Indians hope to be 'very good again'
The Scappoose girls soccer team successfully made the jump to the Class 5A Northwest Oregon Conference last season, losing only one conference match and qualifying for the playoffs.
Seven starters, including three who were first-team all-conference selections in 2018, are back from the team that lost to Corvallis in the first round last fall.
"I'm very hopeful we can be very good again," Indians coach Summer Jark said, pointing to central midfield, speed at the back and multiple scoring threats as areas of strength for her 2019 team.
Many of the seniors and juniors aspire to play soccer beyond high school.
"These juniors and seniors are very driven. They work hard. They want to play in college," Jark said.
The Indians will return six field starters and the NWOC's all-league goalkeeper in senior Faith Woodall.
Senior defensive midfielder Emma Jones and junior forward Tessa Davidson also were first-team all-conference last season.
The position where Scappoose lost the most to graduation was central defense, where Lauren Whisenhunt was a co-player of the year in the conference in 2018 and Shayna Redpath a second-team all-conference performer.
But Jark said she is confident in the players who will step into those shoes. Juniors Rylee Cook and Autumn Terry will fill central defensive spots. Both started as outside backs and were all-conference honorable mention last season.
Jark expects her team to be strong in midfield, where Jones will by joined in the middle by juniors Anika Havlik and Grace Negelspach. Havlik received all-conference honorable mention last season. Senior Taryn Verzino returns as a starter on the right side of midfield. Junior Cailyn Tindall will start on the left side.
The new starting right back will be sophomore Sydney Hanke, and the new right back will be sophomore Kiera Fagan.
Davidson is the first-choice striker but also can play as an attacking midfielder. Senior Tess Conway and sophomore Fagan are among the attacking options for the Indians.
"I think we will be strong defensively again," Jark said. "We've very possession-minded. I think our possession will be good. We don't rely heavily on one person to score goals."
Many of the Indians play competitive club soccer, including Davidson, Cook and Fagan, who have played for FC Portland teams in the Elite Club National League.
Many of them are multi-sport athletes. Jones, Hanke, Conway and Havlik were on the Scappoose 4x400-meter relay team that made it to the state meet in the spring. Jones and Conway also wrestle.
Players in reserve roles to start the season include senior Marisa Bradley, sophomores Tatum Boogman, Karlynn Kenny and Karly Murray and freshman Gabrielle Hanke. Freshmen Sydney Edson and Addison Stoddard might split time between varsity and JV.
After dominating the 4A Cowapa League, Scappoose found the Northwest Oregon Conference to be competitive top to bottom.
"We were pleased with making playoffs," Jark said. "It was a big big jump from 4A. Every game was competitive. Every game was way more intense. We really liked that."
Another thing the coach likes about the second go-around is that the personnel and tactics of conference opponents is not the mystery it was entering 2018.
And she is excited that tougher opponents such as Wilsonville, La Salle Prep, Hillsboro and Putnam will visit Scappoose this season.
Those four teams all play on artificial turf, so the Indians' homefield edge includes being one of only two schools in the league that plays soccer on natural grass. In the preseason 5A coaches top 10, Wilsonville was ranked No. 5, Hillsboro No. 8 and La Salle Prep No. 9. Scappoose was one point out of the top 10 in the poll.
Scappoose opens its season with seven September nonconference matches, beginning on Sept. 3 against Central of Monmouth in what will be the first of three consecutive home games.
The Indians' conference play starts with a big challenge against Wilsonville at home on Oct. 9.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.