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GSL Preview boys soccer

Last year was a five-team scramble and prospects for another tight race look good again. Mead and Central Valley shared the title with 25 points and faced off in state. University, Ferris and Lewis and Clark were all tied three points back. Those teams, all 4A, are favored again and their postseason prospects will be less favorable, as in all sports, than for the five 3A schools.


First-team All-GSL selections Evan Frobe (U-Hi) and Alex Cutter (Ferris) were among the league-leading goal scorers and return up front to bolster their teams. … LC’s Jack Gilles is a four-year starter and Mckenzie Olivares led the Tigers in scoring.


A quartet of All-GSL veterans makes this position the strength of the league. Andrew Mastronardi (East Valley) is headed to Oregon State. James Matern (Ferris) is in his fourth year as a starter. Mike Ramos (U-Hi) and Nick Hamer (Mead) are the other first-team returnees. … Add in sophomore Joseph Guerrinha (CV), whose arrival down the stretch lifted the Bears, teammate Trevor Delmedico, Casey Ames (LC), Matt Eatock (EV) and Nathan Pelton (North Central), who led his team in scoring, and you get an idea of the strength of this position.


These positions helped carry the Bears to state last year and will be a source of scoring for them. Elsewhere, Zach Knechtges (Mead) is one of the key returnees at the net and keeper is a source of strength as well at LC and Ferris, where Chris Hollman and Nick Stebbins, respectively, return. Aaron Gleason (U-Hi) is the lone returning first-team All-GSL player on defense, where Chance Johnstone (Mead) was second team.


This will be another barn-burner season based on returnees from last year’s contenders. As LC coach Casey Curtis puts it: “I expect this season to be similar in it’s competitiveness. The biggest factor will be how well teams adjust to not being outside much before we start the season.” … The coach at EV this year is Jeff Paulus, who replaces Jeff Rose. Joe Phipps, who guided Shadle Park girls to state, takes over the boys team.


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