ONTARIO, Ore. — Chad Bodnar is at the helm for his seventh season with the men’s and ninth with the women’s soccer teams at the Walla Walla Community College.
The Warrior men have won six of eight NWAACC East Region titles, and the women are going for their 10th in a row this season.
On Wednesday, the WWCC women improved to 3-0 in league play with a 10-1 thumping of Treasure Valley, and the men played the Chukars to a 1-1 tie.
“The nice part about both teams is that there is maturity on both teams,” Bodnar said previously. “A lot of players have been there and done that. They’re sophomores, they know what is expected. They know what it is like to go travel on the road and play.”
About half of both the men’s and women’s players are sophomores.
“We try to keep a good mix of freshman and sophomores,” Bodnar said. “That way we have experienced players for this year and returning players for the following year.”
The women (4-1 on the season) and the men (6-0-1) are now in the NWAACC schedule.
On Wednesday, Kahiesha Johnson opened scoring for the WWCC women with a seventh-minute goal, followed a minute later by teammate Alli Madril.
Wa-Hi grad Paige Pontarolo up the Warriors up 3-0 in the 12th minut, followed by Marais Hicks in the 20th.
Treasure Valley got its lone goal by Autumn Hall at the 29-minute mark.
Warrior Tash Anderson began her quest for a hat trick in the 33rd minute, and completed it with goals in the 50th and 56th minutes.
Peyton Moon scored in the 42nd minute, Hicks picked up her second score at 67 minutes, and Olivia Rodgers rounded out scoring in the 70th minute.
For the WWCC men, Chukar Josh Dalmas put his team up at the 23rd minute off an assist by Robert Smith.
Warrior Max Smith knotted the game at 1-all in the 42nd minute off an assist by Ivan Chamorro, and the teams played it to the end.
Several of those Warrior players on both teams will be counted upon as their teams played towards the NWAACC playoffs in November.
“Kentaro Bodzewski really did well for us last season on the men’s team,” Bodnar said. “He was an all-star.
“Kyle Menchaca is another important returner, who was injured late last season, and he is an important part of the team,” he said.
Jonathon Rodriguez was a leading scorer for the Warriors last season and is a featured offensive player.
On defense, Hugo Monroy and Perry McNamar were said to be important pieces to the puzzle.
Overall, the Warriors have eight starters who are returning and three new starters.
Two of the new starters for the men are from Las Vegas, Sergio Burgos and Chamorro.
“Some of the other younger guys — the freshmen — are doing really well for us, too,” Bodnar added.
Meghan and Paige Sorensen head the list of the women’s star players.
“Both of those girls (the Sorensens) played in every game and every minute of last year,” Bodnar said. “Both of them are really tough players.”
Sophomore Johnson was described as the “anchor of the back-line,” by Bodnar.
He is also impressed with freshman goalkeeper Kylie Mascol from Boise.
“Mascol is probably one of the better keepers that we’ve had here at the community college,” Bodnar said. “But she will only be with us for one year because she will sign on to play at Boise State University next year.”
Bodnar sees his “back line as being really solid, and that is where we start. That is where championships are won.”
The biggest NWAACC East Region rival for both the Warrior men and women is Spokane.
“Typically, that is way it has been,” Bodnar said. “Spokane and us battling it out for the top spot in the East.
“Columbia Basin College for the men has been good lately.”