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Kickers bring depth to league
The Bainbridge girls' soccer team's annual almost automatic entry into the state tournament has gone away with the entry into the Metro League, and it's probably a good thing.We'd always go to state, but we'd meet our match - and more - right away, said senior co-captain Fab Rezayat. Since the majority of those matches and more came from Metro - arguably the toughest girls soccer league in the state - Rezayat sees positives in playing them more frequently.We'll see where we are so that state doesn't come as a surprise, she maintains. And if we do go to state, we'll playing teams from our league that we're familiar with.Fellow senior co-captain Suzanne Fossum looks forward to the challenge, believing that this team is quicker and has more offense than we've had before.They'll get an early preview of how they stack up against Metro following Tuesday's home opener against North Kitsap on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The Spartans host Eastside Catholic on Thursday at 5 p.m. before an away game against defending state champion Lakeside the following Tuesday.New coach Mark Grindrod brings a wealth of soccer experience to the team. He began playing in high school in New York in 1969, he's an experienced referee, and his coaching experience spans nearly two decades including several years as coaching director of the local Olympic Director Program and a recently acquired Class C National License. Grindrod, who works as a general foreman at Bangor's IMF Electronics Branch, at times has coached as many as three teams simultaneously plus serving as trainer for a team that his wife was coaching. But he's scaling back those other commitments to devote his full energy to the Bainbridge position.Though this is his first high school job, he's already familiar with many of his players through his select-level coaching.The sophomores heard that I might be available and approached me, he says. I was also interested because the island has such an outstanding soccer program. We even have a C team here, which you don't find in a lot of places.He makes it clear that he's here for the long term.We're building a program, he says. We want to develop players year after year.He's enthusiastic about the talent level of his players, most of whom are returning varsity players and also have at least Select-level experience.If we were in the Olympic League this year, we'd be on top, he says. But I don't have a clue about Metro. I do know we are in a bracket with the private schools, which usually have the better quality teams.We'll be very competitive over there. The kids have a great work ethic, ready to do what they need to do. And we're very deep. There isn't anyone who couldn't be a starter. We'll do a lot of subbing to keep fresh and keep the other teams on their toes trying to figure out what we're doing.Grindrod, who normally plays four defenders, four mids and two forwards, proceeded to provide a player rundown.Crisma Biggs, senior forward: She's very fast, tough, aggressive and goal-minded.Christen Faltermeier, senior defender: An animal who's tough to beat.Suzanne Fossum, senior defender: She's our sweeper and general of the defense.Emily Haber, senior midfielder: An aggressive in-your-face-type player who never stops.Courtney McFarlane, senior defender: She's coming back from an injury and is really aggressive and quick on her feet.Fab Rezayat, senior midfielder: She's our best player, a smart, talented playmaker whose goal this year is to outscore anybody she faces.Lindsey Carlson, junior forward: She's also coming off an injury and I see her as a great finisher.Sarah Esvelt, junior defender: Up from last year's JV team, she's an unstoppable stopper.Inger Fredricks, junior mid: She's a fire plug in the middle.Adriana Gonzalez-Medina, sophomore mid: She made ODP national tryouts this summer.Veronica Ivey, sophomore defender: A starter, she has a never say die attitude.Kyle McFarlane, sophomore mid: She has a great nose for the ball, and made the regional ODP tryout.Erin Wiggins, sophomore mid: She's deceptive and smart.Jenine Adam, freshman mid: With great control of the ball and the field, she's cracked the starting lineup as a freshman.Lindsay Lund, freshman forward: Also a freshman starter, she's aggressive, quick, and team-oriented.Grindrod will employ a co-keeper approach this year, with junior Alex Evans and sophomore Catherine Powers both up from last year's JV team. One will do one half and the other one will do the second half, he says. But in tight games, if the first half starter has done well then she'll probably stay. JV forecastJunior varsity coach Anh Tran welcomes a team consisting of juniors Jessica Borgen, Kelley Case, Katelynn Gardner Toren, Alex Harris, Brisa Leachman and Elizabeth Montoya, sophomores Kylie Izzi, Toren Johnson, Lee Maloney, Kara Mann, Logan Mohr, Shawnee Snyder, Sushi Speidel, Amy Strand and Jen Utley, plus freshmen Taryn Christoffersen, Tucker Huget and Jaxen Solseng.The all-freshman C team, coached by Laura Sachs, consists of Hannah Davis, Megan Devereaux, Taitea Dykstra, Gwen Gottlieb, Whitney Hume, Rachel Johncock, Annie Kent, Devereaux Keyes, Hannah Ludlow, Jocelyn Moody, Jessica Pool, Leah Preble, Jackie Smith, Jenny Trygg, Skadi von Reis Crooks, Katie Webb, Ali White and Jenni Wolf-Smeeth.