On the Blog
For a team-by-team girls soccer outlook, visit The Columbian's high school sports blog.
State championship? Check.
State player of the year honor? Check.
College choice? Check.
After she scored 14 goals as a junior in helping Columbia River to its second Class 3A girls soccer state title, the question for Madison Reynolds is: What's left on her checklist?
"For me, it's just keeping my standards up," she said. "I want to play this year like I played all year last year."
If that happens, Reynolds and the Chieftains figure to be standard bearers in the Class 3A Greater St. Helens League. She is one of nine seniors on this team, seven of whom were starters during the undefeated 2012 season.
Reynolds' role in that title run was impressive enough to earn her Class 3A player of the year honors on the coaches' all-state team.
"I wasn't expecting to get player of the year," she said.
Reynolds and her teammates don't expect last year's success to make this season easier.
"I think it's going to be tough just because the target is on our backs," Reynolds said.
Columbia River coach Filomon Afenegus said her personality makes Reynolds dangerous even when things don't go her way.
"When she misses a chance, she doesn't hang her head. It almost makes her more determined," Afenegus said.
Though she missed several midseason games last season because of a concussion, Reynolds said she doesn't mind when opponents target her with physical play.
"I love that (physical) part of the game," she said. "I like getting into people's heads."
Reynolds said that as a senior, she is better prepared to make defenses think this season.
"The runs I make to get the ball" are improved, she said. "I'm better at judging when the ball is coming and timing my runs."
It's hard to imagine Reynolds having better timing than she did on her most memorable goal for River in 2012. Trailing Liberty 1-0 with about 10 minutes left in the state semifinal match, Reynolds split two defenders to turn a bouncing pass from the River defense into a tying goal.
"That was one of my best goals ever," Reynolds said. "There was so much to lose, so much to gain, so much to think about in that split second," she recalled.
In choosing a college, Reynolds went with Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, which plays Division I women's soccer. The campus and coaching staff felt comfortable, she said.
Playing in college has been a goal for Reynolds since before middle school. She first played soccer as a 4-year-old, and moved up to more competitive play as a 10-year-old. She played for FC Vancouver, and Columbia Timbers club teams in Vancouver before moving this year to FC Portland..
Before she leaves Columbia River behind, Reynolds wants to give the Chieftains her best. She also plays basketball and competes in track and field for Columbia River.
"I'm just trying to have fun in high school and play all the sports I can," she said.
Girls soccer outlook
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Madison Reynolds, sr., Columbia River; Maddy Sjothun, sr., Union; Delaney Lindahl, jr., Union; Shannon Sterling, sr., Prairie; Mika Norrish, sr., Camas; Ana Delgadillo, sr., Columbia River; Emily Kleier, sr., Columbia River; Jordan Voyles, jr., Ridgefield; Rylee Seekins, so., Hockinson; Emily Dobbin, sr., Skyview; Sydnee Smith, jr., Skyview; Shelby Vermeulen, so., La Center; Milla Benedetti, sr., Mountain View.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH
• No. 1: Can River repeat? The 2012 Class 3A state champion, Columbia River returns many of their players from the team that finished with 19 wins and two ties. In addition to having a core group of veterans, this is the Chieftains second season under coach Filomon Afenegus.
• No. 2: Intriguing matches: These could be some of the most competitive matchups of the season: Camas at Columbia River, Sept. 26; Camas vs. Union, Oct. 15 at McKenzie Stadium; Union at Camas, Oct. 31; Hockinson at Ridgefield, Oct. 8; Ridgefield at Hockinson, Oct. 24; Mark Morris at Ridgefield, Oct. 26.
• No. 3: Coaches return: Guy Brown at Battle Ground and Tami Perkins at Hudson’s Bay are back as head coaches at schools they previously guided. Brown coached the Tigers from 1996 through 2001. Perkins coached the Eagles from 1993 through 2007.
• No. 4: Impact injuries: Camas currently has four players sidelined because of concussion symptoms, including senior all-league defender Carly Marshall.
• No. 5: State destinations: The soccer semifinals and finals are Nov. 22-23 at these sites: Classes 4A and 3A at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup; 2A and 1A at Shoreline Stadium; 1B/2B girls and boys at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner.
For team-by-team preseason coaches reports, see our high school sports blog at: blogs.columbian.com/high-school-sports