Respect on the pitch: Red Wolves women's soccer brings depth, team connection

Cedarcrest girls soccer senior co-captains are Laura Hisler, left, and McKenna Swanson.  - Carol Ladwig / Snoqualmie Valley Record
Cedarcrest girls soccer senior co-captains are Laura Hisler, left, and McKenna Swanson.
— image credit: Carol Ladwig / Snoqualmie Valley Record

Cedarcrest High School’s girls soccer team looks to make strides forward from their middle-of-the-pack showing last season.

Loaded with plenty of upperclasswomen, the Red Wolves should do well thanks to depth and an atmosphere of respect.

“I have an incredible amount of respect for our players this year,” said head coach Evan Hatch, starting his first season with the Cedarcrest women’s team.

“Our top priority is to play well as a team,” Hatch said. “We have a number of highly skilled players in the program this year, and we need to work well together in order to bring out the best in each other.

Last season, the Red Wolves won and lost about equally, finishing fifth in the Cascade Conference. The Red Wolves varsity includes 10 seniors, five juniors, one sophomore and a freshman player.

Two seniors and a junior are team captains. Senior midfielder Laura Hisler brings captain experience from last season. She leads with focus, dedication, and work ethic.

Senior defender McKenna Swanson is a powerful player that leads the team with a strong defensive presence and an excellent ability to communicate on the field.

Junior defender Lauren Rodger is a strong athlete with the ability to win challenges in the air and stop opponents from creating scoring opportunities.

The Cascade league was full of strong teams last year, and that high level of competition is expected to continue this season. Hatch says the Red Wolves must focus on playing their best in each league game to be competitive in conference and make it to the district and state tournaments.

In their first team meeting, players chose to focus on identifying and implementing strategies to respect, appreciate, provide for, and learn from one another.

“The team’s commitment to selflessness and teamwork will create an environment of success this year, and we expect to be successful this season,” Hatch said. “My coaching philosophy: If we create an environment where players focus on creating opportunities for their team and their teammates, the teamwork will lead to scoring goals and winning games. Work hard, work for each other, and enjoy the experience.”

The junior varsity team, too, made the same choice to focus on teamwork and respect, as opposed to winning and losing, in their first get-together, Hatch added.

Amanda Johnson is the assistant varsity coach and head JV coach. This is her first year as well. She is a former graduate and soccer player of Cedarcrest High, and recently finished a successful career with the Seattle Pacific University Womens Soccer Team. She brings a variety of strategic, tactical, and fitness-related expertise, and an intense love for coaching soccer.

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