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TDW soccer in their final go-around

The Dalles Wahtonka sophomore Monique Mendiola (right) strives to pull the ball away from a tough Hood River defender during Tuesday's girl’s soccer game in The Dalles. HRV won the game, 3-1.

The Dalles Wahtonka sophomore Monique Mendiola (right) strives to pull the ball away from a tough Hood River defender during Tuesday's girl’s soccer game in The Dalles. HRV won the game, 3-1. Photo by Mark Gibson.

With a young team of 10 freshmen new to the program, The Dalles Wahtonka head girl’s soccer coach Colby Tonn knew this season would be one of rebuilding.

Not surprisingly though, the Eagle Indians finished with a 4-7-2 record, three spots from a postseason berth.

Two of those losses were by two goals or less, including Tuesday’s 3-1 setback on senior night against Hood River Valley.

Sophomore midfielder Hannah Walasavage scored the lone goal for T-Dub, on a penalty kick at the 72-minute mark of the second half.

“The girls played hard and the seniors, Alicia Anderson, Bailey Cordell and Nayeli Lopez, played well,” said Tonn.

Now Tonn turns his focus to next year when those freshmen like Sierra Watson, Brooke McCall and Shaynie Watson will be year older and wiser.

Walasavage, Monique Mendiola, Hannah Harris, Grace Helyer and Ruthie Ford will be upper classmen next year and the new leaders on an up-and-coming team with incoming seniors Bri Stavaas-Jamack, Marta Gamez, Melissa Cruz.

“We’ve got another strong incoming class,” Tonn said. “So, grade-wise we might be young, but we also return several starters. Even though they may show up on the sheet as 10th graders, they have already had one year of varsity experience. They should not be fazed. They have a whole year under their belt, so they should be good to go.”

Losing is foreign to many of the names in the program due to the traveling ball played in the summer and fall, in addition to years played under former coach Cheri McCall.

Tonn is happy to have such a supporting cast of coaches to help in the progression of the roster.

Their time is coming up quickly.

“A lot of girls have been in the summer clubs in Portland and here,” Tonn said. “We had Cheri McCall leading summer program. I really appreciate what Cheri has been doing. We have had good numbers, not just in the high school, but also with other levels. They are playing together and working together. We will be better sooner rather than later.”

To find out more about traveling soccer or other programs, call 541-965-0994.

T-Dub boys lose 5-0 to HRV

Needing a win in order to keep a glimmer of playoff hopes going, The Dalles Wahtonka boy’s soccer team could not hit the back of the net in a 5-0 shutout loss Tuesday night at Henderson Field in Hood River.

“We played a great first half. At the end, their bench was, by far, stronger than ours,” said TDW head coach Luis Gamez. “(I am) so proud of the boys’ effort to compete in the game. (It was) so different than early in the season.”

Although TDW ended up with a 3-7-3 overall record, they had a final ranking of No. 25, one spot from the final playoff slot, with an RPI of 415.097, 42.183 behind No. 24 Sherwood (457.280).

“It hurts me that we could not make the playoffs with this senior group,” Gamez added. “They really deserved it. It goes back to our slow start. We could never catch up.”

Now the work begins for Gamez and assistant coach Jonathan Garrett and EmManuel Elias, as they try to develop a roster of suitable players to replace the nine seniors who played a pivotal role in leading this team to prominence in the past few seasons.

Bryan Sanchez is an all-league goalie who leaves a hole on the back end.

Senior forward Christian Garcia had a five-game stretch where he score a goal, so his contributions would be missed, as will the midfield output put forth by Ernesto Rodriguez, Mando Cabrera, Rocco Cozza, Jesus Gamez and Alexis Elias.

Six times this season, the defense allowed two goals or less, and seniors Sergio Rios and Julian Gutierrez were a big reason why.

There is a good foundation returning next season with a healthier Angel Esiquio making his return along with Andres Manzo, Leo Hernandez, Aldo Rivas and Tony Morales.

In addition, there will be an influx of freshmen athletes in 2014.

“I hope that our program continues to grow and kind of takes it a step higher every year,” Gamez said. “This community is developing some real good players. There are some young players, who will be solid, but it is a matter of committing to the program 100 percent and it will take it the extra step. I think we will reach our peak. Once we hit the peak, they will be a very good soccer team.”

Indoor soccer is upcoming, so to find out more, call 541-288-7251.

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