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Mavericks made huge waves in varsity debut last year, ready for the next step in '19

TIMES FILE PHOTO - Mountainside goalie Sidney OBillovich was a second-team all-Metro League selection last year.

Mountainside's girls' soccer made a mockery of a varsity newcomer not being ready for primetime.

The Mavericks destroyed the myth that a newly minted Metro League entry couldn't compete at the state level, too. In its inaugural season at the varsity level Mountainside made a sizable splash, beating Sunset not once but twice including a 1-0 thriller in the Class 6A quarterfinals, finished the year with 13 wins and reached the 6A semifinals. 

While some of Mountainside's other athletic programs understandably were learning how to crawl, then walk, the Mavs hit the ground running. After consecutive losses to Jesuit and Westview midway through the year, Mountainside found its stride, winning six straight before falling to the Crusaders in the postseason rematch. Jesuit is again great, though maybe not the all-time juggernaut that it was last year. Mountainside brings back literally every single player off last year's squad, seeing that the school didn't have a senior class. Senior forward Nedya Sawan is the reigning 6A Player of the Year and Gatorade Player of the Year. She's a goal-scoring machine who commands a double team with the ball in her possession, which opens up opportunities for others. The University of Portland commit is Mountainside's engine, but she's not alone. Senior defender Bethany Newton, sophomore midfielder Emma Rogers, junior defender Izzie Carrington and senior goalie Sidney O'Billovich were all second-team All-Metro selections. Junior forward Stella Bauman was honorable mention All-Metro and head coach Travis Schoonover was named Metro Coach of the Year. Carrington and Jesuit senior Callan Harrington might be the two fastest players in Metro. O'Billovich is a fearless protector between the post who can make the improbable save look routine. 

The debut drew rave reviews. The encore could be even better with so much talent still in the fold.

"We expect to be competing for a league title and state title," Schoonover said. "It will, of course, take a little luck but we feel we are one of the top five or six teams in the state."

Metro is talented with a variety of different teams. Jesuit, Sunset, Westview, Aloha and Mountainside all made the playoffs last season and four of those said squads reached the second round at least. The Mavericks hope to take the next step, be it beating Jesuit, finishing with a higher playoff seed, winning a state crown, or all three. The Crusaders won't let Mountainside have anything easy, however. 

"I think Jesuit is still the top group in the league and state but we should finish similar to where we did last year (tied for second)," Schoonover said. "Jesuit has quite a few returning players. Many of their players are already committed to Division One colleges. The league has three or four of top ten teams in the state in my opinion, it is one of the better leagues in the state."

TIMES FILE PHOTO - Mountainside senior forward Nedya Sawan was the Class 6A and Gatorade Player of the Year last year.

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