Trout Lake’s 2-1 girls soccer start this fall season can be attributed to a couple of factors, but perhaps the main one is because the Mustangs have a talented and dedicated roster of players.
The first all-female team in school history, which had its match scheduled for Saturday against De La Salle North Catholic from Portland canceled, is led by Coach Sean Painter. Painter, who spent 14 seasons assisting the boys program, said in past years Trout Lake girls who wanted to play high school soccer could join the Mustang boys team or play at nearby Columbia High in White Salmon. Boys Coach Timmy Waller has always welcomed the female players, in part, because some seasons the co-ed format was the only way the school could field a complete team.
“Coach Waller and I could see it coming,” Painter said of the opportunity to start a girls team. “It’s worked out well for the school.”
Numbers are up in the combined programs — and at the school, for that matter. The girls team has a 14-player girls roster and 17 players are listed in the boys program. (Some girls opted to play soccer vs. volleyball, resulting in that program combining with Hood River’s Horizon Christian School — which re-started its program this fall after not having enough players the past three years.)
“We’re doing pretty well for getting the program off and running,” Painter said. “The girls are excited they don’t have to play with the boys or they don’t have to travel down to White Salmon to play.”
The future looks bright. “We’re getting some kids out who are interested in the sport (and) we have two pretty large classes coming up,” Painter said.
The present isn’t bad, either. The Mustangs opened the season with successive shutout wins: 5-0 at Stanfield and 8-0 vs. Umatilla.
“For our first year of soccer, we played a good match against them,” Painter said of Stanfield. “We dominated, pretty much; we worked the ball pretty well.”
Senior Wynsome Painter, one of the coach’s two daughters on the team, scored in the first minute against Stanfield, then added another goal about 10 minutes later to put the host team on its heels.
“They played us tough, but we just scored the goals, and they didn’t,” Coach Painter said.
There was more of the same against Umatilla, which figured to give the Mustangs a challenge, but that ended up not being the case. “We were prepared for a really tough game,” Painter said.
Wynsome Painter and fellow senior Alyssa Padilla scored three goals apiece to pace the offense.
“We could have finished it in the first half,” Coach Painter said, referring to the Oregon School Activities Association’s mercy rule about lopsided contests. But instead, the Mustangs worked on set plays and ball movement to extend the game almost to the full 80 minutes.
That wasn’t an issue Sept. 14, when Trout Lake got its first taste of competition against an experienced opponent, Westside Christian of Tigard — and its first match on artificial turf. “That was a tougher game,” Painter said of the Mustangs’ 3-1 loss. “That didn’t reflect in the score; it was more of a 2-1 game.”
Trout Lake scored first in the opening 10 minutes, but Westside battled back by halftime to take a 2-1 lead. “Just before half Westside took the lead,” Painter said. “In the second half we came out and we played pretty well. My keeper (frosh Violette Anderson) was amazing that game. Our center back (sophomore Gabby Basch) got hurt — hurt her ankle — but the other girls stepped up.”
Painter expects more of the same as the season progresses. “We’re going to try and do some damage and hopefully win some games this season,” he said. “I’d like to see the girls finish about .500.”
Wynsome Painter and Padilla are two of five seniors on the Mustang roster, along with Sophia Allaway, Carme Brown, and Em Lopez.
Trout Lake is playing in Oregon’s Special District 7 for girls soccer. The league includes Class 3A private schools Catlin Gabel, Oregon Episcopal, De La Salle and Riverdale. Either Catlin or OES have won nine of the past 10 girls soccer state championships for smaller schools (Class 3A/2A/1A).
“They draw from a lot of the club programs” in the Portland area, Painter said. The Mustangs, who play their final non-league match 1 p.m. Saturday at home against Stanfield, will counter with graduates from a successful youth program — among other things.
“The one thing I do know about the Trout Lake girls, is they do give 110 percent,” said Painter.