up four of the possible seven first place votes in the preseason conference poll. The Pirates came out on top of Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound, who rounded out a trio who were the clear favorites among the coaches. Whitman received one first-place vote, but finished fifth in the poll.

The Whitworth men, headed by Morgan Cathey, kicked off their preparations for the season with a 4-1 scrimmage victory against the Community Colleges of Spokane early in the day last Thursday followed by an early evening 1-1 exhibition draw against the Division III Gonzaga Bulldogs. Ten of the program's key players from a year ago are returning, including the entire back line that posted impressive numbers last year. The returning offensive talent is impressive as 26 of the 28 goals scored last year were tallied by players on this year's squad.

Whitman, on the other hand, prepared for their season a month ago when they embarked on a 19-day trip to England, home country of coach Mike Washington. They played 11 games over the course of the trip while visiting soccer facilities (trip blog).

INW Players
George Fox (2) - Arlo Powell (Rexburg, ID), Austin Fish (Spokane, WA); Pacific Lutheran (1) - Logan Engeberg (Spokane, WA); Pacific University (3) - Ian Farley (Spokane, WA), Kellan McNamara (Missoula, MT), Steen Shober (Missoula, MT); Puget Sound (4) - Ereko Bereziartua (Boise, ID), Alec MacCallum (Bigfork, MT), Stewart Miller (Helena, MT), Lael Richmond (Bigfork, MT); Whitman (8) - Niko Contos (Boise, ID), Marcos Medina (Walla Walla, WA), Andrew Clark (Pasco, WA), Isaac Sappington (Pasco, WA), Sean Williams (Walla Walla, WA), Jose Beleche (Walla Walla, WA), Bridger Sellegren (Bozeman, MT), Park Harmon (Missoula, MT); Whitworth (9) - Jonah Brown (Missoula, MT), Anders Nostdahl (Sandpoint, ID), Sam Donaldson (Whitefish, MT), Chris Rothrock (Spokane, WA), Zachary Waldher (Whitefish, MT), Matt Bray (Spokane, WA), Colin Shockman (Spokane, WA), Chris Beehler (Yakima, WA), Karl Muelheims (Spokane, WA)