NWAC East Update – September 8

The time has come. Divisional play is upon us. Here is a quick rundown of how things stand going into this weekend’s opening slate along with a quick round-up of the NWAC East Openers between North Idaho and Blue Mountain on Wednesday.


Blue Mountain – Last year’s leading scorer from the squad, Ryane Mattox (7g, 1a) is back for the Timberwolves, who racked up quite a few non-divisional wins in the preseason as they topped Portland, Everett, Southwest Oregon, Clackamas and division foe Wenatchee Valley with losses to Chemeketa and Truckee Meadows.
Columbia Basin – Success can be tough to follow up for the two-year programs. All of CBC’s top scorers are gone with returning players Janelly Verduzco (3g, 2a) and Violet Duran (3g, 1a) as the top offensive talent back in the mix. More importantly though may be the return of two of their three keepers in the form of Jayauna Keister (10 games) and Raquel Palmeira (4 games), which may be a primary reason why they swept their four preseason contests with all shutouts against Chemeketa, Edmonds, Portland and Tacoma.
North Idaho – Top scorer Teresa Ledezma (9g, 3a) is back in the lineup for the Cardinals, who went 4-2 in their preseason with wins against Green River, Portland, Chemeketa and Pacific Northwest Christian with one-goal losses to Peninsula and Western Wyoming.
Spokane – Several of the top scorers are gone, but number two Liz Soto (9g, 4a) is back along with number five – a defender – Madison Carr (3g). In official preseason games the Sasquatch topped Clackamas and drew Western Wyoming with a ‘loss’ to Peninsula on a day in which they had already played Western Wyoming.
Treasure Valley – There’s not much to calculate from the Chukars as they have only two sophomores on the squad and split their two preseason contests with a win against Shoreline and loss to Rogue. They were winless a year ago in the division.
Walla Walla – While CBC lost most of its top scorers, the Warriors still have most of theirs. Kaylin Bailey (14g, 12a) led the team last year with Chloe Bafus (6g, 3a) as the number two and the duo of Gracie Soto (3g, 1a) and Kate McGregor (3g) as rounding out the top six. The preseason results, though, were a bit mixed as they downed Southwest Oregon and South Puget Sound with a draw against Bellevue and losses to Skagit Valley and Tacoma.
Wenatchee Valley – The Knights posted just one win a year ago after returning from a two-year absence. In the preseason they fell in a non-league contest to Blue Mountain and Edmonds, but earned a draw against Pierce.
Yakima Valley – With only two sophomores in the squad, the Yaks are a wild card after finishing mid-table a year ago. As for the preseason they downed Whatcom but fell to Pierce.

Women’s Week 1 Poll… Following the preseason results, the first coaches poll reflecting this season’s results was issued earlier this week with the following – three of the top four all coming from the EAST:
2 – Columbia Basin (2 first place votes); 3 – CC Spokane; 4 – North Idaho; 10 – Blue Mountain; Receiving Votes: Walla Walla (4), Wenatchee Valley (1), Yakima Valley (1)

Other Notes – Athletes of the Week (first two)…
Week 1, Offensive – Blue Mountain, Ryane Mattox
Week 2, Offensive – Blue Mountain, Ella Needham


Wednesday, September 6

North Idaho 1-0 Blue Mountain… Freshman Rylee Wardle tallied her fifth goal of the campaign early in the second half with sophomore keeper Kaycee Chavez recording the clean sheet as the Cardinals outshot the hosts 9-2.
NIC: Rylee Wardle 48
NIC: SO – Kaycee Chavez, 2 saves

This Weekend:
Treasure Valley @ Yakima Valley
Spokane @ Walla Walla
Wenatchee Valley @ Columbia Basin


Blue Mountain – Top scorer Cristian Rea (5g) returns along with number four Moises Lopez Carrillo (3g), but the preseason did not go well. After downing Portland they fell to Pierce, Portland and Truckee Meadows with just one goal on the ledger.
Columbia Basin – The top two scorers are gone, but number three Gabriel Delgado (10g, 5a) was no slouch and is in the mix along with number four Diego Lopez (2g, 5a). The Hawks swept their preseason slate with wins against Rogue, Southwest Oregon and Tacoma, scoring three in each.
North Idaho – No players with at least two goals from their 3-6-3 squad a year ago are back, but is that indicative of anything? In the preseason they downed Edmonds but fell to Bellevue.
Spokane – A mid-table squad at 4-3-5 a year ago, the Sasquatch only had one player with more than four points on the season and he is not back. The only two-goal scorers back in the mix are Tyrell Malcom and Luis Rodriguez. The Bigfoot are a real wild card as they have no official preseason results, opting to play exhibitions against programs like Carroll and Whitworth.
Treasure Valley – With just one win a year ago, the Chukars have Mathieu Siwatwa (2g, 2a) and Dylan Lillywhite (2g) back, but their preseason results were mixed with a loss to South Puget Sound and a draw against Rogue.
Walla Walla – On the heels of CBC a year ago, the Warriors unfortunately are missing their top three scorers (two non-returning freshman), but the next three contributed quite well though in the form of Ricardo Contreras (5g, 5a), Nathan Alvarado (5g, 4a), Alejandro Cerritos (4g, 1a). Preseason left nothing but questions. Aside from a win against Chemeketa, they played to four draws against Highline, South Puget Sound, Pierce and Tacoma.
Wenatchee Valley – The Knights’ top and third scorer a year ago are non-returning freshman, but the rest of the top five were decent contributors in the form of Diego Zaldivar (4g, 2a), Oscar Chazalet (2g, 2a) and Gaetan Mainaud (1g, 4a). WVC split the preseason though with wins against Shoreline and powerhouse Peninsula but losses to Bellevue and Everett.

Men’s Week 1 Poll… Following the preseason results, the first coaches poll reflecting this season’s results was issued earlier this week with the following – two of the top four coming from the EAST:
1 – Columbia Basin (4 first place votes); 4(Tied) – Walla Walla; RV: Wenatchee Valley (4), Blue Mountain (4), North Idaho (3)

Other Notes – Athletes of the Week (first two)…
Week 2, Offensive – Walla Walla, David Campos


Wednesday, September 6

North Idaho 0-2 Blue Mountain… The duo of Cristian Rea and Dominic Sanchez combined with each other (goal, assist each) in the final seven minutes of the match to snag the late victory in a fairly tight contest that saw only four other shots on goal. Anthony Lemus was the beneficiary of the Cardinals being off target on most of their six shots, registering the shutout with one stop.
BMCC: Cristian Rea (Dominic Sanchez) 84
BMCC: Dominic Sanchez (Cristian Rea) 90
BMCC: SO – Anthony Lemus, 1 save

This Weekend:
Wenatchee Valley @ Columbia Basin
Spokane @ Walla Walla
College of Idaho @ Treasure Valley (non-league)