Edmonds-Woodway senior Ben Hanson is The Herald’s 2023 All-Area Boys Soccer Player of the Year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Edmonds-Woodway senior Ben Hanson is The Herald’s 2023 All-Area Boys Soccer Player of the Year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

The Herald’s 2023 Boys Soccer Player of the Year: Ben Hanson

The Edmonds-Woodway senior’s scoring and leadership helped propel the Warriors to a fourth-place finish in the 3A state tournament.

Ben Hanson was the main catalyst for what was one of the deepest postseason runs in Edmonds-Woodway boys soccer history.

Hanson’s dominant year as the Warriors field general helped fuel them towards an undefeated 14-0-1 regular season record and a trip to the Class 3A state semifinal round.

The midfielder’s busy season saw him account for 29 total points (16 assists, 13 goals), and earned him Offensive Player of the Year honors in the Wesco 3A/2A league.

For his accomplishments, Hanson is The Herald’s 2023 All-Area Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

After getting knocked out in the round of 16 in the 2022 3A state tournament, Hanson fully equipped himself to be the team’s lead playmaker as a senior.

The Warriors’ fourth place finish at state in 2023 marked the second final four appearance for Edmonds-Woodway since 1990.

“He’s always had a unique ability over his career to be able to run downhill on guys offensively,” Warriors head coach Jason Hanson said.” He’s always been kind of a finisher. But this year in particular, he really demonstrated his willingness to create for others. He put together a really complete offensive season, and helped lead us in some really key moments.”

Hanson more than tripled his assist numbers from his junior year, when he connected on 18 goals and totaled five helpers.

E-W’s magical postseason run into the semis was filled with tight battles throughout the Warriors’ most pivotal games.

The Warriors state-clinching regular-season finale on May 1 against Everett sealed E-W’s first Wesco league title in 20 years. Hanson delivered a game-tying goal in the 76th minute, setting up a header off a free kick to teammate Kincaid Sund in overtime as E-W escaped with a 4-3 win on senior night.

“We couldn’t even afford to tie that game,” Ben Hanson said. “With about 20 minutes to go, something just kinda clicked and I basically decided that we weren’t gonna lose this game. I just played all over the field, just hunting down the ball. Everyone wanted that victory really bad. That was definitely my favorite moment.”

After graduating a senior-heavy group from 2022, Jason Hanson, Ben’s father, was tagged as Woodway’s newest head coach before the start of the season. Jason had coached Ben for nine years for the select program, FC Edmonds.

“Before the year, I knew we’d have a good team and compete well in Wesco, but I didn’t know how we’d stack up against the rest of the state,” Ben Hanson said. “We had a new starting lineup and a lot of new guys. With my dad coming in to coach, I knew it’d be a great season for us, but I had no idea we could end up making the run that we did.”

At the end of the year, the Warriors finished with a 18-3-2 overall record in Jason Hanson’s first season at the helm and Ben Hanson was named to the Washington State High School Soccer Coaches Association All-State team.

“I knew we had put in the work and I knew I had laid a foundation for him,” Jason Hanson said. “He took his game to the next level on his own, just by having that desire and natural talent. To be in this place where he’s being recognized as the player of the year, it’s a pretty great feeling.”

Ben Hanson was a full-time student in Edmonds-Woodway’s IB program, as well as a member of the varsity basketball team. He plans to go to Washington State University in the fall to study Business and Sports Management.

Jason Hanson worked in the Seattle Supersonics and Seattle Storm marketing departments from 2004-08.

“I find that job to be very cool,” Ben Hanson said. “My dad wasn’t able to do that anymore when they moved to Oklahoma City, but that’s kinda my inspiration for going into business and sports management. I’m super excited about that, and I think it’ll be a fun experience.”

Although the goal of playing college ball was always high on Ben Hanson’s list of goals, he said that he wants to focus on his education, at least for the time being. Currently, he plans on staying in shape through intramural competition, with the possibility of joining a club team.

“If I started to feel like I really missed soccer, then I could definitely see there being a possibility of going somewhere where I could play, but as of now I don’t have any plans for that.”

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