Oct 3, 2012

Dominant Peninsula women an easy No. 1

These rankings are the opinion of just one man, and do not reflect the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges or any of their sponsors. If you have a question or comment on this or any story for John Howard, send him an email , contact him via twitter , or leave a comment below. 

NWAACC Women's Soccer

The Northern Region is turning out to be quite the entertaining race. As of October 2nd, five teams are within two points of one another, and  three are tied for the lead. In the other regions the top two or three teams have begun to put some distance between themselves and the competition, especially in the East, where the bottom three squads have given up a combined total of 124 goals so far. In case you missed a thing or two, here are a few quick and easy tidbits to get you caught up:

Soaring team of the week: Clackamas (4-0-0) 12-0 Goal Advantage, +6 in rankings
Freefall team of the week: Wenatchee Valley (0-3-0) 2-23 Goal Advantage

Score of the week: Spokane 13, Yakima Valley 1
Bore of the week: Olympic 0, Highline 0

For news and notes on NWAACC soccer throughout the season, follow @JowardHoward on twitter or search #nwaaccsoccer. View the coaches rankings here.


1. Peninsula (11-0-0) (6-0-0 West)
No. 1 Coaches
 Previously ranked: No. 1, No. 1 Coaches

The numbers that Peninsula has been putting up so far have been absolutely absurd. They've put in 58 goals, nearly double the next team behind them. That ridiculous total might serve to mask that the Pirates have been "slipping" defensively as of late, allowing six goals through five matches and keeping just one clean sheet. That said, Peninsula has outscored them 26-6 in that time, so it doesn't really matter. One impressive thing about Peninsula is that they don't have one player doing all their scoring for them. They're led by Briana Afoa's seven scores, but they also have a player with six, five and four player with four goals apiece. Talk about a balanced attack. 


2. Whatcom (6-1-1) (3-1-1 North)
No. 6 Coaches
Previously ranked: No. 4, No. 8 Coaches

Since the 2-1 loss to Lane on September 15th, Whatcom has gone 3-0-1, the one stalemate being a 1-1 draw (box) with No. 7 Shoreline. Whatcom easily dispatched Chemeketa and Green River, and scored midway through the first half in a shutout over Clark. They sit right behind Peninsula in goal differential, outscoring their opponents 29-6 through their first eight games, but they'll have to jump a massive hurdle to keep their ranking: they're set to visit No. 3 Clackamas on October 5th. If that's not game of the week, I don't know what is. 


3. Clackamas (6-2-0) (5-1-0 South)
No. 3 Coaches
Previously ranked: NR, No. 5 Coaches

After a little bit of a rocky start, Clackamas has been absolutely on fire. On September 19th, they badly outplayed then No. 2 Lane (box), putting in two goals which, at the end of the day, counted for two thirds of the goals let in by Lane to that point in the season. They then shut out Green River 2-0 (box) and punched SW Oregon in the mouth to the tune of 5-0. A few days later, Clackamas followed up with a 3-0 victory (box) over Skagit Valley that shouldn't have been that close. Notice a theme? Yeah, shutouts. The Cougars haven't allowed a goal since their 5-1 defeat of Edmonds, and they've only let in four goals all season, which is tied for the best in the NWAACC. Clackamas is lead offensively by freshman Tayler Ficek, who paces the entire league with 11 goals, and is a scoring threat literally every time she touches the ball. 


4. Spokane (5-1-2) (4-1-1 East)
No. 2 Coaches
Previously ranked: No. 3, No. 3 Coaches

After starting off strong defensively, Spokane finally opened the floodgates on the offensive end of the pitch, blowing away Yakima Valley 13-1 (box), a game in which forward Lateashea Currie either scored or assisted on six of the first seven scoring plays, and finished with five goals and three assists. A few days later, however, Spokane returned to their offensively stunted ways in a narrow 1-0 victory over Tacoma before drawing with Walla Walla. They finally picked up their first loss when they visited Peninsula and fell short of climbing out of a 3-1 deficit to lose 3-2 (box), but these last two weeks have shown that Spokane does have the ability to score, they just don't do it very often. 


5. Bellevue (6-2-0) (4-1-0 West)
No. 7 Coaches
Previously ranked: No. 7, No. 7 Coaches

Bellevue finally got the good looking victory they were in want of in a 1-nil victory over No. 8 Walla Walla, their first over a ranked opponent. Bellevue will of course have trouble keeping up with Peninsula, but they've begun to separate themselves, however slightly, from the rest of the region. That separation stalled a little on September 26th in a 2-1 defeat at home to the hands of Tacoma, but if Bellevue continues to look how they have through most of the season, that loss should just be a temporary setback. At least until October 17th when Peninsula comes to visit. 


6. Lane (6-1-2) (5-1-0 South)
No. 5 Coaches
Previously ranked: No. 2, No. 4 Coaches

Lane has been nearly perfect defensively, thanks to a league leading six shutouts from goalkeeper Samantha Schoene, who has let in a league best four goals (tied with Clackamas) so far this season. The issue is that Lane has scored only 11 times this season, which is tied for seventh worst in the league. All the other teams that have that much trouble scoring (10 or fewer goals) combine for a record of 8-35-6, making Lane a huge exception, most of which comes from their stellar goalkeeping. However, in order to be able to compete with the top teams in the league, Lane will need somewhat of a scoring threat to keep opponents from simply pressing them the entire game. Maybe their solution is Schoene herself. During the game against Edmonds, she got the shutout AND scored a goal. That's goalkeeping like a boss.


7. Shoreline (4-2-1) (3-1-1 North)
NR Coaches
Previously ranked: No. 6, No. 6 Coaches

Things are tight at the top of the Northern Region, with three teams tied at 10 points apiece and those three teams all beating up on one another. What gives Shoreline the edge over Everett, who they lost to 1-0 on September 19th, is the better overall record and the dramatically better goal differential. Shoreline also got a draw out of a strong Whatcom team who will most likely assert themselves as the leaders out of the North in the coming weeks. The North will be a battle right to the finish, but from how things look now, Shoreline has a much more balanced squad in comparison to their northern compatriots  excluding Whatcom.  

8. Walla Walla (4-2-2) (3-1-2 East)
No. 4 Coaches
Previously ranked: No. 8, No. 2 Coaches

The last time that Walla Walla had a record this bad was... uh... exactly. The NWAACC doesn't have stats online that date back that far. And while at first it seemed like Walla Walla would be right back to their good old selves, the last week was one game away from horrendous for Walla Walla. They started off with a good-natured 10-1 smashing (box) of Treasure Valley. That's when things started to fall apart, as they fell to Bellevue 1-0 before drawing with both Spokane and Highline. Is Walla Walla's dynasty over? Maybe not. They're still in the hunt for the Eastern Region title.

Teams added: Clackamas
Teams dropped: Columbia Basin

1 comment:

  1. New poll today? I look forward to it. Interested to see your take on Whatcom's 0-0 draw with Everett and Clackamas' big win over Lane.
    A Fan