Published May 20, 2023
Phuoc Nguyen | WPSL Correspondent

In the 2022 season, six teams were vying for the WPSL West Region’s Northwest Conference title: PacNW, OSA XF, Westside Metros FC, Spokane SC Shadow, ISC Gunners FC, and Eugene Timbers FC Azul. After a competitive season, the top two were separated by a single point. The third place Westside Metros FC finished behind by only three points. 

PacNW were led by the dynamic duo of Jadyn Edwards and Hailey Still who combined for 11 goals and three assists. Their playmaking took PacNW to the conference title with 16 points over OSA XF with 15 points. 

The Northwest Conference saw two of its stars get selected in the 2023 NWSL Draft, Spokane SC Shadow’s Lyza Bosselman and PacNW’s Jadyn Edwards. They were back to back in the third round, at 28th and 29th, respectively. Bosselman played her college soccer for Gonzaga University and was drafted to the Washington Spirit to become the second ever Bulldog drafted with Jordan Thompson also being selected by the Spirit in 2022. Edwards, who played collegiately at the University of New Mexico, was picked by Racing Louisville and became only the third ever Mountain West Conference player selected in the history of the NWSL Draft. 

The WPSL is loaded with talent. The West Region, especially the Northwest Conference is no different. This season will feature the return of OSA XF, Westside Metros FC, and Spokane SC Shadow. Joining as an expansion side will be Cultures United Football Club. The three returning teams finished second, third, and fourth in the conference last season. 

OSA XF, the highest returning team,joined the WPSL in 2016 and have an all-time record of 17-11-4. Head coach Kevin Legg hopes to take his side to the conference title in the 2023 season. In 2022, the team was led by McKenna Martinez and Cameron Bourne with four and three goals, respectively. 

Bourne has committed to play at the University of Oregon and will be looking to score even more this season. Joining her in the frontline will be her future Duck teammate, Ryann Reynolds. Washington State University commit, Eliotte Kortus won the 2021-2022 Gatorade Player of the Year in Idaho and will be another huge addition to the team. 

Returning after both scoring a goal in the 2022 season will be Shelby Runje who has committed to Gonzaga University and Ashley Roni who early committed to the University of Alabama. Their defense will be anchored by goalkeeper and UPENN commit Megan Graves, currently UPENN defender Adrienne Evans, and Columbia commit Samantha Weiss. In midfield, pulling the strings will be Princeton’s Kate Toomey. OSA XF potentially returns the strongest frontline in 2023 and could be fan favorites to finish as the conference winners.

Westside Metros FC, led by general manager and head coach Cory Hand, joined the WPSL in 2013 and are 15-30-12 all time. The Metros’ attack will have Oregon State University’s Sophie Conrad as its focal point who could be the key to its season. The squad will also look for contributions from Willamette University’s goalkeeper Siera Edwards, Western Oregon midfielder Gabby Warta, and Mount Olive alumna Lauren Prott. 

The Spokane SC Shadow will be back for its third season in the WPSL after joining in 2019 and sit 7-6-3 all time. Last season, their team was led by one of the best goalkeepers in the league in Lyza Bosselman.

New head coach Drew Williams will be taking over and hoping to improve from its fourth place finish in 2022. He was an assistant for the team last year before being promoted in February. For the team to contend for the conference title, Williams will need to improve on the -2 goal differential from last season. There are seventeen goals of production that the team will hope to replace with returning players and newcomers. 

Leading the charge for the Shadow will be current Gonzaga University members, defender Abigail Sicilia and midfielder Isabella Moultray. Joining Moultray in midfield will be her sister Allison and Lydia Myers of Kansas State.

The Spokane SC Shadow possess a strong midfield and will look to control the outcomes of games with their strength. 

Cultures United Football Club will be entering its first ever season in the WPSL. Their team will be led by head coach Marina Macvicar. With many expansion sides experiencing tough adjustments to the league, Macvicar will try to lead her team to immediate success.

The CUFC head coach gave praise to three players that she is excited for everyone to see play: defender Anais Stephany currently at UT Southern, forward Memory Phiri formerly of Southwestern Oklahoma State and forward Autumn Woodard most recently with Gardner-Webb. 

Who will reign supreme this season? Tune in for the 2023 WPSL season to find out. 

The WPSL season for the Northwest Conference kicks off on May 12 and the regular season will conclude on July 8. For tickets, please see each team’s website, and check out the WPSL website for more information.