Posts Tagged ‘Aram Leyva’

Aram Leyva celebrated his birthday by banging home a hat trick Tuesday as Coupeville soccer romped to a 5-1 road win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

First things first – they’re going to the playoffs.

The bracket for the boys soccer district tournament was posted Tuesday, and it shows five teams from the North Sound Conference qualifying, with the other three slots being filled by the Northwest Conference.

With Granite Falls having abandoned its program this year, that guarantees the five NSC schools still playing are all postseason-bound.

So, instead of fighting for a playoff berth, Coupeville will spend the next month vying for seeding and the chance to open the postseason at home.

Or, in the case of the Wolves, close to home up in Oak Harbor, since playoff games have to be contested on turf fields.

Five of eight teams will advance from districts to bi-districts, the last stop before the state tourney.

In any case, having already clinched a playoff ticket takes a certain pressure off of everyone.

Though, with the way the Coupeville booters are playing of late it might not have mattered.

Raining down goals from all sides Tuesday in Bothell, the Wolves battered host Cedar Park Christian 5-1 to claim their third win in their last four games.

Now 2-1 in league play, 4-3 overall, CHS moves into a second-place tie with South Whidbey (1-0, 4-1), a half-game off of league-leader King’s (2-0, 3-1-1).

Sultan (0-1, 0-5) and Cedar Park (0-3, 0-4) round out the Granite-less standings.

Coupeville, which has six regular-season games left, five of them conference bouts, gets a major challenge Friday when it travels down Island to Langley to face South Whidbey.

Tuesday’s game was close for a half, as the Wolves went to the break clinging to a 1-0 lead, thanks to a Derek Leyva score.

Things quickly turned in the second half, however, as birthday boy Aram Leyva ripped off a hat trick, peppering the CPC goaltender for three quick scores.

His cousin, Derek, popped back in to seal the offensive attack, rattling home his second goal of the night.

That leaves the Leyvas tied atop the season scoring stat sheet with nine goals apiece, while Derek hangs on to a 33-28 lead in career scoring.

Both Wolf juniors are hot on the heels of Aram’s older brother, Abraham, who graduated in 2016 with the program career scoring record of 45 goals.

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Abraham Leyva scored 45 goals in three seasons while playing for the Coupeville High School boys soccer program. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

After tossing in four scores Saturday at Nooksack, Derek Leyva has 30 career goals.

Aram Leyva has five goals through four games as a junior, and 24 career tallies.

They’re one swing of the foot away from history.

The Leyva clan — Abraham, who graduated in 2016, and current juniors Aram and Derek — are the best goal-scorers Coupeville High School boys soccer has ever had.

And now, as Aram and Derek prepare to play King’s at home Tuesday night (6:00 PM) in their league opener, the family is just a single score shy of its 100th goal.

Abraham exited with a school-record 45 goals, having played for the Wolves from 2014-2016.

His cousin, Derek, made his debut on the CHS pitch in 2018, and is coming up fast behind Abraham, having rattled the net for 30 goals.

Not to be forgotten, Aram, who is Abraham’s younger brother, has peppered in 24 scores between 2017 and the two goals he scored Saturday at Nooksack.

That puts the Leyva’s 1-2-3 on the CHS career scoring chart, with William Nelson (20 goals) and Ethan Spark (17), who both graduated in 2018, rounding out the top five.

Combined, the Leyva trio have 99 goals, and should only go higher with Derek and Aram still having at least nine more games to play during the current season.

Over the years, the three snipers have combined to score at least one goal against 20 schools, with Chimacum, Forks, Port Townsend, Nooksack Valley, and Vashon Island their favorite targets.

As the family races towards that 100th goal, here’s a look at how the three booters have piled up their stats.



2014 (sophomore) – 11 goals
2015 (junior) – 14
2016 (senior) – 20


Most goals in one game:

(4) – twice against Chimacum, once against Forks


Hat tricks (three or more goals in one game):

(5) – three times against Chimacum, twice against Forks


Playoff goals:

(1) – against Charles Wright Academy


Goals vs. schools:

Chimacum (13)
Forks (9)
Friday Harbor (4)
Granite Falls (4)
Cascade Christian (3)
Charles Wright Academy (2)
King’s (2)
Bellevue Christian (1)
Klahowya (1)
Lakewood (1)
Port Townsend (1)
Sequim (1)
South Whidbey (1)
Sultan (1)
Vashon Island (1)



2018 (sophomore) – 24 goals
2019 (junior) – 6 and counting


Most goals in one game:

(4) – once against Chimacum, once against Nooksack Valley


Hat tricks (three or more goals in one game):

(4) – Once against Chimacum, Nooksack Valley, Port Townsend, and Vashon Island


Playoff goals:

(3) – all against Vashon Island


Goals vs. schools:

Chimacum (6)
Port Townsend (6)
Nooksack Valley (4)
Vashon Island (3)
Klahowya (2)
North Mason (2)
Olympic (2)
Sequim (2)
Forks (1)
Mount Baker (1)
Port Angeles (1)



2017 (freshman) – 6 goals
2018 (sophomore) – 13
2018 (junior) – 5 and counting


Most goals in one game:

(3) – twice against Chimacum


Hat tricks (three goals in one game):

(2) – twice against Chimacum


Playoff goals:

(2) – one score against Bellevue Christian, one against Vashon Island


Goals vs. schools:

Chimacum (13)
Nooksack Valley (2)
North Mason (2)
Port Townsend (2)
Bellevue Christian (1)
Forks (1)
Klahowya (1)
Olympic (1)
Vashon Island (1)

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Despite battling illness, Coupeville High School boys soccer manager Natalie Hollrigel knocked it out of the park Monday during her first time on the stadium microphone. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

A different day, likely a different result.

Battered by a ferocious second-half wind which kept them pinned to their own side of the field Monday, the Coupeville High School boys soccer team needed a miracle.

Unfortunately, it didn’t come, as the Wolves, racked by illness and injury, lost the lead late in the game and fell 4-2 to visiting Mount Baker.

The non-league loss, coming at the hands of a tough Northwest Conference foe, drops Coupeville to 1-1 on the young season.

For a great portion of Monday’s match, it looked like the Wolves would remain undefeated.

Coupeville struck early, rattling home a pair of first-half goals, then held on to a 2-1 lead until late in the game.

But it wasn’t to be, as Baker slipped two final daggers — one off a penalty shot set up by an inadvertent hand ball — into the net in the game’s final three minutes.

The breeze ruffled the jerseys of the players, and a few flags, in the first half, when CHS had the wind at its back, and the Wolves took advantage.

After dodging a major moment of danger when the Mountaineers airmailed a penalty kick into the next town in the game’s second minute, Coupeville struck.

Derek Leyva, dancing with the ball on his toe, slid through a maze of Baker defenders, then splashed home a quick shot into the left corner of the net in the game’s ninth minute.

The second goal in as many games for the Wolf junior, it gives him 26 for his prep career.

Baker answered in less than three minutes, slipping a ball into the net after a wild scrum, but then Coupeville dominated the remainder of the half.

With veterans like Teo Keilwitz and Sam Wynn, and chippy youngsters like Tony Garcia, clamping down on defense, the visitors got zilch the rest of the way before the break.

No goals, and just one shot, on which Wolf goalie Dewitt Cole made a nice save, darting out to snatch the ball practically off of the shooter’s foot.

Looking for a game-buster, CHS found it when James Wood uncorked a long corner kick.

It left Wood’s foot looking like a set-up pass for Leyva, but then snapped like a whip (with a little help from a gust of wind), curving into the net at the last possible moment.

Up 2-1 at the break, things were looking good for Coupeville, other than the fact an already-thin roster had taken a major hit.

With illness ripping through the team, and the school, CHS coach Kyle Nelson only had a single reserve at kickoff, and that vanished when team co-captain Aram Leyva took a nasty shot to the leg shortly before the half.

Once he headed to the sideline, to be replaced by raw-but-ready freshman Andrew Aparicio, Leyva never returned.

With it being a non-conference game, Coupeville coaches made the prudent decision to keep one of their stars out of any more action while his health was in question.

That being said, losing the powerful Leyva and his ability to crash the middle hurt the Wolves.

Nothing hurt quite like the weather, however.

What had started as a brisk breeze became a wall of wind after the break, and Mother Nature made it virtually impossible for Coupeville to get the ball off its side of the field.

Even long hitters like Derek Leyva and Wood had shots muffled by the wind, the ball arcing high up into the sky, before being sucker punched and quickly returning to the turf, sometimes landing behind where it was first hit.

Forced to play all-out defense for 40 minutes straight, with the other team holding the wind advantage, proved to be a thankless task for the Wolves.

Cole made several strong saves, including one in which he went airborne and punched the ball off the crossbar.

That one drew the loudest vocal response from CHS manager/PA announcer Natalie Hollrigel.

Battling illness herself, while operating the mic for the first time, she proved to be a natural, rattling off hard-to-pronounce names during pre-game introductions, then chiming in with strong calls on scores.

She also proudly upheld her Wolf Nation credentials, whispering after one Baker goal, “They scored, I said it, eh … not going to get excited for them.”

Her color commentator, at least when the mic was off, was fellow Wolf star Hannah Davidson, who provided a nice mix of “dad jokes” and one entertaining, if hard to swallow, conspiracy theory revolving around a Coupeville coach being in the witness protection program.

The duo show promise, and now just need to be convinced to leave the mic on the whole game, much like school Athletic Director/announcing wild man Willie Smith has been known to do in the past.

Back on the field, Baker, with an extraordinary amount of help from the wind, pushed home the tying goal in the 63rd minute, the go-ahead score in the 77th, and a final tally in stoppage time after the hand ball.

It got the Mountaineers the win, maybe, but the Wolves deserve a fair amount of praise for standing tall under great duress in the second half.

Plus, when a rival team wins, it’s always best to live by the words of a raspy-voiced Hollrigel.

“Eh, not going to get excited for them.”

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Freshman Tony Garcia scored in his first high school soccer game Saturday, helping lift Coupeville to an 8-0 rout of Chimacum. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It went just about as expected.

Despite playing with a patchwork lineup Saturday, the Coupeville High School boys soccer team routed visiting Chimacum 8-0 to officially open the spring sports season.

Sparked by a hat trick from junior captain Aram Leyva, the Wolves torched the Cowboys for the 11th consecutive time over the past five seasons.

Now non-conference foes, the two schools met 10 times on the pitch during Coupeville’s run in the Olympic League between 2015-2018.

During that time, the Wolves broke double digits seven times, outscoring the Cowboys 91-13.

This time around, Coupeville settled for a few less goals, but pulled off its fifth shutout in its last six games with Chimacum.

Admittedly, Wolf senior goalie Dewitt Cole didn’t have to work especially hard for the bagel job, with the Cowboys only able to muster a single shot on goal in 80 minutes of action.

Coupeville kept the ball on the attack for much of the game, and when Chimacum did get it across midfield and into Wolf territory, the CHS defense immediately snuffed things.

A big factor in the smothering defense was a rare appearance in the backfield by goal-scoring phenom Derek Leyva.

Trying to ease his sharpshooter into the season, without putting too much strain on Leyva’s brace-clad knee, Coupeville coach Kyle Nelson stationed the junior on the back side of the field, with orders to take it easy.

And, with the exception of one goal-scoring run late in the game, which pleased his fans even while offering a bit of agitation to the CHS coaching staff, he listened.

Even playing at 50%, Leyva towered above his foes, and he controlled his side of the field with a few deft moves here, a slide to the side there.

Chimacum couldn’t get the ball past him (or fellow defenders like Sam Wynn), and the Cowboys certainly couldn’t take the ball back once it was on Leyva’s toe.

Once the ball was back on the move, punched up from the back or launched half the field, the Wolves attacked, attacked, and attacked some more.

While eight shots got past the Chimacum goaltender, Coupeville could have easily doubled the score with just a bit more precision.

The Wolves whacked shots from the left, the right, up top, even almost from mid-field, sending the Cowboys scrambling.

One shot hit the crossbar and ricocheted off, several more just slid past the opening, and at least three went high into the air, and would have been successful field goals in football.

Spurred on their fans, who included a group of CHS female soccer players camped out in the press box, the Wolves played opportunistic ball, and it paid off.

“Go, Chris, go, go, go …. YEEEEEEESSSSS,” was the call from Avalon Renninger, when Chris Cernick broke through for the first goal of the season.

It came in the game’s 13th minute, after Aram Levya sucked the defense in, then dished the ball into the middle and onto Cernick’s waiting foot.

The lanky Wolf junior, coming off a breakout season on the basketball court, swung from his heels and pegged the ball into the corner of the net, giving Coupeville all the scoring it would need.

Not content to play a thriller, the Wolves kept hammering away, however.

Aram Leyva notched the first of what would be three goals on the day when he broke free, pulled in a pass, then slapped home a shot as the goaltender meekly fell to the ground.

From there, the scores kept coming in the first half.

Freshman Tony Garcia skipped in a ball while on a run up the right side, Aram Leyva bulldozed his way through two defenders for his second goal, then Sage Downes angled in a ball off a breakaway.

While the frequent goals were a first-half highlight, the two plays which will probably be remembered longest didn’t involve anyone scoring.

At one point, a teeny-tiny dog came barreling on the field, looking for a tasty treat or at least a good chase.

Aram Leyva almost corralled the wayward pooch, but it broke free and then went on a zig-zag run, much to the delight of Renninger and fellow booters Mallory Kortuem and Natalie Hollrigel in the booth.

“Look at that cutey go! Dog’s got moves!!”

Once the ball was back in play, Aram Leyva flipped the script from cute to painful, hammering a pass which came right back to him … thanks to it caving in the face of a Chimacum defender.

The ensuing crack was loud enough to make people think someone was duck hunting nearby, followed by the hapless Cowboy keeling over to kiss the sweet, sweet grass.

“Dude’s dead…”

Spoiler, he wasn’t, and managed to get up and stagger off the pitch, but was later heard asking if anyone got the licence plate number of the semi-truck which hit him.

After all the fireworks offered in the first half, the game was fairly tame after the break.

Coupeville sprayed a bunch more shots, Cole made his one, and only, true save with 18 minutes to play, and then the Wolves tacked on three more goals late in the game.

Aram Leyva completed his hat trick, rising above the masses to mash in a header off a nice corner kick from Downes, before Derek Leyva strolled up-field and banked in a shot of his own.

The final capper came courtesy Downes, who, moments after airmailing a shot all the way out to the highway, turned down the volume a bit and went to the left foot, tapping in his second goal on Opening Day.

The win, and the way it played out, were especially nice since Coupeville played minus some of its top players.

Only half of the 14 players listed on the varsity roster saw action, thanks to a busy Saturday full of SAT tests and Science Olympiad competitions.

That enabled JV players such as Garcia, Ben Smith, Zach Ginnings, Andrew Aparicio, and Eli Kastner to get substantial game time.

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Coupeville captain Teo Keilwitz fires the ball into play. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Wolf superstars (l to r) Avalon Renninger, Hannah Davidson, Tia Wurzrainer, Maya Toomey-Stout, and Mallory Kortuem brave the weather to cheer on their classmates.

James Wood pulls off a tasty tango, leaving his foe grasping at mere air.

Aram Leyva gets his head into the game.

Sage Downes is out for a run.

Owen Barenburg (13) holds off a pesky rival, while Nathan Ginnings (21) keeps an eye on the developing action.

Wolf legend Mandi Black, on hand to cheer for nephew Xavier Murdy, nails the season’s first selfie.

CHS goalie Dewitt Cole denies Oak Harbor.

We’re officially back to action.

While the mini-games at Thursday night’s three-team boys soccer jamboree in Oak Harbor won’t affect anyone’s win/loss records, they do kick off the spring sports season.

Coupeville went up North to clash with South Whidbey and host Oak Harbor, a tune-up before the regular-season opener Saturday at home against Chimacum.

While playing on the frozen tundra, the Wolves had their photos snapped by John Fisken, who had a short drive from his nearby home.

To see everything he shot, pop over to:


And, as we head towards graduation and year-end awards ceremonies, remember that any purchases help fund scholarships for two CHS senior student/athletes.

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