For the first time in recent memory, no Federal Way school district girls soccer team really threatened for a South Puget Sound League divisional championship.
But things should get better this season. The district returns a lot of talent and there is a strong group of incoming freshmen at Beamer, Jefferson, Federal Way and Decatur.
The Eagles look to be the best of the bunch, just like they were last season. Federal Way finished 2012 with an 8-2-6 record in the SPSL South, which was good for fourth place, and return plenty of talent. The Eagles eventually lost to Camas at the West Central District Tournament, 2-1.
Leading the list of returners is Gab Pelogi. Last season, as a sophomore, Pelogi led the Eagles in scoring with 17 goals and six assists. Pelogi continued her scoring barrage in Federal Way’s opening game this year by firing in a hat trick during a 5-0 win over Bethel.
Also back for the Eagles are Sydney Slagg, Audrey Shin, Samantha Cheever and Kayla Peterson, among others. Slagg finished with six goals and four assists, and Shin tallied four goals and five assists.
The Titans are hoping to rebound from last season. Beamer finished 6-7-3 a season ago and missed the postseason. That came after the Titans had won five SPSL South Division championships in the six previous seasons.
“I think we will find our way back toward the top of the SPSL South,” said head coach Joel Lindberg.
Beamer brings back talented forward Megan Anderson, who finished last season with eight goals and four assists for the Titans. Returning are seniors Taylor Crace (defense) and goalkeeper Casey Woehrle. Also back are junior midfielder Chaise Cole and sophomores Tivonna Tinsley (defense) and Kacia Rogalla (defense/midfield).
The defensive unit should be the strongest for Lindberg and the Titans. Beamer returns all of its defensive back line starters from a season ago.
“We have a positive, hard-working mentality,” Lindberg said. “If we can play our style of game and mentally stay tough, we will be very good.”
Leading the list of newcomers for the Titans will be talented freshman midfielder Ameera Hussen. Lindberg said Hussen will be a “great player to watch this year.”
“We are a young team,” Lindberg said. “We can get frazzled under pressure.”
It was an even tougher year for the Jefferson Raiders a season ago. The Raiders finished just 2-13-1 in the rugged SPSL North Division. But, like Beamer, Jefferson returns several players from last year.
Back for head coach Lauren Gehring are seniors Kaitlyn Harris (defense) and Kendra Wallace (goalkeeper), juniors Chentay Warnes (forward), Katelyn Bird (defense) and Katie Coronado (midfield/forward), along with sophomore Cassidy Lane (midfield/defense).
“We are a young team full of spirit and talent,” Gehring said. “If we are able to come together, we will be a very successful team.”
The Raiders also will feature three talented freshmen in Makaylie Moore, Kiersten Madsen and Jasmine Pleasants. Moore, a forward, might be the best of the bunch, according to Gehring.
“She is an amazing player,” she said. “She will be fun to watch.”
Decatur should also be improved from a season ago. The Gators finished with just two wins in the SPSL 3A Division, but bring back numerous players, including seniors Ericka Budinich and Sierra Shugarts.