Posts Tagged ‘Girls Soccer’

Carolyn Lhamon pushes the ball upfield in pre-pandemic times. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

New league, new dreams.

With the pandemic, it’s been a bit since the Coupeville High School girls soccer team has competed together as a unit.

That would be fall of 2019, and a lot has changed since then.

CHS moved from 1A to 2B, joined the Northwest 2B/1B League, and top scorer Genna Wright has recovered from a devastating leg injury which erased 98.2% of her junior season.

Now, Wright is back to torch nets again, the Wolves are on what should be a more level playing field, and coach Kyle Nelson is only leading one Coupeville soccer program.

The move to 2B brings boys soccer into the same season as girls soccer — technically the fall, but being played this school year from April to May — with the pitch guru opting to step down as boys coach.

While former assistant Robert Wood takes the reigns of that program, Nelson is ready to bound back into action with the Wolf girls as they head into new waters.

“I am thrilled to have left some of those 1A schools behind,” he said. “In soccer we were facing schools that were sending off some of their seniors to go play at Division I schools, not something we were ever able to compete with.

“Now, each school is on a fairly even playing field.”

In this pandemic-shortened season Coupeville will face NWL mates Friday Harbor, La Conner, and Mount Vernon Christian three times each, with five of nine games at home.

“From our past experience with these schools, all the games we have played against them have usually been good contests where either team could have been the winner,” Nelson said. “Looking forward to going into all of our games knowing that we could win that game.

“Friday Harbor and Mount Vernon Christian could both be strong,” he added. “But, since it has been a year and a half since any of us have played, it really could be anyone.”

And there’s no reason to think these Wolf booters can’t be the first CHS soccer team to capture a conference crown.

“Our first goal is not any different than any other year, and that is to have some fun,” Nelson said. “Since there will be no playoffs, a league title will be our team goal.”

Sophie Martin shows off some wicked skills.

Leading the pursuit of that goal will be a group of players with years of experience on the pitch.

Nelson’s three captains are seniors Mollie Bailey and Genna Wright, along with junior Mary Milnes.

Bailey anchors the Wolf defense in goal, with Milnes and sophomore Nezi Keiper holding down the back line.

Midfielders Sophie Martin, a junior, and super sophomore Carolyn Lhamon will be joined by Wright and junior Eryn Wood, who lead the Coupeville attack.

Martin rattled home four goals in 2019, while Wright enters play this season tied for third-place all-time on the CHS girls scoring chart.

With 10 goals as a freshman and another seven as a sophomore, she sits with 17 goals, the same figure thrown down by former Wolf star Lindsey Roberts.

Wright is chasing Mia (35 goals) and Kalia Littlejohn (33 goals) for the career record.

While he has a strong core of returning players to lean on, Nelson also looks forward to seeing which other Wolves accept the challenge and rise to prominence.

“I am sure we will have some athletes that will be stepping up for us to cover key positions, but at this point I am not sure I can identify them,” he said.

“It has been awhile since we have really had a full team out there playing, and it will be fun to see who is ready to take it to the next level.”

However the roster spots break down, Nelson is ready to roll.

“We bring back quite a bit of experience all over the field,” he said. “We just need to bring the pieces together to form a cohesive unit.

“This could prove to be tricky in such a short season, but we will give it our best effort.”

Mollie Bailey clears the goal.

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Mallory Kortuem commands the soccer pitch. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

She sort of snuck up on me.

As her high school career has played out, Mallory Kortuem has been the quiet assassin, piling up records and awards while seeming content to reflect the spotlight onto her teammates.

The Coupeville High School senior, who should be enjoying one final trip around the track oval this spring, has never been one to scream and beat her chest in public about her accomplishments.

But dang, Mallory.

If you step back and look at the entire run of her prep days, it’s more than just merely impressive.

The youngest of Alex and Heather Kortuem’s children is legitimately one of the best athletes to ever pull on a Wolf uniform, ever. End of story.

That Mallory has always seemed like a super-quality person away from the pitch and oval as well, just makes it easier for those of up in the stands to hail her as one of the greats.

Momentarily at rest, Mallory hangs out with Sherry Roberts (left) and mom Heather Kortuem.

So, without further ado, we welcome her today to the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

It’s not quite the same as getting to stand on the podium in Cheney in late May, hailed as a state champ, a path she seemed destined for before the coronavirus pandemic split the world into a billion pieces.

But, I hope it means something to her, at least a little.

As she goes forward into the world, ready to reach new goals and captivate her ever-growing legion of fans, Mallory can know that here on the blog she’ll live on in local lore, forever a prairie phenom.

Pop open the Legends tab up at the top of the page, and you’ll find her, a blur of speed and toughness, momentarily at rest.

Mallory has been at the forefront of two Wolf programs during her days at CHS, and it never seems like there was a moment where she was a raw rookie.

She always seemed like a grizzled vet, her cerebral skills matching her physical gifts, whether she was a new-to-the-scene freshman or an about-to-depart senior.

Put her on the soccer pitch and she could control a game from any position.

She had a deft touch with the ball and a wicked leg, and showed off an uncanny ability to spin around defenders and leave goalies grasping at air when she got to play up front.

If Wolf coaches had used Mallory in a traditional scoring position her entire career, I have little doubt she would be up at the top of the all-time CHS scoring list with players like Mia and Kalia Littlejohn and Genna Wright.

Instead, she spent a lot of her playing days on the backside of the field, using her speed to corral breakaways and her toughness to knock potential scorers off the ball.

As a defender, Mallory took no crap from nobody.

Kortuem fights off a rival.

I’m sure there were opposing players who looked at her slender build and thought they could bully her.

They quickly changed their minds.

Mallory not only wasn’t afraid of getting in close and scrapping with rivals, she seemed to derive a considerable joy out of beatin’ the snot out of them, then leaving them eating the grass as she sprinted away with the soccer ball.

Dirty? Never. Willing to back down? Let’s capitalize that NEVER.

Upholding the tradition set down by scrappy Wolf ballhawks like Micky “Two Fists” LeVine, there was no bend, no break in Mallory’s game.

Her team might win. It might lose. But she was going to make sure you remembered her long after the final score faded into memory.

But, as good as she was on the pitch, Mallory has made an even-bigger splash in the world of track and field.

Entering what was supposed to be her senior season, she had already splashed her name all across the school’s record board in the CHS gym.

Mallory currently holds four school records, tying her with fellow Hall o’ Famer Maya Toomey-Stout for top honors.

Speed demons Kortuem and Maya Toomey-Stout. (Dawnelle Conlisk photo)

And those records have come in a variety of events, from the 400 and pole vault to running legs on super-quick 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relay units.

In the pole vault, her top mark of eight feet, 10 inches is almost two-and-a-half feet above what any other Wolf girl has ever reached.

Meanwhile, in the 400, an event in which Mallory finished 2nd at state as a junior, she passed Makana Stone, proving I was completely, 1000% wrong when I thought that record would live for decades.

With four state meet medals entering her senior campaign, Miss Kortuem had a chance, pre-pandemic, to finish as one of the most-decorated CHS female track stars of all time.

But even if spring sports don’t start back up, and she doesn’t get the chance to chase Lindsey Roberts (eight medals), Stone (7), and Natasha Bamberger (6), it will take absolutely none of the luster off of her brilliant run.

You can only control what you can control, and when that control was left in Mallory’s hands, she never failed to impress.

One of the best, ever. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

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Carolyn Lhamon and CHS girls soccer jump to the Northwest 2B/1B League this fall. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

OK, this one is a bit simpler.


When Coupeville High School bounces from 1A to 2B next school year, most Wolf sports programs will relocate from the 1A North Sound Conference to the Northwest 2B/1B League.

Boys tennis is its own convoluted story, but that’s a tale for another time, as we’re focusing on soccer right now.

And, unlike the CHS boys, who switch from spring to fall, and inherit a complicated string of new foes, the Wolf girl booters get a pretty straightforward new agenda.

For one thing, they stay in the fall, as always.

Plus, the Wolf girls will play the same group of schools they’ll see in other sports, with two small exceptions.

Concrete and Darrington don’t field girls soccer teams, but the other six schools in the NWL do, making for a compact schedule.

The Wolves will face off with fellow 2B schools La Conner, Chimacum, and Friday Harbor in home-and-away set-ups, while also playing 1B Mount Vernon Christian and Orcas Island.

MVC is the defending league champ, and finished second at the 1B/2B state tourney last fall, dropping a 1-0 squeaker to Davenport in the championship game.

Before that, La Conner and Friday Harbor shared the previous seven league titles listed on the NWL web site.

La Conner won in 2012, 2015, 2016, and 2017, while Friday Harbor topped the field in 2013, 2014, and 2018.

As its sits now, the Coupeville girls have a 13-game schedule, while the Wolf boys have 16 rumbles planned, so it’s entirely possible more games will pop up as we get closer to September.

Currently, the three non-conferences games come against two former North Sound Conference rivals — Sultan and CPC-Bothell, and one newbie – Eastside Prep.

There’s also the lingering question of who will be running things from the sideline.

Kyle Nelson currently coaches both girls and boys soccer at CHS, but in different seasons.

With both programs operating at the same time, as 2B boys soccer plays in the fall and not spring, it’s unknown whether he will juggle teams or whether Coupeville would add a new head coach for one of the teams.

As it stands, there are only two dates on the schedule (Sept. 15 and Oct. 27) where both CHS soccer teams play on the same day.

Both of those feature one team on the road, and one at home.

Much can change in five months, and, let’s face it, no one really knows if we will even be back to sports action by fall, depending on how the coronavirus pandemic ebbs and flows.

Thinking positively, this is what we have set for now:


2020 CHS girls soccer schedule
(* = league game):

Sat-Sept. 12 — @Cedar Park Christian-Bothell (3:00)
Tue-Sept. 15 — @Sultan (7:00)
Thur-Sept. 17 — Mount Vernon Christian (6:00) *
Thur-Sept. 24 — @Orcas Island (4:00) *
Tues-Sept. 29 — @Friday Harbor (4:00) *
Thur-Oct. 1 — @Mount Vernon Christian (3:30) *
Tues-Oct. 6 — La Conner (6:00) *
Thur-Oct. 8 — Eastside Prep (6:00)
Tues-Oct. 13 — Chimacum (6:00) *
Thur-Oct. 15 — @La Conner (4:00) *
Thur-Oct. 22 — @Chimacum (6:45) *
Tues-Oct. 27 — Friday Harbor (6:00) *
Thur-Oct. 22 — Orcas Island (6:00) *

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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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Coupeville senior Sean Toomey-Stout strides out of football season, and heads towards basketball season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

One team left standing.

Coupeville High School boys tennis, girls soccer, and now football have wrapped their seasons, leaving just CHS volleyball still in action.

Plus, lone Wolf cross country runner Catherine Lhamon, who leaves her squad behind to compete at the 1A state meet next weekend.

While the Coupeville junior has one race left to run, her school’s volleyball team faces a busy week ahead.

The Wolf spikers play two more matches at the district tourney Tuesday, an event which they host.

Win at least one of those, and Coupeville moves on to bi-districts, which plays out next Thursday and Saturday.

After that, there’s the possibility of state for volleyball, while winter and basketball loom on the horizon.

As we begin to transition seasons, a last look at the league standings, through the games of November 2:


North Sound Conference volleyball:

School League Overall
King’s 10-0 16-0
Coupeville 8-2 14-3
CPC-Bothell 5-5 10-8
South Whidbey 4-6 5-11
Sultan 2-8 8-11
Granite Falls 1-9 4-11


North Sound Conference football:

School League Overall
CPC-Bothell 3-1 7-2
King’s 3-1 4-5
Coupeville 0-0 5-4
Granite Falls 2-2 3-6
South Whidbey 2-2 6-3
Sultan 0-4 1-8

**CHS football played an independent schedule and had no league games.**


North Sound Conference girls soccer:

School League Overall
King’s 9-1 14-4-0
South Whidbey 9-1 15-2-1
CPC-Bothell 5-5 10-7-0
Granite Falls 5-5 9-9-0
Coupeville 2-9 3-13-2
Sultan 1-10 1-14-2

Emerald City League boys tennis:

School League Overall
Seattle Academy 12-1 12-1
University Prep 12-1 12-1
Overlake 8-5 8-5
Bear Creek 7-7 7-7
Eastside Prep 3-7 3-7
Bush 3-9 3-9
Coupeville 3-11 4-11
South Whidbey 3-11 3-11

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