For the Reporter
Tuesday evening Hazen soccer kicked off its third North Puget Sound League season with a strong showing at Tahoma. The Bears have finished in the top three final league standings the previous two seasons. Knowing this, Hazen coach Ken Matthews had an early chance to see how the Lady Highlanders match up.
“Everybody’s team is different year to year, but one thing I’ve learned is Liberty is always going to be Liberty and Tahoma is always going to be Tahoma,” said Matthews. “I noticed several familiar faces from last year’s team.”
In the two league games last year, Tahoma was 2-0 with 7 goals for and 0 goals against Hazen. While Tahoma’s roster was familiar to Matthews, his squad had a big turnover from the previous season. Hazen has eight newcomers to the varsity roster and six have started games this year.
“We had to find out what we had fast. It wasn’t easy because we had to practice in the gym during bad air days,” Matthews said. “But Liberty and Eastmont were tests we passed okay.”
Hazen got goals from senior Nia Johnson and sophomore Madison Kingett in the first half. The assists came from junior Rae Gerking and senior Bella Colasurdo. The defense pitched a shutout under enormous pressure from the Bears all game.
Hazen played Kent-Meridian Thursday. The game was played after the Reporter’s press deadline.
The Highlanders will travel to Kentwood Monday for an away match against the Conquerors at 7:30 p.m.