MARYSVILLE — The Marysville-Pilchuck Tomahawks are gearing up for the soccer season, and with 14 returning varsity players they are more prepared than ever for a successful year.
“We have 14 returning from last year, and we have five seniors this year,” said Head Coach Paul Bartley, who noted that the girls had a taste of the post-season in 2012. “We played in districts last year and lost in double overtime to Shorecrest. We beat Shorewood and lost 1-0 to Stanwood. We tied for second in the North last year and Everett was first. This year, the girls are excited. They have more experience and are very tight-knit.”
Tommies to watch this season include Mackenzie Nolte and Amanda Klep, both seniors who competed as members of the Northwest Nationals select team during the summer.
“The people to look for are forwards Mackenzie Nolte and Amanda Klep, center-mid Makenna Steadum, a sophomore, and goalkeeper Emily Dunston, a junior,” said Bartley. “Makenna made second team all-conference as a freshman, and Amanda and Mackenzie were first team all-conference. This is the first season for Emily as a starting goalie.”
The number of experienced athletes on the Tomahawks’ roster will help them accomplish their goals for this season.
“We plan right now to be first in the North and play a District 1 Championship game,” said Bartley. “During the summer we did a lot of team building and included everyone. Amanda and Mackenzie played for Northwest Nationals and did very well this summer, competing in a big tournament in California. The thing that’s so exciting to me is that these girls have played together for years, and they are both captains along with outside defender Carly Fritz. In fact, three of the girls were on the same 4x100 relay team that took sixth in state last year — Amanda, Mackenzie and Bianca Acuario, who plays center defense for us. That’s the great thing about this team, they all get along really well and they’ve competed together for years.”
The first game for the Tomahawks is a non-conference away match against Meadowdale on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 7:30 p.m., but that’s not the game that Bartley is most anticipating, considering a family rivalry.
“The second game of the season is against Archbishop Murphy, and my brother is the coach down there,” he said, noting that his brother, Michael Bartley, has coached for Eastside Catholic, Meadowdale and Jackson in previous years. “This is his second year at Archbishop Murphy, and when we played them last year we lost 2-1. Which isn’t bad considering that they went to the second round in the state tournament. The private school draws people that want to play at a high level of athletics.”
The Tomahawks will host the Wildcats on Thursday, Sept. 12, in a home game starting at 7:30 p.m.