White River’s junior varsity squad hosted Fife Thursday night, Sept. 21. Above, the Hornets’ Allison Koch moves past a defender. Photo by Kevin Hanson

Strong start for White River soccer

Things were a bit tougher Thursday night, but the outcome was the same – another victory for the White River High girls soccer program.

Things were a bit tougher Thursday night, but the outcome was the same – another victory for the White River High girls soccer program.

The Hornets – under the direction of first-year coach Joe Birklid – used goals by Emma Robbins, Annabelle Hall and Hanna Saylor to slip past visiting Fife High 3-1. The win pushed the Hornets’ record to 5-0 in South Puget Sound League 2A play and 6-0 overall.

The victory was significant because it came against a formidable foe. The Trojans made the trip to Buckley with an undefeated record. White River’s earlier league wins had come against teams that couldn’t mount much of a challenge.

White River has romped through much of the early part of the season, outscoring opponents 35-4 during the opening six contests. Included were landslide league wins like 9-0 victories over both Foster and Washington, along with a 7-0 defeat of Franklin Pierce.

Birklid, who for the past three years was a full-time coach on the staff of Washington Premier, credits much of his team’s success to experience. The Hornets have 11 seniors on the varsity team and six juniors. The rest are sophomores, except for Saylor, the only freshman to crack the varsity roster.

The fact that the Hornets had allowed only four goals in six games is credited to a transition defense that’s always pressing to regain possession of the ball. And there’s plenty of experience in the net, with senior goalkeepers Ally Glebe and Autumn Nation sharing time.

Success is nothing new to the White River squad. The team finished last season with a final record of 16-2-2. That included a South Puget Sound League mark of 12-1-1 and an appearance in the 16-team Class 2A state tournament.

The Hornets returned to the pitch Tuesday, traveling to Tacoma to face the lowly Foss Falcons. Thursday will find White River on the road again, traveling to Highline Stadium in Burien to square off against Evergreen High; the Wolverines should present a tougher test, having lost only once through games of last week.

More in Sports

Two-time state champ Adair heads list of Panther spring athletes

The Bonney Lake senior will be defending her discus championship again this year.

Two new coaches join White River programs

Lacrosse team aims to improve last year’s 4th place standing

Sumner returns two-time state champion on tennis court

Soccer and track also hoping to build on last year’s success.

Enumclaw High grad shines in Florida

The Sunshine State Conference Baseball Player of the Week award went to Bryce Peterson.

Local players part of state championship hockey team

Andrew Alonzo and Danny McCarragher traveled to California after securing the state title.

EHS teams are loaded with returning talent

Girls water polo is looking to make 14th postseason games in a row.

EHS takes Olympic Division all-sports title

EHS basketball — both girls and boys — won the Sportsmanship Award for the winter season.

Enumclaw boys, White River girls Hardwood Classic-bound

The two Hornets teams could make it to the Final Four at state.

White River’s Stroud remains in national wrestling rankings

She’s ranked 10th in the nation in the 122-pound weight class.

Sumner’s Clark 4A wrestling champ, White River takes 8th as a team

Hornet Payton Shroud took second in the 120 pound weight class.

Sumner’s Rodriguez is 4A dive champion

Enumclaw Hornets also take 5th and 12th.

EHS boys, White River girls headed to hoop regionals, then state tournaments

Regionals are this weekend, with both away games on Saturday.