Girls soccer … just one more sport that always seems to have a team from the Cowapa League playing for a state championship, each and every year.
League champion Valley Catholic came up short in last year's state title game (losing 1-0 to Hidden Valley), but the Valiants won it all in 2017, following state championships for Scappoose in 2013 and 2015.
The Indians are no longer in the Cowapa, but the Valiants are still there, and probably expecting to challenge for the 2019 state championship.
Second place in the Cowapa League standings … it's up for grabs.
“One would expect Valley Catholic to be the team to lead the (Cowapa) league,” said Astoria coach Tim Fastabend. “After that, it will depend on how the teams develop. If the team puts the effort in at practice, we would expect to be in contention for a playoff spot. ”
The Astoria girls made the postseason last year, finishing with a 5-0 loss at Woodburn in the play-in round.
Having lost just a handful of seniors off the 2018 roster, the Lady Fishermen are taking aim at another playoff season in 2019.
“As always, the goal is to work hard in practice and be competitive in the games,” said Fastabend, entering his fourth year. “It is an athletic group, if not exceptional technically. But if the coaches can have the group working together and focused mentally, it should be an enjoyable and successful season for the girls.”
There's plenty of experience in the lineup, from A to Z.
Returning seniors include midfielder/defender Abby Albright, forward/mid Taileigh Cole, defender Erin Grauff, goalkeeper Baylee McSwain and defender/mid Brooklyn Zerangue.
Juniors who will have a strong presence on varsity include forward/defenders Emma Biederman and Elle Espelien, forward Hayley Kelley, forward/goalkeeper Meghan O'Meara, Lily Randall and Shelby Rasmussen.
Two sophomores with all-league potential are defender/forward Maddie Sisley and mid/forward Karen Zuniga.
“There will be a few other players who come up from last year's JV squad to round out the varsity,” Fastabend said.