PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles has added some multi-sport athletes to a Roughriders’ girls soccer roster loaded with returnees this fall. Pace is the keyword for a team laden with some speedy options.
“We are going to be pretty zippy when it comes to speed and quickness,” Port Angeles head coach Scott Moseley said. “I hope the zippiness can be connected to good soccer. We want to put pressure on teams based on pace.”
Junior Millie Long, the Class 2A state-champion hurdler and two-time All-Peninsula Girls Soccer MVP, is back up top at forward.
Port Angeles senior midfielder Delaney Wenzl (five goals, five assists) and senior defender Lucah Folden were second-team All-Olympic League selections last season.
Folden will be bolstered in defense with seniors Bella Money and Kiana Watson-Charles, both of whom started last season.
Sophomores Catie Brown (four goals, one assist), Bailee Larson (four goals, five assists) and Mia Gagnon also return for the Riders.
Larson will be called on in midfield to help replace the production of Krysten McGuffey (12 goals, 12 assists), now playing in midfield for the Peninsula College Pirates.
Senior goalkeeper Maddie Roening will be back between the posts for Port Angeles.
The Riders have added juniors Hannah Reetz and Jada Cargo-Acosta to the squad. Both are multi-sport athletes.
And freshman Anna Petty will start on the varsity in the defensive central-midfield.
Moseley is high on Petty’s potential.
“She will make a seamless transition into high school soccer,” Moseley said. “She’s been playing club soccer for Kitsap Alliance in Silverdale.”
The 2018 Riders beat a Klahowya team that advanced to the Class 1A semifinals, improved their Olympic League record and then…fell flat in the district tournament to miss out on another state tournament trip.
“We feel like we can compete but last year when we got to districts we didn’t have it,” Moseley said.
“We are hoping the improved maturity can push us over that edge and get back to the state tournament. It’s a big talking point for us. We want to get [to state] again.”
Port Angeles (2A)
• Coach: Scott Moseley, 11th season.
• Last year: 13-9-0 overall, 8-4-0 third in Olympic League; lost in district playoffs.
• Player to watch: Millie Long (jr., F)
• Returners: Delaney Wenzl (sr., MF).; Lucah Folden (sr., D); Madi Roening (sr., GK); Catie Brown soph., F; Bailee Larsen, soph., F; Teagen Clark, soph., D; Mia Gagnon, soph., MF
• Newcomers to watch: Anna Petty (fr., D/MF)
• Outlook: The Riders are talented offensively and return an experienced and deep back line and goalkeeper. Port Angeles must replace the production of distributor/playmaker McGuffey in the middle, but Larson proved she could find teammates last season.
Anything less than a top four league finish and a return to the district playoffs would be a disappointment for a team with a goal of making it back to the state tournament — and staying around for awhile.
“My top four — not in any order — NK, PA, Sequim and Olympic,” Moseley said of the Olympic League title chase.
“Anybody can win key games, anybody can win the league title.”
Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or [email protected]