MARYSVILLE — The Marysville-Pilchuck girls soccer team took to the pitch Oct. 22 against Oak Harbor, and ran away with a 3-0 victory.
“I think our defense has been overlooked this year,” said Head Coach Paul Bartley. “We can put the ball in the goal, but our defense is the reason we are winning games.”
And the Tomahawks are winning a lot of games. The victory over Oak Harbor kept the Tommies in first place in the Wesco North with an 8-2 league record, and an 8-5 overall record.
“Our goalkeeper, junior Emily Dunston, has had an outstanding season. It’s her first year as a varsity starter and she has had four shutouts in our league games,” said Bartley. “Another sophomore, Bianca Acuario, is one of our leaders on defense, as is sophomore Makenna Stadum. Those three have been key to our defense, and how many goals we’ve allowed this year.”
While the Tommies’ strong defense is led by a junior and two sophomores, M-P’s offense is led by two seniors.
“We have two senior starters on the front line,” said Bartley. “Mackinzie Nolte and Amanda Klep are seniors and they are leading us in scoring. They are the two who scored last night. Amanda had two goals, and Mackinzie had one.”
Coach Bartley explained that everyone on the team saw some playing time against Oak Harbor. “Last night we played everybody. The entire bench played and they got some valuable minutes toward next year.”
Bartley also pointed out the stellar play of the team’s only freshman.
“Freshman Jessica Moskowitz has come in and been a really key player,” said Bartley. “She’s like a utility player, you can play her at any position and she seems to thrive. She has six assists off of deadballs and corners.”
Bartley said that his team had set a goal to win the North Division, and has to win one of the next three games to do that. One of those games, the last of the regular season, is an away game against crosstown rival Marysville Getchell on Oct. 30.
“We respect that program, they’re doing a great job,” said Bartley about the Chargers, who are currently in second place in the Wesco North with a league record of 8-3-2, and an overall record of 8-4-2.
“I think it is great that we have two schools in our own district that are No. 1 and No. 2 in the North,” said Bartley. “I hope we end up playing them in the District Championship. That’s what I would love to do.”
Bartley said that four teams from Wesco North will be moving on to the District tournament, although one of those teams may be knocked out by Ferndale. From the District tourney, the top three teams move on to the State tournament.
Looking forward to post-season play, Bartley said that the biggest concern is the little nagging injuries.
“Right now we’re playing some of our best soccer as a team. It would be nice to get everybody healthy for District.”
The Tommies faced off against Shorewood on Oct. 24 and lost 4-0. Their record now stands at 8-3 in league and 8-6 overall.