Last season, 4A Girls Soccer was dominated by the Marist Catholic Lady Spartans.
Marist went 18-1 in 2022, dominating every step of the way en route to their first girls soccer state title.
Over the past few seasons at this level, we’ve seen perennial powers lift the coveted blue trophy or be in the mix year in and year out. These perennial powers include Marist Catholic, North Marion, Gladstone, Hidden Valley, and Scappoose.
It seems as if whenever one of these schools loses a class with generational talent, instead of rebuilding they just reload. Since 2017, at least one of the five teams mentioned above have featured in the state championship game. If you mix in Woodburn who moved up to 5A, or Valley Catholic who dropped down to 3A, at least one of the schools listed above have won the state championship each year since 2017.
When these powerhouse programs compete for state titles every season, it begs the question: “Who is the next powerhouse program on the rise?”
Teams to Look Out For in 2023
Marist Catholic – When you think about 4A Girls Soccer, it’s nearly impossible that Marist Catholic doesn’t come to mind. Since 2018, the Lady Spartans boast a record of 67 wins, 10 losses, and 6 ties. Across this stretch, Marist has reached three state championship games, and in the two seasons they didn’t, they reached the quarterfinal round or better. After falling in the 2019 and 2020 state championship matches, Marist swept through the 4A competition in 2022. On their climb up the summit they went 15-0 in 4A contests, outscoring their opponents 11-0 in postseason play. Heading into 2023, the Lady Spartans lose only three players, however, one of them was the 4A Player of the Year, Sela Freeman. Freeman was accompanied by teammates Paige Meador and Cloe Chase on the 1st team all-state list, but only Chase returns of the three. However, depth was not an issue for the Lady Spartans last season, and shouldn’ t be once again in 2023. Marist will face an early challenge against North Eugene, a side that handed them their only loss last season. The Lady Spartans will also close their regular season up with a high profile 3A/4A matchup against Catlin Gabel.
North Marion – As always, the 2022 Oregon West Conference Champions will be in the mix for 2023. The Huskies lose five seniors, including Saylor Swanson and Allyson Coulombe who landed on first and second team all state respectively. Coulombe will be a bigger loss than most may realize as the shot stopper kept 11 clean sheets for the Huskies last season, and never allowed more than a goal in the regular season. North Marion will lean on the soccer culture that they’ve built in Aurora to replace the talent they’ve lost and compete for another state title. The 2021 State Champions will battle Philomath and Newport in the Oregon West, while also facing OES, Valley Catholic, Marist Catholic, and Gladstone in a STACKED non-league schedule. One thing we’ve noticed over the last few years is, the tougher the schedule is, the better the team ends up being, and we think the sky’s the limit for North Marion this season.
Scappoose – It was a disappointing end to the season last year for the Lady Indians as they rode a nine-match shutout and 11 match unbeaten streak into their matchup with North Marion. Two first half goals in the span of five minutes from the Lady Huskies put Scappoose in a hole they ultimately couldn’t climb out of. In 2023, the Lady Indians return a plethora of talent, highlighted by Alice Davidson, the younger sister of former Gatorade Player of the Year; Lucy Davidson. Alice was a first team all state selection in 2022, and should be the primary goal scorer for Scappoose. The Lady Indians will face early tests against Valley Catholic and Gladstone, which should be a great opportunity to test their depth and display their trajectory.
Newport – After a sub .500 season in 2021, the Newport Lady Cubs burst onto the scene with a 13-3-1 record in 2022. Led by incoming junior Brisa Aguilar, Newport lost a tightly contested match in the state quarterfinals to Gladstone last season. Aguilar, a first team all state selection last year is on a shortlist for preseason Player of the Year in our eyes. Newport only graduates three players from their 2022 roster, and with an early matchup at Catlin Gabel, we’re excited to see the Lady Cubs take another step. Newport just may be that team you start to throw into the powerhouse conversation after this season.
Philomath – In what will be a stacked Oregon West League, the Philomath Lady Warriors will be right in the mix. Philomath returns first team all state forward Kamila Grimmer, who will continue to give opposing defenses fits in 2023. Like North Marion, Philomath also loses a talented goalkeeper in Hallie Coutoure, but with three of their four starting defenders returning, the transition to a younger keeper shouldn’t be an issue. We envision the league title race coming down to the final day, and we’re excited to see how this season plays out for Philomath. They dropped a very competitive 2-0 decision to Marist Catholic in the quarterfinals last year, and with a better seed they could’ve made a run further. The Lady Warriors will get a chance at revenge on August 31st when they travel to Eugene for their road opener against the Lady Spartans.
Other teams that are poised to have a strong 2023 include Gladstone, Hidden Valley, La Grande, Henley, and North Bend.
Other players worth keeping an eye on this season includes:
Riley Yunker (Hidden Valley)
Lauren Efraimson (North Bend)
Kaleigh England (Marshfield)
Kelsey Graham (Pendleton)
Itzel Hernandez (Ontario)
Amyrah Hill (The Dalles)
- Marist Catholic
- North Marion
- Hidden Valley
- North Bend
- La Grande
Considered: Astoria, Cascade, Marshfield, Klamath Union, Ontario, Pendleton / Weston-McEwen