Thursday, March 14, 2019
Marking a first in Spokane soccer history, the 2001 Spokane Sounders Rave girls captured the U18 Girls Northwest Conference Championship in the USYS National League.
The ladies bested their elite peers in the Northwest Conference with a 4-0-1 record that earned the team an automatic berth for the Far West Regionals, adding to an already successful resume that includes a pair of state championships and a semifinal appearance in the Far West Regionals two years ago.
This year the team wanted one final opportunity to participate in the tournament and by winning the Northwest Conference they qualified early.
"At the start of the year the girls had made participating in the 2019 Far West Regional Tournament their goal," said head coach Kevin Moon. "I am very happy that the girls will have the chance to compete one last time together this summer before the seniors head off to college. It should be a really fun event."
The team's quality is reflected in its record but the group is so much more than a team capable of winning championships. They play fun, attractive soccer that is just as enjoyable for their parents to watch as it is for them to play.
"The thing that makes them click so well is the way they treat and interact with each other. It didn't matter what the circumstances were. When a new player came in they were immediately welcomed with open arms. The girls are always inclusive and no one is ever left on the outside looking in. We have strong personalities that make sure that everyone is involved in team activities here in town and on the road.
The team has consistently found success over the past four years despite a shifting roster as it transitioned through the age group change along with other typical alterations created from players moving on to other things, injuries and early graduation over the last three years. The inclusive nature of the group created an atmosphere that allowed the team not just to remain competitive but to grow stronger during those time of transition.
"Each player on this team has followed a path that has led to a great story. For instance there are six players that started on our B team when they were younger - before high school - and of those six two actually started on our C team!
The relationships within the team are some of the strongest I have ever seen. Their team chemistry and camaraderie is their greatest strength and is a major reason why they have seen so much success."
The championship run started with a pair of wins in Portland as they downed Oregon Premier 1-0 and ETFC 2-1 in early December. In mid-January a trip to Starfire resulted in a 2-0 victory against WPFC and a 1-1 draw against Capital FC Timbers, who finished second with a 3-0-2 record. The squad locked up the championship the first weekend of March with a needed 2-0 victory against PacNW as Capital FC had already finished their campaign.
Spokane Sounders 2001 Rave
2 - Emmy Moore
4 - Megan Robertson
6 - Trayn Baxter
8 - Chloe Gellhaus
9 - Camryn Gardner
10 - Chelsea Le
11- Sarah Frahm
12 - Emily Mendoza
14 - Amber Hickman
18 - Marissa Bankey
20 - Jezza Hutto
23 - Baylee Trejo
24 - Kailyn LaBrosse
26 - Chelsea Koker
29 - Yeo Yarnell
41 - Payton Royston
49 - Emma Knudson
88 - Eden Elliott