Saturday, September 10, 2016

NWAC East: Divisional play kicks off Saturday

Heading into the first weekend of divisional play for the NWAC East, the top sides head into their campaigns with solid performances against opposition that reached the postseason a year ago and more.

The reigning NWAC Champion CC Spokane Bigfoot are off to a great start in defense of their title, facing four ranked opponents and finishing the preseason slate 4-0-3. They opened things up down in Arizona with a 1-1 draw against 14th ranked Paradise Valley CC and then tied NAIA 24th ranked Embry-Riddle 2-2.

At the NWAC Friendlies, the Sasquatch blanked championship foe and 17th ranked Highline 2-0 in their rematch and Lane 2-1. They continued the preseason campaign with a 7-0 road win at Clackamas before coming home and playing a 2-2 draw against perennial power and 15th ranked Peninsula.

With her twin sister having already moved onto a successful start at Washington State, defender Stephanie Overland (Moses Lake, WA) surprisingly leads the team in scoring with four goals going into league play, but forwards Maddy Boyd (Spokane, WA) and Erica Simpson (Post Falls, ID) each have three goals as well.

Treasure Valley CC and Walla Walla CC are also off to good starts at 4-1-1 in preseason play, and Wenatchee Valley is unbeaten at 2-0-2.

Treasure Valley, third in the East last season, has blasted its opposition for 26 goals. They opened with positive results against 2015 playoff sides Tacoma (0-0 draw) and Chemeketa (5-0 win) before drubbing Grays Harbor, pointless last year, with 11 and losing 2-1 against newcomer Centralia. The last two wins came against Edmonds and Lower Columbia, which combined for eight wins in 2015. Leading the team in the attack is Chelsea Entrambasaguas with five goals and three assists and Lindsey Williams (Twin Falls, ID) with five goals and one assist. Madison Wells (Nampa, ID) has three goals as does Taylor Anthony (Gooding, ID), though hers was a hat-trick late against Grays Harbor.

Four of the six opponents Walla Walla faced were not postseason teams last year. They, however, did tie 2015 South champion Lane 1-1 before falling to South runner-up Clark 5-4. Haley Berryman has six goals, scoring in four of the six games. Jessica Garcia (Eltopia, WA) has three plus a pair of assists.

Unlike the other three, none of Wenatchee Valley's opponents were in the postseason a year ago, though Green River and Whatcom came close as the fourth-place sides in their divisions. Those two contests were scoreless draws. Jennifer Mendoza (Warden, WA) has accounted for four of the team's six goals.

On the men's side, last year's East champion and NWAC finalist CC Spokane has struggled (0-2-2) in its preseason campaign against primarily high-caliber opposition while the other two playoff sides Walla Walla CC (3-0-1) and Columbia Basin (2-0-1) are unbeaten.

Spokane opened with a 2-0 loss at the NWAC Friendlies with a 2-0 loss to 2015 West champion Highline before playing to a scoreless draw against South champion Clark. They then tied Portland, who missed the playoffs last year, 1-1 and came home to face reigning champion and and 17th ranked Peninsula in a rematch of the final only to come up short in a 2-1 decision. Jonny Cortez (Moses Lake, WA / Spokane Shadow Men's First Team) has both Spokane goals.

At the NWAC Friendlies Walla Walla faced a pair of teams in Tacoma and Chemeketa that finished second in their divisions a year ago, playing to a 2-2 draw and a 1-0 win, respectively. They then blanked another pair of playoff sides by 3-0 scorelines with wins against Edmonds, third in the North last year, and 2015 South champion Clark. It was Edmonds' lone loss of the preseason while Clark went winless. Emilio Meraz-Rodriguez (Pasco, WA) is leading the Warrior attack with four goals and an assist while Missael Lopez (Tieton, WA) has three goals and an assist.

Columbia Basin's slate also featured teams that all made the 2015 postseason. They started with a win over Bellevue, who were third in the West, before playing SW Oregon, third in the South, to a draw. They capped the preseason campaign by handing Clark another defeat. Juan Licea's (Yakima, WA) hat-trick in the 6-1 win against Clark leads the team in scoring, but Calvin Ball (Kennewick, WA) and Jesus Delgado (Yakima, WA) each have two goals.

As for the upcoming season, there are a few changes in store, first of them being the inclusion of newcomer Blue Mountain to the East for the ladies. Treasure Valley features new women's coach Shasta Fisher as does Yakima Valley with Abigail Drollinger. Coaching changes on the men's side include Brian Gochoel taking over Columbia Basin while Treasure Valley is under new leadership with newcomer Jeremy Skousen listed as assistant coach without a head coach.

Opening weekend will see Walla Walla at Treasure Valley and Wenatchee Valley at Spokane in doubleheaders. On the women's side North Idaho is at Blue Mountain and Columbia Basin is at Yakima Valley. The NIC and CBC men, meanwhile, will square off in Pasco, WA.

Here's a round-up of the NWAC East's preseason schedule (NWAC East teams listed first)...

WOMEN  ##############

Saturday, August 20

Spokane 1 :: 1 Paradise Valley CC
Maddy Boyd (Spokane, WA) scored the lone goal on a ball from Kelsi Walker (Spokane, WA) in the 74th minute with Molly Webster making seven stops for the shutout.

Monday, August 22

Spokane 2 :: 2 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univ (24-NAIA)
Stephanie Overland (Moses Lake, WA) scored in the 57th via Cali Moscrip (Lewiston, ID) and Kelsi Walker (Spokane, WA) found Erica Simpson (Post Falls, ID) in the 70th to give the Bigfoot a draw against the 24th ranked NAIA school.

Saturday, August 27

Treasure Valley 0 :: 0 Tacoma
Fernanda Rogel (Boise, ID) and Taeler Torres (Idaho Falls, ID) each posted three saves as the split time in the scoreless draw.

Walla Walla 3 :: 0 Pierce
Jessica Garcia (Eltopia, WA) put the Warriors in front three minutes in and Brittany Hanson (La Grande, OR) fed Erin Leseberg (Kennewick, WA) and Sadie Blaisdell for goals in the second half. Paige Kubista (Nampa, ID) made two saves for the shutout.

Yakima Valley 1 :: 0 Lower Columbia
Katerina Balauro (Deer Park, WA) provided the lone goal for the Yaks in the 55th minute on a ball from Arianna Ahn. Addy Eckstrom (Yakima, WA) made seven saves for the shutout.

Wenatchee Valley 3 :: 1 Grays Harbor
Madison Dofelmire (East Wenatchee, WA) put the Knights ahead in the 12th minute but the match went to the break even. Jennifer Mendoza (Warden, WA) and Katie Michkiosky (Wenatchee, WA), though, gave WVC the win with tallies in the second half.

Columbia Basin 0 :: 3 Green River
Scoreless at the break, the Gators rolled to the win with three unanswered in the second half.

Spokane 2 :: 0 Highline
Erica Simpson (Post Falls, ID) put the Bigfoot on the board via Maddy Boyd's (Spokane, WA) service in the 16th and Sydney Weiler (Spokane, WA) added some insurance in the 51st. Molly Webster made eight stops for the clean sheet.

Blue Mountain 0 :: 6 Southwest Oregon
The Timberwolves allowed three in each half.

North Idaho 1 :: 0 Bellevue
Nearly a scoreless stalemate, Jocelyn Cook (Nine Mile Falls, WA) tallied the decisive goal six minutes from time for the win. Tiegan Hortan (Dalton Gardens, ID) made five saves for the shutout.

Sunday, August 28

Yakima Valley 0 :: 3 Centralia
The Yaks gave up one in the first half and two in the second in defeat.

Walla Walla 3 :: 0 Blue Mountain
Haley Berryman (Ephrata, WA) scored twice in the victory, tallying in the second minute and 53rd. Jessica Garcia (Eltopia, WA) fed Madison Hemenway (Richland, WA) for the other tally in the 13th and Jeanette Alvarado (Moses Lake, WA) made just one save in goal.

Columbia Basin 1 :: 1 Clackamas
Trailing since the early stages of the game, Hampton Seppi found Starcia Deponte for the equalizer in the 62nd minute.

North Idaho 0 :: 2 Clark
The Cardinals gave up a goal in each half in the loss.

Treasure Valley 5 :: 0 Chemeketa
Five different players scored for the Chukars in the win. Lindy Lehman and Chelsea Entrambasaguas scored in the opening 16 minutes. Madison Wells, (Nampa, ID) Marisa Saldivar and Paige Chaffee tallied in the second half.

Wenatchee Valley 3 :: 2 Rogue
Jennifer Mendoza (Warden, WA) scored twice in the opening seven minutes of the contest for the Knights but RCC pulled even before the break. Her third tally in the 54th held as the game-winner.

Blue Mountain 0 :: 3 Grays Harbor
The Timberwolves allowed the first in the 26th and kept it close until the final minutes when the Chokers netted twice in the final four minutes.

Spokane 2 :: 1 Lane
After falling behind in the 15th minute, Stephanie Overland (Moses Lake, WA) answered for the equalizer two minutes later and then scored the game-winner a minute before intermission.

Tuesday, August 30

Wenatchee Valley 0 :: 0 Whatcom
AdriAnna Simmons (Ephrata, WA) made eight saves in goal for the Knights as they battled to the scoreless draw.

Walla Walla 3 :: 0 Edmonds
Jessica Garcia (Eltopia, WA) put the Warriors in front in the 23rd minute and Haley Berryman (Ephrata, WA) pushed the lead to three over the next five minutes with two goals. Paige Kubista (Nampa, ID) and Jeanette Alvarado (Moses Lake, WA) combined for the shutout.

Yakima Valley 4 :: 4 Grays Harbor
In a back-and-forth affair, Mayra Fuentes answered with an equalizer in the sixth minute. She put in front by two in the 37th a minute after Katie Balauro (Deer Park, WA) put the Yaks tallied the go-ahead goal. GHC, though, answered just before the break and right after to pull even before Balauro struck again in the 65th with what looked like was going to be the winner until GHC tied it back up in the 89th.

Spokane 7 :: 0 Clackamas
Erica Simpson (Post Falls, ID) scored in the opening minute and then set up Maddy Boyd (Spokane, WA) in the 25th as Spokane rolled to the victory. Stephanie Overland (Moses Lake, WA) and Emily Carrell (Boise, ID) scored before the break to make it 4-0 going into the second half. Jenna Sullens (Spokane, WA) tallied twice and Ashly Busch (Sandpoint, ID) to make it seven.

Wednesday, August 31

Treasure Valley 11 :: 0 Grays Harbor
Lindsey Williams (Twin Falls, ID) scored in the 17th and 26th on either side of a strike from Madison Wells (Nampa, ID) in the 19th to make it a three-goal advantage at the half, but the Chukars rolled away with the result with eight in the second half. Wells added a second and Taylor Anthony (Gooding, ID) had three. Kylie Hicks (Twin Falls, ID), Samantha Patterson (Meridian, ID), Karley Currie and Amber Spaulding also scored. Fernanda Rogel (Boise, ID) only needed to make one save.

Thursday, September 1

Columbia Basin 2 :: 0 Lower Columbia
Starcia Deponte scored four minutes before intermission and Madison Gatherum (Richland, WA) netted three minutes from time for the win. Kelsey Kerker (Helena, MT) made eight saves for the shutout.

Friday, September 2

Treasure Valley 1 :: 2 Centralia
Chelsea Entrambasaguas scored in the 12th minute, but it was not enough as the visitors rallied for the win.

Wenatchee Valley 0 :: 0 Green River
AdriAnna Simmons (Ephrata, WA) made nine saves for the shutout as the two sides battled to the scoreless stalemate.

Walla Walla 1 :: 1 Lane
Haley Berryman (Ephrata, WA) tallied the opener in the 13th, but the Titans answered later in the half in the draw.

Saturday, September 3

North Idaho 1 :: 0 Tacoma
The two sides were locked in a stalemate with Tiegan Horton (Dalton Gardens, ID) making six saves for the Cardinals, but Emily Aspden scored with six minutes left to give NIC the victory.

Treasure Valley 5 :: 1 Edmonds
Chelsea Entrambasaguas scored five minutes in for the lone tally of the first half, but added one of the Chukars four in the second period. Lindsey Williams (Twin Falls, ID), Kylie Hicks (Twin Falls, ID) and Lindy Lehman provided the others.

Blue Mountain 0 :: 4 Centralia
The two newcomers squared off with the Timberwolves allowing two in the first half and another two in the opening three minutes of the second half.

Columbia Basin 0 :: 6 Lane
Lane rolled to the win with two in the first half and four in the second period.

Monday, September 5

Walla Walla 4 :: 5 Clark
The two sides traded goals throughout the contest. The Warriors pulled even in the 10th via Hannah Thompson (Richland, WA), who then found Tate Kautzky (Richland, WA) five minutes later for the lead. The Penguins answered before the break and scored twice to grab a two goal lead. The Warriors scored the next three, getting one from Chelea Marozik (Richland, WA) in the 62nd and another from Daisy Nateras (Walla Walla, WA) in the 81st, but it was spoiled by an own goal in the 70th that proved to be the winner for Clark.

Spokane 2 :: 2 Peninsula
The two NWAC powers went back-and-forth in the contest with the Pirates grabbing the lead in the 20th and Anisha Nicholson (Post Falls, ID) finishing a free kick from Sydney Weiler (Spokane, WA) in the 32nd. Maddy Boyd (Spokane, WA) broke behind the defense and beat the keeper to the ball in the first minute of the second half and it looked like the Bigfoot were going to get the win thanks to some great saves from Molly Webster when Peninsula finally broke through with an 88th minute equalizer.

Tuesday, September 6

Columbia Basin 0 :: 3 Clark
The Hawks gave up three goals in a 12-minute span in the first half and were unable to rebound.

Treasure Valley 4 :: 1 Lower Columbia
The Chukars took the lead 12 minutes in on a strike from Chelsea Entrambasaguas, who turned provider 14 minutes later on a goal by Lindsey Williams. (Twin Falls, ID) The visitors struck just before the break, but Williams restored the two-goal advantage in the 61st and then found Karley Currie three minutes later for the final strike.

Wednesday, September 7

Walla Walla 2 :: 0 Lower Columbia
After a scoreless first half, Haley Berryman (Ephrata, WA) broke the deadlock in the 56th on a ball from Tate Kautzky (Richland, WA). Jessica Garcia (Eltopia, WA) added some insurance in the 82nd. Paige Kubista (Nampa, ID) and Jeanette Alvarado (Moses Lake, WA) combined for the shutout.

MEN  ##############

Saturday, August 27

Treasure Valley 3 :: 0 Pierce
After a scoreless first half, the Chukars rolled to the win with three unanswered strikes in the second half. Cristian Muniz (Twin Falls, ID) provided the first seven minutes in and Gerardo Bartolo (Blackfoot, ID) and Colby Bradley (Eagle, ID) put it out of reach in the 70th and 90th. Flavio Betancourt (Pendleton, OR) made five saves in the shutout.

Walla Walla 2 :: 2 Tacoma
After falling behind twice, Emilio Meraz-Rodriguez (Pasco, WA) pulled the Warriors even. He set up Brenden Kenley's (Meridian, ID) equalizer in the 14th minute and then scored the last-minute equalizer in the second minute of stoppage time to earn the draw.

Wenatchee Valley 3 :: 1 Chemeketa
In the span of seven minutes Dylan Avey (Wenatchee, WA) gave the Knights the victory. He tallied back-to-back goals in the 22nd and 23rd minutes and then turned provider for Joel Flores (Sunnyside, WA) in the 29th to give them a three-goal advantage at the break.

Spokane 0 :: 2 Highline
An own goal 10 minutes in followed by a Highline strike three minutes later gave the East Division its only loss on the day.

Columbia Basin 3 :: 0 Bellevue
Scoreless after an hour, Calvin Ball (Kennewick, WA) broke the stalemate in the 68th and pushed CBC's lead to two in the 79th on a ball from Victor Valencia (Grandview, WA), who went on to score the final goal two minutes later. Max Herrera (Sunnyside, WA) made 10 saves for the shutout.

North Idaho 2 :: 2 Everett
The Cardinals built a two goal lad with Muganza Katanga (Boise, ID) scoring eight minutes into the first half and Garrett Flolo (Coeur d'Alene, ID) netting in the first minute of the second stanza, but the Trojans rallied to earn the draw.

Sunday, August 28

Treasure Valley 2 :: 3 Lane
A three-goal deficit at the break proved to much to overcome, but Gerardo Bartolo (Blackfoot, ID) made quite the effort to do so with goals in the 78th and 84th minutes.

Walla Walla 1 :: 0 Chemeketa
Emilio Meraz-Rodriguez (Pasco, WA) decided the outcome again with the lone goal in the 32nd minute on a ball from Dante Pennell (Meridian, WA). Henry Hernandez (Kennewick, WA) made three saves for the shutout.

Columbia Basin 1 :: 1 SW Oregon
Down a goal since the 39th, the Hawks got the equalizer 10 minutes from time via Israel Gonzalez (Grandview, WA).

North Idaho 1 :: 1 Portland
The Cardinals grabbed the lead when Koby Murphree (Coeur d'Alene, ID) scored in the 22nd minute on a ball from Kade Murphree (Coeur d'Alene, ID), but the Panthers pulled even for the draw in the second half.

Spokane 0 :: 0 Clark
For the second consecutive game the Sasquatch failed to get on the board - even with a man advantage for the entire second half. The defense, though, also kept the Penguins from finding the back of the net, allowing Raymond Ruano (Spokane Shadow MFT) to get the shutout with just one save.

Wenatchee Valley 1 :: 3 Everett
The Knights got on the board five minutes before intermission via Isidro Najera (Brewster, WA), but the Trojans rallied with three goals in the second half.

Tuesday, August 30

Walla Walla 3 :: 0 Edmonds
The Warriors rolled to the win with three different scorers on the day. Missael Lopez (Tieton, WA) tallied in the 17th and Emilio Meraz-Rodriguez (Pasco, WA) netted five minutes before the break. Cristian Torres (Milton-Freewater, OR) scored in the 57th. Henry Hernandez (Kennewick, WA) made three saves for the clean sheet.

Spokane 1 :: 1 Portland
After falling behind in the 35th, Jonny Cortez (Moses Lake, WA / Spokane Shadow MFT) finally broke through and ended the Bigfoot's scoring drought moments before halftime on a ball from Ethan Dreves.

Wednesday, August 31

Treasure Valley 2 :: 2 Puget Sound
The Chukars fell behind in the 13th but answered quickly when Gerardo Bartolo (Blackfoot, ID) connected with Austin Lucas (Mountain Home, ID). Bartolo later put TVCC in front in the 76th minute via Zabe Covarrubias (Kuna, ID), but SPS answered quickly themselves three minutes later.

Thursday, September 1

North Idaho 0 :: 6 Whitworth
The Cardinals only trailed by one at the break, but the quality and depth of the ranked DIII opposition proved too much in the second half.

Saturday, September 3

Treasure Valley 3 :: 4 Edmonds
Edmonds scored twice in the first half and pushed the lead to three a minute into the second period, but the Chukars still made things interesting with three goals as they attempted to rally Elia Kisimba (Boise, ID) scored in the 65th and 75th minutes and Hadir Saad (Twin Falls, ID) tallied in the 87th, but Edmonds' fourth strike in the 72nd minute stood as the winner.

North Idaho 1 :: 2 Tacoma
Tacoma's two goal advantage proved too much as Koby Murphree's (Coeur d'Alene, ID) strike in the 87th via Max Mularski (Coeur d'Alene, ID) was not enough for the comeback attempt.

Monday, September 5

Walla Walla 3 :: 0 Clark
After a scoreless first half, the Warriors rolled to the win with two goals from Missael Lopez (Tieton, WA) in the 65th and 90th on either side of a Juan Sanchez (Mountain Home, ID) strike. Jorge Llerenas (Pasco, WA) only made one save for the shutout.

Spokane 1 :: 2 Peninsula
Jonny Cortez (Moses Lake, WA / Spokane Shadow MFT) broke a stalemate in the 41st minute, but the Pirates answered three minutes into the second half to pull even and grabbed the win on an own goal as several Bigfoot players attempted to clear a ball away from the mouth of the goal.

Tuesday, September 6

Columbia Basin 6 :: 1 Clark
Juan Licea (Yakima, WA) scored three goals in the first half for a comminding lead. Jorge Marin (Cowiche, WA) tallied two minutes into the second half and then Jesus Delgado (Yakima, WA) netted twice for a six-goal lead just 52 minutes in.