Last fall, Nathan Davis was getting familiar in his new environment. Hired as Woodinville’s "head coach in waiting," he served as an assistant as Sully Hester completed his final season as leader of the Falcon soccer program.
"I did whatever he needed me to do," Davis said recently. "I knew that down the road I would be taking over the girls team this year.
So last year I focused mainly on getting to know the girls, not just on varsity but the girls on JV. To know what their individual strengths and weaknesses were and to give me a leg up heading into this year."
Davis enjoyed the lively personalities from last year’s team, especially among the large senior class.
But Woodinville’s season ended with a mediocre 7-7 record.
"Knowing that the talent we had and having 10 talented seniors was a disappointment not making the Kingco tournament and doing something there," he said.
Now, as he takes command of the ’13 squad, Davis sees a youthful team teeming with potential.
"I think our strength is our depth," he said. "There is going to be a lot of girls (trying out) and it’s going to be hard to choose just one varsity team. There are enough players there to probably make two varsity teams. But I think that we will have a lot of depth which means we will be able to do a lot of rotations and hopefully stay fresh and have a very high paced style of play."
When asked about this year’s leaders, Davis answered definitively.
"Molly Stinson is our senior goalie," he said. "She’s a tall girl, very quick. Good leadership skills. She’s been very helpful this summer in organizing practices and getting everyone on the same page. She’s very excited for the season to start. So I look for her to step up and be a big leader for us in the back.
"Emily Neubert will also be a force," he said. "She’s a smaller girl but she’ll play in the mid shield of the defense.
"She’s got a lot of energy, she’s very smart, and she sees the field very well. She will be a great leader for us there."
As for younger players prepared to contribute, Davis offered a couple key names.
"We have a ton of young talent this year which will be very nice," he said. "Rachel Schenck is one. She’s super talented and played almost every game for us last year as a sophomore. She’ll be starting for us on defense again.
"Sara Deboer is another. She’ll play up top, a very strong girl, a good shooter. She holds the ball well, I think [she] will be a very talented player for us."
But this year, Molly Stinson is key.
"The goalie sees the whole game, so it’s easy for her to dictate," Davis said. "And Molly’s not afraid to be very loud.
"She’ll yell at not only her defense but also at her midfield and forwards as well from what she sees and thinks should be happening.
"And that’s good that it comes from someone other than me. I think Molly and I can get on the same page and that way the kids will be hearing it more from her more than me. She’ll be able to run her defense, which is good because it’s a young defense."