Women's Soccer: Peninsula and Highline players named to Junior College All-America and West Region Teams
If it’s true that defense wins championships, it can’t be too surprising that two players from Peninsula’s Northwest Athletic Conference championship back line would earn recognition at the highest level.
Sophomore center back Halle Watson was named Junior College Division I All-American and fellow center back Samantha Guzman was named Junior College Division I First Team All-West Region, as announced by the United Soccer Coaches.
“Congratulations to both Halle and Sam for the well-deserved honors,” said head coach Kanyon Anderson. “They are the most physically dominant center back duo I have seen in my nine years in the league. They are good in the air, good in the one v. one, good with the ball, good in communication and great competitors.”
Watson and Guzman also earned NWAC honors, as North Region All-Stars, representing a team that allowed only 10 goals the entire season - and no goals in the three playoff matches leading to the program’s fourth NWAC championship.
“Having started together for two full years, they have developed a fantastic understanding on and off the field,” Anderson added. “They seem to genuinely respect and appreciate each other. Our entire style of play this year was based on knowing that we had two incredible central defenders. We gave up no goals in the playoff run making us the first team in a decade to accomplish that feat (Columbia Basin is the only other women’s soccer team in NWAC history to go through the playoffs with shutouts in 2008). Coaches talk about getting certain players once in a decade and to have two at the same time has been so much fun.”
Both sophomores are fielding offers to play at the next level and are expected to sign in the coming months.
Also making the Junior College All-West Region Team were Highline College sophomores Jewel Boland and Fiona Dawson. Both of which are already committed to their next step in collegiate athletics at the Division I level. Fiona Dawson has committed to play next year at the University of Idaho, while Jewel Boland is committed to continue her playing years at Southern Methodist University.
Boland, the Thunderbird’s striker, was the 2017 NWAC Championships MVP as well as West Region MVP both 2017 and 2018. She
registered 21 goals, second in the league, and added 13 assists to give her 55 points on the season. She was a huge factor in Highline’s potent offense which registered a league high 99 goals.
Dawson transitioned from the forward position last year to defense this year and was a key component to a stingy defense that only allowed 12 goals on the season. Dawson was dangerous on set pieces as she also scored 5 goals from free kicks.
“These two players were a great force at either end of the field, said Highline head coach Tom Moore. "They were voted team captains, rightfully so, on a team that had the most successful two-year run in program history. I couldn’t be more impressed and proud of the work they have put in to ensure success for their team as well as themselves. They are the epitome of ‘hard work pays off in the end’ and I’m glad to see them headed off to continue their academics and soccer careers at recently successful Division I programs. These two will be missed, but mostly remembered, as powerhouse players and fantastic people within the Thunderbird program.”
The two sophomores helped their teams to two West Region championships, an NWAC title in 2017, a final four appearance this season and a two season combined record of 34-2-3.