Lake Washington High head coach Ashton Staudacher feels the sky’s the limit for her girls soccer squad this season.
With tons of talent and leadership across the board, the coach is confident in placing any Kang on her 20-player roster out on the pitch. It’s been cool to watch everyone playing a role and helping the team succeed this fall, she said.
At press time, the Kangs were atop the 2A/3A KingCo standings with a 5-1-0 record (6-1-1 overall) following a 3-0 victory over Juanita on Oct. 7.
“No matter if they’re playing 20 minutes a game or if they’re playing 80 minutes a game, it doesn’t matter. Everybody’s been bought in from day one, everybody’s treating each other like a family and everybody is contributing,” Staudacher said.
LW’s stats are loaded and the coach said that every player except for three (two are center backs and one is a goalkeeper) has contributed at least one goal or one assist.
“Pretty phenomenal for a 20-person roster. That’s gonna be really hard to beat no matter who we’re playing,” she said.
Some of the top scorers are seniors Alex Mueller and Jen Estes, juniors Ellie Pederson and Anna Schwisow and sophomores Kylie Jones and Savannah Walenczak. Mueller — who is a top-notch target on corner kicks and free kicks — tallied a hat trick against Mount Si and Estes has tallied about nine assists.
Senior center backs and captains Mueller and CC Maloof are playing solid ball on defense along with junior outside backs Ari Issa and Ashley Mead and junior goalkeeper Natalie Neils.
“This year, I think one big thing is that we are so connected as a team,” Issa said. “We’ve all known each other for a while. We’ve all been on teams together outside of high school soccer. Being together for so long, we feel like now we’ve finally brought it onto the field.”
Added Estes, who returned to the team after playing two years at the Crossfire Academy: “I love the atmosphere in high school soccer, playing in front of your friends and with all your friends from school.”
Estes and Maloof have committed to play soccer at Princeton University and Pepperdine University, respectively, and Mueller has committed to play lacrosse at the Naval Academy.
“I’m super excited to be back for my senior year. Freshman year and senior year, so I’m happy I get to play one last year before I head out to college,” said Estes, adding that she’s locked into her leadership role this season and enjoys playing her new midfield spot.
In midfield, she’s been adjusting to playing the ball quickly and learning when to pass and shoot. On the leadership front, she’s motivating and connecting with her teammates vocally and through her actions when the ball is in play.
By growing on and off the field and keeping on track during matches, Estes hopes the team can continue to achieve great things.
Following the Juanita match, Issa was beaming with excitement about what the Kangs are putting onto the pitch.
“It gets crazy, it’s awesome. It’s such a good feeling when there’s a crowd screaming. You have your team on the bench cheering for you,” she said. “Even on the field, it’s just such a great atmosphere to be in, just ‘cause everyone’s working together.”