Coach Andy Duke’s realistic attitude about his 2014 soccer team’s chances against opponents like perennial powerhouse Overlake doesn’t dampen his desire to win, but he says that three starters overseas as exchange students and nine fewer players overall makes qualifying for post-season play a difficult goal.
In the first match of the season last Saturday, 2012 state champion Overlake pulled out a 5-2 win, but Friday Harbor showed athleticism and kept it close most of the way.
“I want to win them all,” Duke said, “but we have no easy games. Our goalie, Jed Lewis, doesn’t have a lot of experience, and most of our matches are against bigger 1A schools.” Out of 14 games on a schedule against 12 different teams, he thinks four or five wins are possible.
That would be an improvement on a 3-12, 2013 campaign. Five wins would also possibly signal that next season, which will be played next fall when the Wolverines drop down one level competition, to the 2B Northwest League division, could be even more successful. “We’ll be more competitive at the 2B level, and a fall season following a spring season will work real well for the younger kids and for our returning exchange students,” Duke said.
“Seniors Daniel Porter, Makena Christison and Jed Lewis will be our leaders,” he said, “and we’re looking for contributions from freshman starters Robbie Miller and Joe Stewart and our freshman back-up goalie, Chris Halleck.”
Assistant Coaches Jose Churape, Kevin Porter and Forrest Marowitz have been working the team into playing shape. Duke is happy for the assistance and is pointing to the match with Lynden Christian—the last game of the season and a team the Wolverines have not beaten during Duke’s tenure as head coach.