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The Compass

Ratings don't last.  Great journalism does. - Dan Rather

The Compass

Playoffs For Putnam’s Girls’ Soccer!

Rachel Schommers
On the field at RPHS.


The Rex Putnam High School girls’ soccer team made it to the playoffs! Playoffs are when the best teams from each conference play against each other to see who will win the state championship. It’s made up of the top 16 teams from each division. The level of importance for each game rises because if they lose a playoff game, they’re eliminated. Sadly, our team lost 2-0 against Northern Eugene, but in general, they have done fairly well this season.

As the season comes to an end, senior Alyiah Huynh reminisces on her time as a Varsity player and how she came to love soccer so much. She started to play when she was only four years old because her dad had played soccer his entire life and wanted his daughter to step into his footsteps. Outside of Putnam, she plays club soccer at Columbia Premier with fellow senior Ariana Barney. Huynh has been accepted to the University of Western Oregon on a full ride including a safe spot on their team as midfield, which is usually her position at Putnam as number ten or number nine up top. When talking to her you immediately notice the great love she has for the sport and how much passion and energy she puts into it. She will be putting this same passion and energy into being a Western Oregon Wolf. Huynh is tremendously looking forward to experiencing college soccer, and college in general. The atmosphere and people and new challenges she will have the privilege to experience is something she has been looking forward to her whole life. Maybe a little self-consciously, she mentions how she wishes she could play soccer professionally and make a career out of it, but just doesn’t think she can. Huynh is slightly disappointed in herself that she lost her very last game as a high school soccer player against Northern Eugene and mentions how she could have “played much better, but (she) couldn’t get (her) shot on target.” She is sad to leave, but excited for what her future holds.

Someone else who is sad to see Alyiah Huynh leave is junior Keely Merten. She has played on the Varsity girls’ soccer team for three years since she was a freshman. She also thinks the team has done fairly. “We have had our ups and downs this season, but we have grown so much, and getting to the playoffs was an accomplishment to be proud of.” With the seniors leaving and going off to college, or wherever their heart takes them, this means that next year Merten will be a senior Varsity player. She is slightly nervous because she is one of the players who has been with the team the longest, but still excited for next year’s season. She is, however, looking forward to getting to know more people who will hopefully join the team. She talks about how “tryouts can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never done them before, but everybody is always so kind and supportive.”

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Not only are the seniors leaving, but also both coaches, Bella and Elliott Bixby. Bella Bixby is the goal goalkeeper for the Portland Thorns and is looking to pursue more of a career outside of soccer. She is planning on continuing her graduate studies but will still be a goalkeeper for the Portland Thorns. Bixby has been a coach for Rex Putnam High School for approximately six years. Elyse Pauken, former outside back at Rex Putnam, thinks very highly of her former coach. “I admire her a lot and she is a wonderful role model. She knows her stuff when it comes to soccer, but she also cares about each of her players as an individual.” Pauken now on occasion plays with some friends of hers at the University of Victoria but has no further interest in playing competitively again as it puts “too much pressure” on her and “takes away the fun at times.” She graduated from Rex Putnam High School in 2023 and is set to graduate from the University of Victoria in 2028 and is planning on majoring in mechanical engineering.

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