Archive for the ‘Girls Soccer’ Category

Avalon Renninger was a team captain for the first Coupeville High School girls soccer team to win a playoff game. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Freshman Nezi Keiper earned Rookie of the Year honors.

Mallory Kortuem, who combines speed, toughness, and a deft touch with the ball, was named a First-Team All-League player by North Sound Conference coaches.

Mallory Kortuem made a very positive impression on folks.

The Coupeville High School senior was tabbed a First-Team All-League pick by North Sound Conference coaches, while also taking home her team’s Player of the Year award.

The Wolf midfielder/defender and her teammates were honored Tuesday night, as CHS coach Kyle Nelson closed out the season with a team awards banquet.

Kortuem’s fellow senior, defender Tia Wurzrainer, received Second-Team All-League honors and was named Most Inspirational in team awards.

Sophomore Noelle Daigneault (Most Improved) and freshmen Nezi Keiper and Carolyn Lhamon (Rookies of the Year) were also honored by Nelson.

Kortuem, Wurzrainer, and Avalon Renninger shared Captain honors, and the trio were joined by Anna Dion in receiving Four-Year awards for playing every season of their high school careers.


Varsity letter winners:

Knight Arndt
Mollie Bailey
Noelle Daigneault
Anna Dion
Natalie Hollrigel
Nezi Keiper
Mallory Kortuem
Carolyn Lhamon
Sophia Martin
Katelin McCormick
Mary Milnes
Anna Myles
Avalon Renninger
Audrianna Shaw
Eryn Wood
Tia Wurzrainer


JV certificates:

Megan Behan
Natalie Castano
Aurora Cernick
Brekyn Clark
Camryn Clark
Lily Leedy
Sam Streitler
Izzy Wells
Genna Wright



Ja’Kenya Hoskins

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Anna Myles leads off a group of CHS soccer portraits. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Megan Behan

Camryn Clark

Katelin McCormick

Noelle Daigneault

Lily Zustiak

No photo goes unused.

As each season plays out, local photographer John Fisken generally sends me head shot portraits of most, if not all, of Coupeville High School’s athletes.

How they’re used depends on the flow of the season, who has a strong game, who fits a certain story, etc.

Having reached the end of the CHS girls soccer season, I find myself with six portraits I haven’t used, so today you get a final smorgasbord of pitch-y pics.

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Genna Wright is one of the key players who can return for Coupeville High School girls soccer next season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The end doesn’t erase the journey.

The season came to a close Monday night for the Coupeville High School girls soccer team, as it fell 6-0 in Bothell to Cedar Park Christian.

With the loss, the Wolves were eliminated from the district playoffs and finish at 3-13-2 on the season.

But, after a campaign in which it was stung by injuries, including losing offensive juggernaut Genna Wright way back in the first half of the first game, CHS can look back on the season with pride.

The Wolves, with or without key starters, were very competitive each time on the pitch, and closed with some of their best efforts of the season.

Coupeville won two of its final three games, nipping Sultan 1-0 in a league tiebreaker, then bouncing Mount Baker 4-0 to capture the program’s first-ever playoff win.

CHS coach Kyle Nelson loses five quality seniors to graduation, with Avalon Renninger, Mallory Kortuem, Anna Dion, Tia Wurzrainer, and Natalie Hollrigel departing.

Renninger tallied 12 goals in her four years in a Wolf uniform, which puts her #5 on the career scoring chart, while Kortuem finishes as the #10 all-time scorer with six goals.

The cupboard isn’t bare, however, with Wright, who punched in 17 goals through her first two seasons, set to return for her senior season.

Other top players who can returning include goaltender Mollie Bailey, midfielders Sophia Martin, Carolyn Lhamon, Knight Arndt, and Audrianna Shaw, and defenders Nezi Keiper, Eryn Wood, and Mary Milnes.


2019 goal scorers:

Avalon Renninger – 6
Sophia Martin – 4
Anna Dion – 2
Mallory Kortuem – 2
Eryn Wood – 1
Tia Wurzrainer – 1

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Avalon Renninger scored Saturday as CHS girls soccer won for the first time in the playoffs. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Sophia Martin scored twice in a 4-0 rout of Mount Baker.

Mollie Bailey stands around like a pro.

The Coupeville High School soccer goaltender had relatively little to do Saturday, which is a great thing, indicating her teammates were dominating what would turn out to be a landmark win.

Sparked by a pair of goals from sophomore Sophia Martin, the Wolf booters filled the nets at a pace not previously seen this season, torching visiting Mount Baker 4-0 in a district playoff play-in game.

The victory, which lifts CHS to 3-12-2 on the season, is the first playoff win in program history.

It also propels the Wolves into another loser-out postseason battle, this one coming Monday, when Coupeville travels to Bothell to face Cedar Park Christian, which sits at 8-6 on the season.

Win there, and the pride of Central Whidbey moves into double-elimination territory, needing one win in two games to advance to bi-districts.

To see the district tourney bracket, pop over to:


Regardless of how Monday plays out, the Wolves made program history Saturday, and did it twice.

There was the win, yes, but Coupeville had to make a big step before getting there.

They had to score in the playoffs, something no CHS girls soccer team had done.

Over the last decade, the Wolf booters had played eight postseason bouts, three against Vashon Island, three against Meridian, and one each against Lynden Christian and Charles Wright Academy.

Along the way, while frequently forced to play on artificial turf, Coupeville had been outscored 22-0.

Jump forward to Saturday, and the Wolves were free to romp once again on the natural grass which covers Coupeville’s Mickey Clark Field.

They were still missing injured starters Genna Wright and Eryn Wood, but got Natalie Hollrigel and Sophia Martin back in uniform, and that paid dividends.

Moments after dropping a rival player on her rear on the opposite side of the field, ever-elusive Mallory Kourtuem set up a magical moment in time in front of Baker’s goal.

Sucking the defense to her, the CHS senior shielded the ball from her defender, then banged a quick shot into the middle of a mad scrum of players.

It wasn’t just a wild shot, but a pass with a purpose, as Kortuem’s laser landed exactly where she wanted it to be – on Martin’s toe.

Making a bang-bang play, the Wolf sharpshooter punched the ball into the left side of the net, burying the orb into the back of the net before the Mount Baker goalie could move.

Without probably knowing it, the CHS duo had made history, possibly bringing a sigh of sweet relief from their coach, Kyle Nelson, as he paced the sideline.

The Wolf head man had entered the afternoon well aware of Coupeville’s postseason scoring drought, something he was intent on ending.

Whether or not his players knew of their tango with history, they kept up the pressure on the field, thoroughly controlling the flow of the game.

Audrianna Shaw missed (but just barely) on a shot which slid to the left of the net, before Martin banged a shot which tore off a chunk of the cross bar but somehow refused to flop into the net.

She got her revenge a few moments later, however, connecting on her second goal of the day, spinning and chopping the ball over the goalie’s shoulder.

With the celebration in full effect, the Wolves were lights-out the rest of the way.

On offense, Coupeville tacked on a pair of second-half goals, with Anna Dion singing the net with her second score in as many games, before Avalon Renninger blew out the back of the net with a long bomb.

Her team-leading sixth goal of the season, it gives the exuberant Wolf senior 12 scores for her stellar career, which puts her fifth on the CHS girls career scoring list.

Plus it made Grandma and Grandpa Renninger, the most-faithful fans in town, very happy, so there’s that, too.

And Bailey?

She was content to be the loneliest girl in town, fielding just a handful of scattered shots, none of which came close to being halfway-dangerous.

Most of Bailey’s time was spent watching her defenders flex their biceps.

First exhibit: fierce frosh Nezi Keiper parking a Baker girl on her butt after administering a hip check which could be heard all the way up in the press box.

As the Wolf booters celebrated history in the moments after the game’s conclusion, Coupeville volleyball ace Maya Toomey-Stout, a big fan of big hits, wandered by, nodding her head approvingly.

“Hell yeah!!!” she said, and then she smiled.

It was a sentiment shared by one and all in Wolf Nation.

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Audrianna Shaw played big Thursday, as CHS soccer won a 1-0 thriller to earn a home playoff game. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Anna Dion, seen on Senior Night, scored the night’s only goal.

Home cookin’ paid off nicely.

Coupeville and Sultan played three high school girls soccer games this fall, with the host team coming out on top 1-0 each time.

Good news for Wolf fans? The final two meetings, including one Thursday night in a league tie-breaker, were played on Whidbey Island.

With a playoff berth at stake, CHS senior Anna Dion survived a wild scrum in front of the net in stoppage time, bashing in the night’s only goal in a must-win game.

With the victory, Coupeville, which sits at 2-12-2, earns the North Sound Conference’s fifth, and final, ticket to the postseason.

While Sultan is left to plan its awards banquet, the Wolves host the #4 seed from the Northwest Conference Saturday at Mickey Clark Field.

Kickoff is 1 PM, the game is free of charge to the public, and the opponent will be Mount Baker, which is 0-16 on the season.

The winner of Saturday’s royal rumble advances to play Cedar Park Christian in another loser-out district playoff game Monday in Bothell.

Thursday night’s tilt featured two very evenly-matched teams, especially with the Wolves missing injured starters Genna Wright, Natalie Hollrigel, and Sophia Martin.

Even minus that trio, Coupeville has a better offense than Sultan, but the Turks counter with senior goaltender Amanda McKay, who lets very, very little get past her.

“She is an awesome goalie,” said Coupeville coach Kyle Nelson. “I think she might be the best in the league.”

With the Wolves peppering her with shots, or, in the case of Avalon Renninger, flat-out blowing her up in an inadvertent collision (more on that later), McKay was under constant attack.

You’d never know it, however, as the Turk net-minder played calmly, moved smoothly, anticipated nearly everything, and gave her team a fighting chance.

On the opposite side of the field, Coupeville junior goalie Mollie Bailey didn’t face as many shots, but stood just as tall.

Playing for all the generations of her family which have worn the Wolf colors (spoiler: it’s a lot), the prairie legend dove for balls, deflected shots, and made a superb snag to deny a Turk corner kick which got dangerously close to hitting pay-dirt.

Bailey had help from her defense, anchored by old-school warrior Tia Wurzrainer and new-school sensations Nezi Keiper and Carolyn Lhamon.

Toss in Audrianna Shaw, who spent much of the night knocking Sultan players on their butt, and Coupeville was in full-on lock-down mode.

But while the Wolves kept one half of the scoreboard sitting with a nice big zero on it, all the shooters in the world didn’t seem able to break McKay.

Mallory Kortuem, zipping in and out of traffic, ball on her foot as she out-raced Turk defenders, crashed the net hard, while Renninger rifled high, arcing shots off of her golden left foot.

To which McKay replied, “Denied. Denied. And denied some more.”

Right after making a sensational diving save on a Kortuem shot with four minutes left in the first half, Sultan’s goalie found herself down on the ground and in a bit of a jam.

Renninger, rampaging in front of the net, went up and over McKay, doing a gymnast-worthy flip, only to see her foe vacuum up her potential game-busting goal while prone on the ground.

Popping back up, Coupeville’s effervescent captain stopped long enough to pat Sultan’s goaltender on the back, one classy competitor acknowledging another, then rambled off to create havoc elsewhere.

With the game knotted at 0-0 at the break, the teams, playing less than 24 hours after the regular-season finales, upped the intensity in the second half.

Renninger launched shot after shot, with a free kick from the left side of the field her best opportunity, but McKay wouldn’t break.

And neither would Bailey, one eye on the clock, one eye searching for any photographers who might be snapping her photo.

Casual fans were on the edge of their seats.

Die-hard soccer nuts were under their seats, pleading for a miracle.

And the game seemed destined to head to sudden-death overtime. Possibly even all the way to a penalty-kick shootout.

Neither goalie would crack.

Neither goalie would bend.

Neither goalie would be beaten.

Until it happened, with the clock frozen at 2:00, no one but the lead ref knowing how much time remained in regulation.

Launching a fierce assault on the net, Coupeville sent everyone in uniform (seemingly), while Sultan’s defenders made the kind of final stand made famous by the Spartans once upon a time.

As the scrum erupted, bodies were everywhere, arms swinging, legs pumping, the ball pinging from foot to knee, and then, in the madness, a heroine arose.

Dion, whose brilliant scientific mind will carry her far, has devoted the past four years of her life to the CHS soccer program, a role player willing to sacrifice for others, always the first to celebrate the accomplishments of her teammates.

She’s scored in three of her four seasons, missing out just as a sophomore, but, at a little before 6 PM on a balmy Whidbey Thursday night late in October, 2019, she created the moment which will cement her legacy with Wolf fans.

The ball disappeared into a sea of humanity, McKay lunged, and Anna “The Turk Killer” Dion, fighting just to stay on her feet in the crush, slid her foot under the ball and slapped it past the incoming Sultan goalie.

For one moment, one small, shining slice of time, everything went dead quiet.

And then utter bedlam broke, as Dion’s shot was welcomed by the back of the net, and Anna herself went to the ground, mobbed by a pack of teammates intent on crushing her in their glee.

The stadium shook, the pitch quaked, and, off on the far sideline, Coupeville’s coach, the coolest cat in Cow Town, nodded ever so slightly and smiled, but just a bit.

Ever the strategist, Nelson knew there were still a few ticks left on the clock, a small shard of time for the Wolf defense to withstand a final Turk assault.

If he worried, he need not have bothered, as his hyped-up squad retained control of the ball after Dion’s score, refusing to give Sultan a chance.

Instead, the Wolves rattled off two more shots on goal of their own before the final whistle blared.

Neither went in, but it mattered not.

Anna Dion had already conquered the world, and taken her team along for the wild ride.

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