Tag Archives: soccer

Whatcom soccer heads to playoffs

By Kaila Cove

The Whatcom men’s and women’s soccer teams are doing well this year— both teams have earned themselves a top position in the playoffs in the NWAC division.

These Whatcom teams encourage students to come out and support them as they head into the playoffs.

Women’s Soccer:

Kiley Clark, the captain of the women’s soccer team, says the team has been “playing very well and has been winning.” The team has won nine games, tied seven, and lost one.

The women’s team has changed their lineup, which has helped them win.

“We changed up our lineup which caused our defense to be stronger than it was before,” Clark said.

“I do think we will make it into the playoffs,” Clark said. “Right now we are in second place, so we will be moving on to the playoffs.”

Future women’s soccer games will be added to the NWAC conference website.

Men’s soccer:

Bakary Davis, a forward on the Whatcom men’s soccer team, said, “These last couple of games we have been doing good.”

The men’s soccer team is placed first in their division.

“We have gotten much better throughout the season because the more games we play and the more we practice together and hang out outside the field our chemistry grows even more,” Dibba said.

The men’s soccer team has been waking up early every morning and showing up for 5 a.m. practices, along with another practice that occurs later in the day.

Dibba says the team is doing “everything in our power to win every single game we can.”

“We are definitely going to the playoffs because we have been putting in the work,” Dibba said.

He thinks the team has the opportunity to win their divisions conference, if they keep up the good work and stay consistent.

They have won 12 games, tied three, and lost four.

Dibba encourages people to come out and support men’s soccer because “it really means a lot to see people supporting us.”

Jason Jorgensen, who is Whatcom men’s soccer head coach, says his team has had a very successful season. “We only have one loss in league play and have clinched a playoff spot already for hosting.”

“The boys have scored 11 goals in the last 3 games. They lead the league in conference play with shots 205, shots on goal 126, corner kicks 69, and third in goals scored,” Jorgensen said. The team feels the pressure of having to uphold their competitive reputation from last year.

They have been preparing for these playoff games by “training, eating nutritional food, light weight lifting, plenty of water, and intense trainings,” Jorgensen said. These steps of preparation are used as a daily routine for these athletes to try to perform their best when it comes to game time.

“Confidence and belief in their abilities to be the best in the NWAC is key,” Jorgensen said.

Jorgensen said, “They are the most talented team to date.”

“Seeing their improvement, their drive and become a more complete student athlete is what makes coaching fun and exciting at WCC,” Jorgensen said.

Kealaula Keliikoa, a sophomore the men’s soccer team, said, “I think one thing we’ve done really well is recognize our strengths as a team and build from there while also trying to strengthen our weaknesses, week in and week out.”

Keliikoa has high hopes that his team can win the division.

“I think it would be a good idea for people to come out and support WCC Men’s Soccer because we have pride in our play and we play for the community, so the support only inspires us to play harder and better every time,” Keliikoa said.

Whatcom men’s soccer next games will be on updated on the NWAC conference website.

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Whatcom signs new athletes

By Felix Zavisubin

Fourteen student athletes have signed a letter of intent to join Whatcom Community College sports teams in the 2018-2019 academic year.

The signees include seven for women’s soccer, three for women’s basketball and four for men’s basketball. Twelve of the 14 commits attended Washington high schools, two athletes are coming from Alaska.

“We start internally and work outward,” said Chris Scrimsher, Whatcom Athletic Director. “[Whatcom County] is our first target area.” 

According to Scrimsher, the recruiting process relies on the work of the Whatcom coaches who attend high school games and build relationships with local coaches and athletes.

“I was recruited by the [head coach] for soccer at the end of my senior year,” said Lyla Pagnotta a women’s soccer player at Whatcom. “[She] had been my coach for club soccer during my first couple years of high school so we knew each other pretty well.”

The Northwest Athletic Conference determines a geographical area where schools in the conference are able to actively recruit student athletes and offer scholarships.

According to Scrimsher, schools are not allowed to offer scholarship dollars to athletes from high schools outside of Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Hawaii, Utah and Wyoming.

“We can offer up to 65% of tuition,” Scrimsher said. “Each coach has a discretion of how they want to split that up.”

According to Scrimsher, each sport is given an NWAC mandated number of monetary awards to give out. Each of the awards can be split between multiple athletes or given entirely to one.

Whatcom competes with all other NWAC schools when recruiting athletes. In addition to the monetary aspect, there are a variety of other factors athletes must consider when deciding what school to attend.

“I chose Whatcom because I was really impressed by their commitment to their players,” said women’s soccer signee Peyton Schwinger in a Whatcom press release.

Whatcom’s commitment to student athletes manifests itself in a variety of ways. According to Scrimsher, Whatcom is one of the premier community colleges in the NWAC because of it “state of the art” facilities and quality educators.

“The facilities at Whatcom are definitely better than any other school in the conference that we visited to play against,” Pagnotta said.

According to Pagnotta, the gym and turf field at Whatcom are unique, as most schools in the conference had muddy grass fields and old dark weight rooms.

“Whatcom sets the bar pretty high both athletically and educationally,” Schwinger said.

Schwinger will join a women’s soccer team that went 9-5-1 in conference and advanced to postseason play in 2017.

According to Scrimsher, Whatcom judges the success of the athletic programs by looking at individual athletes graduating and moving to the next level, as well as team records.

“If we’re successful and we place them at the next level, then that was a good decision for them to come to Whatcom,” said Scrimsher.

Whatcom had a number of athletes from the past year go on to continue their careers at universities, and sent men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams to postseason play.

“I would definitely recommend playing sports at Whatcom to a high school athlete because it gave me opportunities to meet lots of new friends and people and continue to play at a high level and get better,” Pagnotta said.



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Orca men’s soccer builds momentum

By Simon Thomas

The Whatcom Orcas took on first-place Peninsula Pirates on Oct. 8 in a game that ended in a 1-1 draw, with key player, Alain Murhula, tying the score in the closing moments of the match, frustrating the only undefeated team in the league.

Continue reading Orca men’s soccer builds momentum

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Introducing Whatcom women’s new soccer coach


Photo by Kelly Rockey.
Photo by Kelly Rockey. Picture of Mary Schroeder

By: Kelly Rockey

College women’s soccer team will have a new leader on the sidelines for the 2014 season. Mary Schroeder, 34, will be replacing former head coach Claire Morgan for the Orcas after Morgan recently accepted an assistant coaching position at Western Washington University.

“What excites me most about taking on the team for next season is the group of returners and finding new players to mesh with the amazing chemistry of the current group,” Schroeder said.

Whatcom Athletic Director Chris Scrimsher said he is excited for Schroeder to become the new head coach, adding that she is passionate about teaching the game of soccer, and is “fully vested in the job both athletically and academically.”

Schroeder said she tries to promote herself as a “player’s coach.”

The Orcas had a lot of success on and off the field last year, as they finished the season with a 10-2-8 overall record (9-0-7 in league), and an average team GPA of 3.4. They were eventually eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Northwest Athletic Association of Community College (NWAACC) playoffs.

“The best attribute I see in Mary is her ability to balance being a coach, friend, and mentor for us,” said Whatcom student and freshman forward Taylor Alflen. “She will be able to get serious when we need it, but be a friend when needed, also as a mentor, [and] help us grow outside of soccer.”

Schroeder, who also coaches for Bellingham’s youth soccer organization Whatcom Football Club (FC) Rangers, has an extensive background in soccer both as a coach and player. After playing at Bishop Blanchet High School in Seattle, she walked-on to Western’s soccer team as a freshman, and eventually earned an athletic scholarship as a sophomore that continued throughout her college playing days. She was an award winning player in college, earning Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) honors in 2000, 2001, and 2002, according to the Whatcom FC Rangers’ website.

In 2011, she earned a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) license credential stating that she has passed an educational course on coaching soccer.

Schroeder says her involvement with the local youth soccer teams has proved advantageous for her. She has been coaching with the Rangers since 2002, and will continue to do so along with coaching at Whatcom, she said.

Through her time with the Rangers and other various coaching experiences, she said she has known of or met many of Whatcom’s players prior to becoming their head coach. She said the community aspect is one of the most intriguing parts of her new coaching position.

“I’m also excited to see players that I’ve coached throughout the years, through Rangers [and other previous coaching positions], achieve success at the next level being student athletes,” Schroeder said.

Scrimsher officially introduced Schroeder to the team April 22 at a meeting between her and the eight returning players.

At the meeting, Schroeder said she takes a “more holistic approach” to coaching, and strives to “make her players comfortable” by becoming steadily involved with their day-to-day schedules.

Scrimsher said a transition between coaches can bring a “component of complexity” to an athletic program, but he does not see that being the case in this situation.

“Mary has many similarities with Claire, and she is picking up right where Claire left off,” he said.

Schroeder and Morgan also have previous experience together, as Schroeder actually coached Morgan as a player in high school.

“We have stayed connected through the soccer community ever since, through playing against each other and together on teams, through working at the Whatcom Sports Commission together,” Schroeder said. “Most recently she is the GU15 Blue team coach for Rangers while I am the GU15 Gold team coach.”

On the field, Schroeder said she plans to bring a lot of physicality to practice. She said she also wants to be able to tailor her coaching to fit the needs of the individual team members.

“I think the team is handling this transition very well,” Alflen said. “We were a little nervous at first because we had done so well with Claire last year and some of us came to Whatcom to play for Claire, but we decided to stick together and all return. We’re all really excited to have Mary as our coach.”

The team begins practicing for next season in early August, with individual workouts and other activities.


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