Last year’s Falcons may have soared all the way to the State tourney, but the season wasn’t without setbacks. You didn’t have to look any further than pregame warmups. Woodinville players would jog onto the court to shoot baskets and stretch muscles. But on the sideline, sophomore Rachel Moscatel would hobble her way to a seat on the bench. A serious knee injury caused her to miss the whole campaign.
But now, in a recent game against Bothell, she’s on the court. A teammate spies her standing open and passes her the ball. Moscatel catches it beyond the three point arc. Squaring her shoulders to the hoop, she lets the ball fly with a smooth release. And… SWISH!
“It’s going good, there’s no pain,” Moscatel said. “It’s going better than I thought it would. It’s nice to be back.”
As of this writing, the 5’11” junior is shooting a team-best 41% from three-point range. The Falcons are 11-3 and hoping for a return trip to the Tacoma Dome.
But dreams of the postseason aren’t the only thing motivating Rachel. Her dad, Sam Moscatel, is the team’s assistant coach.
“It has been a good experience playing for my dad,” Rachel said. “Not everybody gets the chance to do this and I have enjoyed it.”
Sam Moscatel has a long history of playing and coaching basketball. In fact, his brother Al used to be a shooting guard for the Washington Huskies back in the 1980s.
“I’d like to take credit for her jump shot, but I can’t,” Sam Moscatel said with a smile. “Her AAU coach Nick Crossan has been working with her on that for that last 5-6 years… He has done a great job with her.”
Sam has been coaching Rachel’s teams going back to when she was in fifth grade. In fact, a core group of Woodinville girls has stayed together to the present day.
“I’ve been with them a long time,” Sam said. “Maddie Dubois, Morgan [Lundquist], Katie [Minnehan], Jordan [Berday] and Rachel. I’ve had them every year since then. Just being able to watch them grow and continue each year has been fun.”
Rachel was asked what she likes best playing for dad.
“Just spending time with him,” she said. “And he always mumbles under his breath a joke to me, so it makes me laugh.”
Woodinville head coach Scott Bullock has known the Moscatels since Rachel was three years old.
“The Moscatel family is one of the pillars of our community and fortunately for me they are basketball fanatics,” Bullock said. “It has been fun to watch Rachel grow up and now finally take the floor as a high school Lady Falcon.”
A recent Woodinville loss to Skyline came as a surprise. But Coach Moscatel views it as a learning experience.
“Doing this as long as I have, I’ve learned that everything is timing,” Moscatel said. “You want to start peaking when you get to where we are this season [late January]. Basically you need to start to playing your best basketball [right about now]. I think we will -- I think we’re headed the right way.
“And this group has been really good,” he added. “There has been no drama and they all love each other. It has been a lot of fun.”