Lake Washington’s Savannah Walenczak, right, moves the ball up field against Eastlake’s Maia Tabion during a Sept. 12 match, which was suspended after a scoreless first half because of lightning. Andy Nystrom/ staff photo

Lake Washington’s Savannah Walenczak, right, moves the ball up field against Eastlake’s Maia Tabion during a Sept. 12 match, which was suspended after a scoreless first half because of lightning. Andy Nystrom/ staff photo

Lake Washington and Juanita girls soccer squads take the field

Kirkland teams get their kicks in 3A KingCo conference.

Every game matters, especially the little moments.

Lake Washington senior captain and center back Alex Mueller feels that assessment of what transpires on the soccer pitch will all contribute to the big picture of scoring goals and reaping success.

“I’m super excited about this year. We’ve been working really hard. Ever since the first day of tryouts to today, (we’ve) just gotten better every single day. We’ve grown as individuals, athletes and as a team,” Mueller said. “I have high expectations for this team and I think that a lot of other people do as well, and I think that we will be able to fulfill those expectations.”

Head coach Ashton Staudacher said the Kangs sport a talented and experienced squad, which has set a goal of winning 3A KingCo and advancing deep into the state tournament.

Goal scoring will be one of the team’s strengths this season, Staudacher said. “We have so many players that can contribute to this and it’s going to make it hard for other teams to stop us,” she added.

The Kang coach said that staying together and playing for one another will be keys to the team’s success. Joining the squad this season after playing for the Crossfire Academy are senior forward Jen Estes, senior center back Cece Maloof, sophomore holding midfielder Savannah Walenczak and sophomore forward/midfielder Kylie Jones.

Staudacher wants her players to compete and display their best effort along with having fun.

“My coaching philosophy is to always make sure these kids leave my program better people. We focus on being responsible, being kind and working hard. High school soccer is such a unique experience that these kids will cherish forever,” she said.

JUANITA

Head coach Lynn Glenn said the Rebels aim to be a defensive force and crack the back of the net more than last season.

“We have a young, quality team, with only seven varsity seniors, and the possibility of mid-year callups from JV of other younger players,” said Glenn, noting that he’s excited about this second year of a two-year program rebuild and the Rebels sport solid players on the C team and JV squad as well.

Leading the way for Juanita on varsity will be senior center back Karley Anderson, senior forward Madison Rizer, sophomore goalkeeper Lily Johnston and sophomore midfielder Leah Tanner.

Glenn uses the game to teach life lessons and bases his coaching philosophy on the saying, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Another key element is “to foster a love of soccer, so that our coaching staff inspires a passion for the game so great that it finds these young ladies playing or coaching as they get older,” he said.

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