There is something Sumner High School’s Jamie Lange likes nearly as much as playing sports.
And – yes – they go hand-in-hand.
The Spartans junior likes making intricate designs on her fingernails, only to see them ruined by a busy day’s work as a soccer goalkeeper.
“It doesn’t last very long,” Lange said with a laugh. “It’s kind of like therapy to redo them after a hard game.”
Last season was unforgettable for the Spartans. Not only did they roll through the South Puget Sound League 2A, they went on to capture their first state soccer championship.
Lange was voted the SPSL 2A goalkeeper of the year despite sharing the position with Abby Smith. She did not give up a goal in 21 matches, including the final one – a 1-0 victory over Sehome in the Class 2A championship match.
Of course, a goalkeeper’s best friend is a dominant sweeper – and the Spartans had one in Sarah Carter, who is now at Gonzaga University.
“Sarah left some pretty big shoes to fill,” Lange said. “I want to keep her legacy of good Spartan defense going.”
Lange now has the goalkeeping job to herself. And with no Carter in front of her, that likely means the 6-footer will have to fend off more shots on goal than last season.
Sumner coach Robi Turley has confidence in Lange, who she calls simply “an athlete.”
“In terms of a goalkeeper, she has great size and great presence of mind in the goal,” she said. “Really, she could play any sport and be good at it.
“She has the mentality of an athlete.”
That is exactly what she is. After last fall, Lange went on to star for the Sumner girls basketball team, which won the West Central District title over White River. Lange was an all-SPSL 2A selection at forward.
Basketball is the primary reason Lange is not a full-time soccer player. She quit club soccer in middle school to play both sports for her school programs.
“She is able to just jump in every season,” Turley said. “There aren’t many athletes who don’t play club soccer but are able to play at that level.”
When Lange tells people she does not play club soccer, she is met by surprised reactions – which are met by a reasonable response.
“I just love sports,” Lange said. “If you put in extra time, you can be just as good as any club player.”
Turley said high expectations surround the soccer program this season, and that she expects Lange to play an even bigger role.
“Last season, she was kind of in the background,” Turley said. “Now it’s her. She is the one we’re looking to.”
After two seasons as the second-place team in the SPSL North, the time has come for the Kentridge Chargers. They have talent and depth. They play a patient European ball-control style, and not only have midfielder McKenna Hayes controlling things, Seattle University commit Hunter Mar is healthy at forward, and a group of six elite ninth graders is also ready to take off.
SPSL South – Puyallup. SPSL North – Kentridge. Narrows 4A – South Kitsap. SPSL 3A – Bonney Lake. Narrows 3A – Wilson. SPSL 2A – Sumner. Evergreen 2A – Black Hills. Nisqually – Seattle Christian.
PLAYER TO WATCH
While junior Jessica Udovich is a game-changing talent with top-end speed, however far the Puyallup Vikings go this season, including the Class 4A playoffs, will run through senior Sierra Carrington. A two-time all-SPSL South midfielder, Carrington might be the area’s most creative player who really attacks on offense, and when things start to go wrong, the senior is the leader the Vikings turn to.
BEST OF REST
SPSL South: F Gabriela Pelogi, Federal Way, jr.; MF Jessica Udovich, Puyallup, jr.; F Morgan Weaver, Curtis, so.
SPSL North: MF Mia Corbin, Tahoma, so.; F McKenna Hayes, Kentridge, sr.; F Jennifer Oak, Kentwood, jr.
Narrows 4A: MF Rachel Ross, Gig Harbor, jr.; GK Jordan Sallee, Stadium, sr.; D Megan Spataro, Olympia, jr.
SPSL 3A: D Andrea Bowman, Bonney Lake, sr.; F Ashley Cade, Bonney Lake, sr.; GK Katie Campbell, Peninsula, sr.
Narrows 3A: F Megan Chambers, Wilson, jr.; D Tyffani Chin, Foss, sr.; MF Leah Magee, Timberline, so.
SPSL 2A: MF Brooke Lancaster, Sumner, jr.; GK Jamie Lange, Sumner, jr.
Evergreen 2A: F Whitney Lowe, Black Hills, sr.; GK Alexxi Timmons, Aberdeen, sr.
F Machaela Graddy, Eatonville, sr.; F Abigail Kim, Seattle Christian, firstname.lastname@example.org