Auburn Mountainview hopes to enjoy the view in SPSL 3A
Auburn Mountainview last won a South Puget Sound League (SPSL) 3A title in 2011.
The Lions, now 9-1-0 overall and 4-0-0 in SPSL 3A, appear to have the pieces in place for another run. As usual, it looks like Bonney Lake poses the biggest threat.
AMV beat the Panthers 1-0 on Oct. 1 and the rematch will measure the Lions’ progress when the travel to face Bonney Lake (7-1-1, 3-1-0) again on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m.
“We started with a really good team last year, and that first league game, we had four starters injured by halftime,” said Lions’ coach Cary Davidson, the program’s only coach, whose 2012 team was 9-6-1. “Our whole midfield was gone and one of forwards was out. We struggled the rest of the year without those players. And, one of those was (an ankle injury to) Madi Clarkson, who’s a really good player.
“(Bonney Lake) always seems to get good players. They have quality players every single year.”
The Lions have a strong group of seven seniors, led by Utah-bound Madi Clarkson in the midfield. Clarkson returned in the postseason, but “limped around the playoffs,” according to Davidson.
“She can play anywhere on the field,” Davidson said of his star player, who has four goals and two assists. “She’s the most complete player to play here (in nine years). It’s hard to knock her off the ball.”
Clarkson, the team’s central midfielder, possesses “speed and strength.” She also has a 4.0 GPA.
The group of senior talent doesn’t stop there.
Leading the defense is senior Sophie Wagner, who will play at the University of Chicago in 2014. The team’s top scorer, forward Viktoriya Vasina (7 goals, 1 assist), will play at Central Washington University next fall. Vasina didn’t play last season.
Rounding out the senior group are goalkeeper Anastasia Finney, forward Delene Colburn and midfielders Nicole Carter and Madison Newell. Colburn is an accomplished fastpitch pitcher.
With a healthy lineup, Davidson is hoping for a top finish and school-best state showing.
“The top three teams in our league can compete in any league,” he said. “I’ve had some really good players, but just not all at one time. We’ve always been right there. We we’ve gone to state we’ve always had one-goal losses mostly.
“We’ve never made it out of the first round. Really, the girls want to get to the state tournament and get past that first round.”
The Lions need more goals as they set a school-record for least goals with 26 in 2012.
“In the end that was our demise,” Davidson said.
Auburn Mountainview lost 2-1 to Mercer Island in 2009 and 1-0 to Everett in 2006 in first-round state matches.