Overlake soccer squads hope to continue success

Success on the soccer field has become a tradition at The Overlake School as both the girls’ and boys’ teams look to continue their dominance this fall.

Success on the soccer field has become a tradition at The Overlake School as both the girls’ and boys’ teams look to continue their dominance this fall.

The girls’ team, led by sixth-year head coach Sally Goodspeed, is coming off a stellar 8-3-2 league season that saw them finish in second place in the Emerald City/SeaTac league. The Owls then earned a second consecutive state tournament berth after beating Bush in a thrilling penalty kick shootout.

Goodspeed is feeling excited about the 2008 campaign, which will feature many familiar, and experienced, faces.

“We return a lot of players from our state tournament team of 2007,” said Goodspeed. “We hope to contend for a league title and a return trip to the state tournament … we’re just working towards going back to state for the third year in a row.”

Among the returners for the Owls are first-team all-league midfielder Maya Marder, who kicked the winning penalty goal that sent the team to state last season. The team will be led by a trio of senior co-captains: Defender and second-team all-league selection Christina Nordin, defender Alex Boit, and midfielder Christine Eaton. The team also returns goalkeeper Ceci Votta, who recorded nine shutouts last season.

Last year’s leading scorer, Susannah Kelly, also returns as a junior. She was an offensive force for the Owls, scoring eight goals and collecting eight assists in 2007.

The boys’ team also has state-tournament hopes. In 2007, the Owls, under veteran head coach Bob Bristol, pulled off a comeback for the ages, emerging from the doldrums of a 1-4-1 start to finish 11-7-3 on the season, which included an amazing run in which the Owls won 10 of their last 12 games as well as the district title.

Although the team is still fairly young with only four seniors, they return tons of talent, headed by Sky Tweedie-Yates, a junior and second-team all-state selection last year.

“(Yates) is a very hard worker, tough defender, and aggressive going to goal,” Bristol said of his star midfielder.

Handling much of the scoring duties will be Hakan Yagiz, a speedy and sure-footed forward that Bristol describes as “very clever with the ball,” and a clutch player won several game-winning goals during Overlake’s improbable run.

Bristol is also excited about a pair of excellent one-on-one defenders, Trevor Partington and Greg Safadago, as well as a couple freshmen who will look to make an impact — defender Joe Dolack and forward Jesse Klug.

If the solid boys’ squad should repeat or better last season’s performance and earn another trip to state, they will still have to contend with the fact that the tournament is held in the spring although their league, 1A Emerald City, plays in the fall, something coach Bristol has been actively trying to change.

“We’re still facing the challenge of playing in the fall and competing in the state tourney in the spring,” the 13-year-coach said. “(We) did it last year and won one game, but lack of practice together really hurt.”

He tried to get the league grandfathered into the 1B/2B state tournament, which played in the fall, and also tried to get the other B-league schools to join 1A. Only five schools objected, but the request was still denied by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.

For now, though, the Owls need to focus on the task at hand, to take the season one game at a time and earn another trip to the postseason, which will mean getting through schools such as Seattle Prep and Seattle Academy, perennial league frontrunners that have shown significant strides in the development of their soccer programs in recent years.

“We hope to move up in the league, but it should be a very competitive battle,” Bristol said.