John Purtteman, The Evergreen State College men’s soccer coach, knew exactly the type of player he was getting before Dyson Fowler even set foot on campus three years ago.
Athletic? Hard-working? Team-orientated?
All were traits Fowler possessed. They were the same characteristics Fowler’s father, Ray, displayed when he played for the Geoducks more than three decades ago.
Back then, Purtteman was an incoming freshman.
The men’s soccer program at Evergreen was still in its infancy, having completed its inaugural season the previous year, and Purtteman had designs on playing goalkeeper – a position he excelled at throughout his high school career.
Things would shake out differently, however, as Ray Fowler, who was a senior during the 1981 season, already occupied that slot, forcing Purtteman to move to center midfielder.
“(Ray) was a fantastic athlete,” said Purtteman, who adjusted comfortably to the new position, scoring 12 goals in each of his first two seasons at Evergreen before twice being named team MVP. “He was just a really brave goalie. You have to be, though, since it’s a position where you are constantly putting your head in front of people’s feet, but Ray was fearless, a great player.”
Three years ago Purtteman, who served as an assistant coach at Evergreen for two years before taking over the program in 2006, received a call from his former teammate.
The topic during the conversation was whether Ray Fowler’s son would be a good fit in the Geoducks’ system.
“My dad would always talk about playing for Evergreen,” said Dyson Fowler, a Mount Si graduate and one of eight juniors on Evergreen’s roster this season. “Right after I told him I was interested in going there he immediately got on the phone and called John.”
Dyson Fowler needed little convincing that Evergreen would be his college of choice.
“My dad would always tell me how great a guy a John was,” Dyson Fowler said. “It just was a great fit for me.”
Purtteman is now in a unique position of coaching the son of a former teammate at his alma mater.
“It’s certainly different,” said Purtteman, a 2009 inductee into the Washington State Soccer Association Hall of Fame. “It’s fun having Ray come out to the games. We talk every time he comes out to watch Dyson play.”
Unlike his father, Dyson Fowler is a midfielder/forward for the Geoducks. He saw action in all 15 games last season, scoring one goal and an assist in nine starts.
“He’s just a tremendously gifted athlete,” said Purtteman, who played professionally for the Portland Pride, Seattle Seadogs, Florida Thundercats and Denver Thunder. “He’s about as fast as can be. Plus it’s nice having those second-generation players.”
The Geoducks are coming off a 5-11-2 campaign last season, where they finished sixth in the Cascade Collegiate Conference, but they return four of their top five scorers, including George Bundy, Brandon Wood and Kevin Flavin.
“I really think we are going to surprise some teams this year in our league and make a run at the playoffs,” Dyson Fowler said. “We have a good group of junior and senior leaders on the team, good team chemistry. We just need to figure out where we all fit in.”
The Geoducks, who opened the season winless in three nonconference games, begin conference play at home Sept. 14 against College of Idaho.
The evergreen state college geoducks
Coach: Greg Spector (second season)
2011: 0-19 overall, 0-10 Cascade Collegiate Conference (10th place)
Key players: OH Cassidy Watkins, 5-9, jr.; MH Brittany Covert, 6-2, so.; S Sasha Nash, 5-7, sr.; L Sonja Arassi-Nash, 5-8, sr.; MH KC Beadle, 6-1, jr.
Outlook: After struggling in 2011, the Geoducks hope to surprise teams in 2012. The program hasn’t won a match since defeating Oregon Tech, 3-2, on Sept. 17, 2010, but took Montana Tech to five sets in a 3-2 loss in Spokane Aug. 25. Nine of the 12 players on the roster are new. Watkins, a transfer from Trevecca Nazarene in Tennessee, ranks eighth in the CCC in kills per set (2.43). Evergreen is hosting its six-team Red Lion Evergreen Invitational Thursday through Saturday at the CRC Gymnasium.
Coach: John Purtteman (seventh season)
2011: 5-11-2 overall, 4-8-2 CCC (sixth place)
Key players: MF Brandon Wood, 5-7, sr.; MF Jack Fortune, 5-11, jr.; MF George Bundy, 5-7, sr.; D Brady Espinoza, 5-8, jr.; MF Greg Wolfe, 5-9, jr.; D Ian Hazard-Bill, 5-10, fr.
Outlook: The Geoducks are currently in the longest stretch of home games for the 2012 season. After dropping a 3-0 decision to Rocky Mountain College at the Evergreen pitch on Monday, Evergreen is 1-2 overall and was picked to finish fifth by the CCC coaches. Bundy (five goals, two assists) and Wood (four goals, two assists) each earned second-team all-CCC honors.
Coach: Adam Fenster (third season)
2011: 5-9-1 overall, 3-6-0 CCC (tied for sixth)
Key players: F Bianca Flores, 5-1, jr.; D Lea Rohan, 5-4, sr.; GK Kaitlyn MacKenzie, 5-5, jr.; M Claire Brown, 5-8, so.; MF Teresa Lopez, 5-4, sr.
Outlook: This is the most experienced group in Fenster’s tenure. Fourteen players return, including eight starters. The 2011 squad took a big leap forward with a sixth-place finish in conference play that was the top finish of an Evergreen team since 2007. A highlight was when the Geoducks knocked off No. 3-ranked Concordia, 1-0, to snap a two-year CCC unbeaten streak for the Cavaliers.
Coach: Malcolm Dunn (second season)
2011: Men – ninth at CCC Championships. Women – 10th at CCC Championships
Key runners: Men – Sean LaBelle, so.; Les Jones, so. Women – Olivia Zook, so.; Allison Schneider, so.
Outlook: Gone is Karissa Carlson, a standout runner who placed 25th at the CCC Championships in 2011. The women’s side lacks depth with only six runners while the men’s team is significantly larger with 14 runners. And 10 of them are sophomores. This is one of the larger men’s teams in recent history at Evergreen.
SAINT MARTIN’S SAINTS
Coach: Julie Sullivan (seventh season)
2011: Men – fifth place at Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships. Women – ninth place at GNAC Championships.
Key runners: Men – Joseph Patti, sr.; Joe Berger, jr.; Frank Krause, so. Women – Erica Crock, jr.; Lindsay Anderson, so.; Ashley Llapitan, sr.
Outlook: Although the women’s team is small with five runners, junior Erica Crock, formerly Copeland, is already off to a hot start. She was the top women’s finisher at the University of Puget Sound Invitational last Saturday winning the 6K in 25 minutes, 11 seconds. The men’s team had a 2-3-4 finish by Patti, Berger and Krause. In addition to the fifth-place finish at the GNAC Championships in 2011, the men were 10th at the West Regionals. Berger and Patti finished 76th and 77th, respectively.
Coach: Phil Ibarra (eighth season)
2011: 7-18 overall, 5-13 GNAC (Tied for seventh)
Key players: MB Katy Ferguson, 6-1, sr.; MB Teilissa Tua, 6-0, sr.; OH Kristyn Ross, 5-10, so.; S Cymbree Decosta, 5-5, jr.
Outlook: Things are looking up for the Saints after their best season since 2000 with seven victories. Ross, a 2011 Capital High graduate, was the GNAC’s freshman of the year after posting 3.91 kills per set a season ago. But for the first time in Ibarra’s coaching career, he’s starting the season with a 6-2 (two-setter) offense. Decosta, the starting setter, tore her meniscus and will be out for a few weeks. Ferguson and Tua are now four-year starters, and the two combined for 127 blocks as juniors.
Coach: Rob Walker (sixth season)
2011: 5-11-2 overall, 4-5-1 GNAC (fifth place)
Key players: F Dylan Gaydosh, 6-1, jr.; D Brandon Scott, 5-7, jr.; M CJ Chu, 5-11, jr.; GK JJ Olson, 5-10, jr.; M Blake Moreland, 6-1, sr.
Outlook: The Saints were picked by the GNAC coaches to finish fifth and are full of youth. OF the 28 players on the roster, 13 are freshmen. Gaydosh, a Stadium High graduate, is the team’s top returning scorer with three goals and two assists in 2011. Olson was the GNAC’s saves leader with 4.69 saves per game. Through two games, the Saints’ offense has struggled and has been shut out by a combined score of 7-0.
Coach: Rob Walker (sixth season)
2011: 4-12-2 overall, 4-10 GNAC (sixth place)
Key players: M/F Ashley Richardson, 5-3, so.; M/F Sasha Dini, 5-7, so.; F Sammi Thompson, 5-8, jr.; D Molly Campbell, 5-8, jr.; GK Ashley Engel, 5-8, sr.
Outlook: The Saints have 10 of their 11 primary starters back from a team that finished sixth in the GNAC. Richardson was the GNAC’s freshman of year after posting two goals and two assists. Spreading the offense around was a strength of the Saints; seven players scored goals in 2011, and all of them return.
Coaches: Men, Kevin Bishop; women, Bob Grisham
Key players: Men, Brandon Moore, 6-4, sr.; Michael Jaeger, 5-10, sr. Women, Mandy Wittmier, 5-9, jr.; Kim Vivian, 5-3, sr.
2011-12: Men, second at GNAC Championships; Women, second at GNAC Championships
Outlook: Saint Martin’s, along with Western Washington, will co-host the 2013 NCAA West Regional Men’s Championship at The Home Course in DuPont on May 4-6. Jaeger finished seventh at the 2012 GNAC Championships (220). Wittmier was the women’s leader after Day 1 of the 2012 GNAC Championships and finished fifth (162). Vivian was 14th (168).
SOUTH PUGET SOUND CLIPPERS
Coach: Brian Davis (fifth year)
2011: 8-11-2 overall, 4-7-2 NWAACC South
Key players: MF Caesar Apaez, 5-9, so.; F Giovanni Torres, 5-8, fr.; MF Logan Young, 5-8, fr.; F Taylor Weatherly, 5-7, fr.
Outlook: The youth movement is thriving for the Clippers this season as 17 of the 22 players are freshmen. Last year’s squad earned an NWAACC first-round playoff berth after finishing third in the South Division. One of the freshmen is GK Devon Dieckman, who guided Tumwater High School to its best finish in school history (fourth place at state) last May. The Clippers will be road warriors; only seven of their 19 matches are on their home field at the Regional Athletic Complex.Meg Wochnick, staff writer