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The latest news and analysis on high-school sports around the Seattle area

September 9, 2014 at 4:00 AM

“The Full 80” soccer blog: A look at Liberty’s 3A repeat effort

 In the first edition of “The Full 80,” a look at Liberty’s challenge of repeating as 3A state champions. 

Big challenge ahead for Liberty repeat effort

The road certainly won’t be an easy one if the Liberty High School girls soccer team repeats as state champions even with the drop from Class 3A to 2A.

First, comes the challenge of amply replacing seven of its 11 starters, including putting in a whole new midfield.

Three key ingredients return from the Patriots’ run to a Class 3A state championship in 2013. Forwards Sami Harrell and Sydney Abel are back up top and midfielder Jordan Hemmen is back, but she’ll likely anchor the defense this season.

The encore act following the school’s 15-4-4 season and first title in the sport, could have its bumps.

“I’d say losing 10 seniors and that leadership and camaraderie, everything changes drastically,” said Liberty coach Tami Nguyen, who is in her third season leading the Pats. “How quickly we can get together as a team, and as a coaching staff, get a starting lineup is going to be key.

“I’d say our biggest question mark is our midfield. We don’t return anybody there.”

Following up last fall’s 2-1 title win over Kamiakin of Kennewick means replacing seven starters. The good news is that Abel, a junior, is back after providing a goal and an assist in the title match. Abel served up the assist on Harrell’s game-winning goal in the 53rd minute.

The Patriots opened 2014 with a 2-1 home loss to Bainbridge on Saturday, the first of four home matches to start the season.

“That gave us a chance to look and see where we are,” Nguyen said.

Liberty hosts a pair of nonleague foes Hazen on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and Marysville-Pilchuck on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. before opening its KingCo 3A/2A defense on Sept. 15 at home against Lake Washington.

The Patriots start a freshman at goalkeeper – Sydney Argosino. How fast Liberty’s younger players mature could make the difference.

“We just got hot at the right time and everything fell into place last season,” Nguyen said. “Last year we started the season with a 4-2 loss to Bainbridge. Every year is different.

“Ideally, we want to be playing our best soccer at the end of the year as opposed to the beginning of the year.”

Around the Area

One team from Washington state – Skyline of Sammamish at No. 11 — opened in the Top 25 of the national rankings from National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). Below is the NSCAA’s opening Sept. 2 poll:

Week 1

http://www.nscaatv.com/rankings/3190/Fall/women/National/Poll2

Three teams from Washington state start in NSCAA’s Region VI Top-15 poll, led by Skyline at No. 2 and followed by Issaquah at No. 8 and Central Valley of Spokane at No. 13. The link below is for the Region VI, which came out Sept. 2:

Week 1

http://www.nscaatv.com/rankings/3189/Fall/women/RegionVI/Poll1

Two teams from Washington state – Skyline at No. 4 and Issaquah at No. 6 – are in the Fall FAB 50 High School Girls Soccer Rankings put out by www.topdrawersoccer.com :

http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/high-school-soccer/national-team-rankings/women/fall-september-2/5004/57/nopage-0

Comments | More in Rankings, Soccer | Topics: girls soccer, high school, Rankings

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