Girls soccer players to watch

SARAH JENKINS

Cascade, midfielder

The Bruins are poised to make some real noise in 2012 and just how much is likely going to be a direct result of the efforts of Jenkins.

She is the best representation of a Cascade team that has risen during her career from the bottom half of the league to team that should contend for a league title this season. She has started every varsity game since she stepped onto campus and is entering her third year as a captain.

The dangerous midfielder was first-team all Wesco South and second on the Bruins in scoring. She has verbally committed to play soccer next fall at Division II Northwest Nazarene. Bruins Coach Jamie Gay thinks she can do it all on the field.

“She’s a big presence around the ball,” he said. “She wants the ball. We get her the ball a lot…We want the ball to go through her because she’s going to keep possession and create scoring opportunities for us. She’s an excellent defender out of our midfield.”

MORGAN GREEN

Snohomish, midfielder

It can be daunting for a player to try and make her presence felt when she is small in stature and waiting behind a large group of talented seniors, but that is exactly what Green has done the past two season for the Panthers. Steady and quietly deadly, Green was a first-team all Wesco performer in 2011 and a big reason that Snohomish finished easily atop the North.

“She’s kind of one of those silent leaders,” Snohomish coach April VanAssche said. “She shows it more than she says it, which is why she has so much respect from our team. And last year she was a junior with nine seniors and she definitely became one of our leaders that we turned to.” Her task this year as one of two seniors will be to rally a young Panther squad that suffered a disappointing end to 2012, outside of the state tournament.

“She’s gained so much experience already that she’s going to be ready for anything that comes at us and will help the rest of the girls get through those times.”

CALI CRISLER

Archbishop Murphy, midfielder

First-year girls coach Mike Bartley inherited a Cadillac in the Murphy girls team after coaching the Jackson girls in 2011. Not only in the team as a whole but in top returnees senior forward Shelby Koch and Crisler. “(They) are the engines.” Bartley said.

Crisler is perhaps the most exciting player in the area at any level, with her barrage of skills and shots that she can unleash on opponents from seemingly anywhere over the midfield stripe.

“Her ability to shoot from range will make her really lethal in this league. So that’s what we are going to use,” Bartley said.

The Wildcats coach is very familiar with the Crisler family, having coached her brother Jalen before and played soccer with her mother and father. What’s most impressive about Crisler? “Her composure,” Bartley said. “She’s used to playing at a high level so I think she helps everybody play at that level. Her and Shelby are similar in that regard.”

KIAYA PAULSEN

Lake Stevens, goalkeeper

Lake Stevens coach Andy Knutson is already dreading the departure of his senior keeper, before the season has even begun. Paulsen (above) stepped in for an injured upperclassmen as a freshman and has controlled the nets for the Vikings ever since. During the team’s Wesco North second-place finish a year ago, Paulsen averaged 0.6 goals allowed per game.

“She’s tough,” Knutson said. “She’s a great combination of toughness and hard work She’s willing to do what it takes.”

Paulsen plans to play at the next level and is juggling offers from Division II and low-level Division I Schools. Because Paulsen is so steady, Knutson and Lake Stevens are able to be more aggressive on offense.

“She just makes it so you can rest easy. We probably do take more chances with her back there because we have so much faith in her,” Knutson said.

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