NWPL Announces 2019 Season Awards

The Northwest Premier League held their Annual General Meeting on Tuesday afternoon at Well 80 Brewhouse in downtown Olympia and announced four awards for the 2019 season as voted on by league members: Golden Boot, Golden Gloves, Player of the Year, and Coach of the Year.

Whitney Pitalo

IMG_0205 (1)Player of the Year: Whitney Pitalo (Capital FC Atletica)The founder, director and captain of the Capital FC Atletica program, Whitney Pitalo took on even more responsibility this season as a goal scorer. Needing to replace the firepower of Laadi Issaka, Pitalo stepped up and scored seven regular season goals, finishing in a tie for second place with Washington Premier’s Angela Celedon. But her versatility is what impressed coaches the most and earned her the NWPL’s 2019 Player of the Year playing all over the field and leading her team to a 7-1-0 regular season finish and a championship game appearance.

The South Salem High School alum and University of Southern California defender played wherever she was needed during the 2019 season. She earned an Offensive Player of the Week Award in week five with a two goal, one assist performance in a 4-1 win over the Oly-Pen Force. Her performance on the field was impressive, especially when combined with her leadership of the club, and of course, when asked about her Player of the Year Award, she extolled the virtues of her club and community rather than speak about herself.

“This year with an amazing World Cup we had a lot of extra attention to draw on, but I believe women’s soccer was already on the rise,” said Pitalo. “In our third year, we had many more supporters and volunteers. The World Cup felt like a celebration of where women’s soccer has come and where it’s going. I think that’s when I started to realize that it’s not just players who loves the game, but the community wants to be a part of it. It was a special year and I only see growth from here.”

Pitalo will take her experience building Capital FC Atletica to Roseburg this fall as their new Assistant Athletic Director and she will be involved in founding the new Umpqua Community College women’s soccer program. While she doesn’t rule out coming back and playing for CFC if her schedule permits, it is possible that she will bow out on top with the league’s top award.

Lauryn Peters

Golden Boot: Lauryn Peters (Yakima United) – 2017’s Golden Boot winner and Player of the Year, Lauryn Peters, did it again and ran away with the 2019 Golden Boot Award, scoring 12 goals in the six regular season games that she played in, leading the Hoppers to their best record as a club (5-3-0), their first home playoff game, and their first playoff win.

Peters, a Yakima native and West Valley High School product, returned home from college at Western Illinois early in the morning on Sunday, May 12th and made her first appearance for United just hours later contributing two goals including what proved to be the game winner in their 4-2 win over the Washington Timbers. A week later, Peters scored four times to earn Player of the Week for week three. She won the award again in week eight after a three goal weekend.

“Lauryn has proven herself to be one of the most dangerous forwards in the league,” said Yakima head coach Josh Vega. “And the truth is she’s so much than just a goal scorer. She’s one of the real leaders on our team.”

Her 12 goals in 2019 brings her grand total in Northwest Premier League action up to 26, where she comfortably has the record for most career goals. A junior at NCAA Division I Western Illinois, she has played every single minute of the Leathernecks first five games.

Makenzie Pineda with teammates

Golden Gloves: Makenzie Pineda (Capital FC Atletica) – By posting three shutouts over Capital FC Atletica’s first five games, and allowing just two goals during that time en route to a 5-0-0 start, Makenzie Pineda earned the NWPL’s 2019 Golden Gloves Award for the first time.

Pineda, an American Fork, Utah native and BYU-Hawaii alum that is also the goalkeeping coach for Capital FC Timbers youth program, held down the roll for the first five games of the season before a family vacation took her away from the team and other commitments made her unavailable for Sunday games. According to CFC Director and teammate Whitney Pitalo, she very much wanted to play in the playoffs but was not available because their playoff games were scheduled on Sundays. In just those five games, Pineda tied for the league lead in shutouts with Washington Premier’s Kyla Carter.

“Playing for your teammates, coaches, family, club, school, or community is much more FUN than playing for yourself,” said Pineda.

Josh Vega with NWPL President Micah McMonagle

Coach of the Year: Josh Vega (Yakima United) – The only remaining original Northwest Premier League coach, Yakima United’s Josh Vega put together his squad’s best season and first playoff win and earned the 2019 NWPL Coach of the Year Award for the first time.

Yakima United finished the season with a 5-3-0 record and a fourth place regular season finish and hosted their first playoff game, knocking off the Twin City Union to advance to the semifinals. It has been a natural progression for Vega and the Hoppers. They finished 4-5-3 in the first season of the NWPL and then followed that up with two three win seasons despite seeing improvement every year.

This season, Vega’s squad put it all together despite the challenges that go with playing in Yakima. For example: Yakima Valley College’s Sophie Painter won the Defensive Player of the Week award in week three and promptly left the club once school ended to return home on the west side of the state. But Vega and United built the depth and the talent this season necessary to withstand losses and were able to back up Lauryn Peters’ outstanding offensive season with a solid defense that gave up just 13 goals, their least as a club in four seasons.

“I’m very honored to be awarded the Coach of the Year Award,” said Vega. “We had a great season, our best yet, so obviously people will recognize the progress we’ve built over our four seasons. I’m just really happy to be a part of this league and coaching this group of great women from all over our valley.”

Vega has a lot on his plate with United.  He has to juggle coaching the Yakima women with directing the whole Hoppers club with dealing with the registration for the NWPL and EPLWA in his role with the Washington State Adult Soccer Association.

NWPL Players Of Week 7: Severns and Magee Honored In Competitive Week 7

Week seven of the Northwest Premier League featured some of the most competitive games of the season with every team very much alive for the playoffs and the top teams still vying for the league championship. There were many candidates for the Player Of The Week and it was very close voting and league operators and coaches chose players from the Oly-Pen Force and Blackhills FC as their victors.

Offensive: In a must win situation, the Oly-Pen Force came up big with an 8-0 win over Blackhills FC on Sunday and Isabelle Severns was instrumental in securing the win. The Bremerton native and Klahowya grad scored the first two goals on Sunday and then chipped in with three assists to put the Force in the driver’s seat for a playoff spot with one week left to play. Her speed and finishing was a constant threat all weekend and unselfish play led to many goals for others.

Defensive: It was a tough weekend for Blackhills FC, who allowed a late goal for a draw against NCW Alliance on Saturday and then lost 8-0 to the Force on Sunday. However, Leah Magee stood out under extreme match circumstances, playing 90 minutes on two straight days with a short roster of players, scoring a goal on Saturday and the Timberline High School graduate and PLU senior was inspirational in sustaining a high level of focus, playing physical at speed, and consistently breaking up the Force midfield and back line plays through pass interceptions and tackles on Saturday.

Other nominees:
Offensive: Annouscka Kordom (Capital FC), Jayden Brown (NCW Alliance), Whitney Pitalo (Capital FC), Justina MacDowell (Seattle Stars)
Defensive: Abbey Knoll (Capital FC), Beau Bremer (Seattle Stars), Julia Sattler (Capital FC),

NWPL Players Of Week 6: WA Premier Players Sweep


Washington Premier knocked off NCW Alliance on Saturday 6-0, continuing their outstanding Northwest Premier League season. They sit at 5-1-0 with their only loss coming to the Seattle Stars. They have allowed just two goals to teams other than the Stars and sit in third place with games against Capital FC Atletica coming up this weekend. For their efforts, NWPL operators and coaches have honored two of their players with the week six Players Of The Week award.

Offensive: With two more goals on Saturday against the NCW Alliance, Angela Celedon now has seven on the season, good enough for second place in the NWPL. Celedon scored once in the 27th minute and again in the 46th and has been instrumental in leading Washington Premier to a 5-1-0 record. This is the Shoreline Community College product and Wilson High School grad’s second year with WA Premier after spending one season with the Seattle Stars. She scored three goals for WPFC last season.

Defensive: While Celedon and the offense have been plugging along, the defense for Washington Premier has been on point as well, allowing just five goals this season. A big part of that has been Marina O’Loughlin, who earns the POTW award for their shutout against NCW Alliance. O’Loughlin, a Tacoma Community College product from El Cajon, California, has been outstanding on stopping the opposition build up, winning 1v1 battles and makes smart decisions in distribution moving forward.

Other nominees:
Offensive: Lauryn Peters (Yakima United)
Defensive: Anna Hager (Yakima United)

NWPL Players Of Week 4: Wilkins and Campigotto Use The Force

The Oly-Pen Force knocked off the NCW Alliance on Sunday in Wenatchee in sweltering heat. The 2-0 win impressed NWPL coaches and club operators and they gave the Offensive and Defensive Player Of The Week awards to the two Force players who were instrumental in picking up their first win of the season.

Offensive: Oly-Pen’s Emily Wilkins scored both of the goals for the Force in Wenatchee. Wilkins played 85 of the 90 minutes in 95 degree weather and outworked the competition, getting into position when others were too tired to get there. The Northwest Nazarene grad almost scored her third goal while keeping the pressure on the Alliance in the second half, just barely missing over the crossbar.

Defensive: Ali Campigotto made nine saves including three one-on-one saves and earned the shutout on Sunday. The Saint Martin’s goalkeeper impressed with not only the saves that she made, but her ability to calm down her squad, take some time and allow them to catch their breath on a hot day with a short-handed squad. She also did a great job setting her offense up and keeping the Alliance on their toes to pick up the 2-0 win.

Other nominees:
Offensive: Angela Celedon (WA Premier)
Defensive: Kyla Carter (WA Premier)

NWPL Players Of Week 3: Yakima’s Painter and Peters

Week-Three

Yakima United is red hot over the last two weeks and their 7-0 win over NCW Alliance on Saturday led league coaches and operators to name two Hoppers as Northwest Premier League Players of the Week for week three.

Defensive: Sophie Painter has been the anchor for Yakima’s midfield early this season as their number 6 and played her best game of the season on Saturday according to coach Josh Vega. “She breaks down attacks before they get to our back line,” said Vega. “She is a true ball winner and turns those into attacks so brilliantly, even getting herself an assist this week.” The Lake Tapps native just wrapped up her freshman year at Yakima Valley College.

Offensive: With four goals on Saturday and two goals the previous week, Lauryn Peters continues to rack up the accomplishments in the NWPL. Against NCW Alliance, she collected those four goals and added an assist on Saturday in a 7-0 win. The previous week, she arrived back into town from Western Illinois University where she just finished her sophomore year at 2:00 AM and played later that day, scoring twice with one assist. The 2017 NWPL Player of the Year now has 19 career goals in the league and has won Player of the Week three times.

Other nominees:
Defensive: Nicole Williams (WA Premier), Ashley Joubert (Blackhills), Hannah Greene (Capital FC), Emily Sorenson (Twin City)
Offensive: Jackie Corley (WA Premier), Vicky Cruz (Capital FC), Brook Swensen (Twin City)

NWPL Players Of Week 1: NCW Alliance Sweeps With Michkiosky & Simmons

After going 0-8-0 in 2018, NCW Alliance opened up 2019 with a 3-1 win over the Washington Timbers, a semifinalist in last year’s playoffs. League head coaches and operators recognized two players from the Alliance with the week one Player of the Week award.

OFFENSIVE: The Alliance built a 3-0 lead thanks to Katie Michkiosky’s penalty kick early in the second half and then assisting on the third goal of the night late in the game and impressed her coaches with her poise, communication and dominating presence on the field. Michkiosky played her senior season at Northwest University this past fall and led the Cascade Conference with 20 goals and six assists leading the Eagles to the NAIA quarterfinals.

DEFENSIVE: Another Northwest University Eagle, Adrianna Simmons made several saves in goal for the Alliance and kept the Timbers off the board until very late in the game when they had already built a 3-0 lead. The Ephrata native impressed her coaches by providing the necessary information and commands that kept her backline connected and led them to their first win since July 9th, 2017.

Other nominees:
Offensive: Annouscka Kordom (Capital FC Atletica) & Angela Celedon (Washington Premier)
Defensive: Makenzie Pineda (Capital FC Atletica) & Delaney Smith (Washington Premier)

Photos from Northwest University Athletics