Everett, WA - The Trojans men's soccer program has a recent history of success, sparked by former head coach Erik Cruz who led the Trojans to the program's most wins in a single season back in 2019 with a 13-5-4 record and a trip to the NWAC playoff quarterfinals. When Coach Cruz stepped down just prior to the 2020 COVID season, the program was left with uncertainty and some unanswered questions. Many of those questions may have been answered under newly hired, first year head coach Kieren Raney. Unknown in the world of collegiate coaching, Coach Raney may have put the Trojans back on the map and certainly raised some eyebrows with their showing at the NWAC Friendlies, outscoring opponents 8-1 in two matches.
Everett took on Treasure Valley on the opening day of the season and it was never close as Everett jumped on the board early with a goal from 3rd year sophomore Dani Amador, and freshman Juan Castillo scored his first collegiate goal to put the Trojans up 2-0 going into the half. From there it was the River Stewart show as the former WESCO player of the year scored the hat-trick with three goals in the 2nd half to ice the game at 5-0. Time was split in goal by Jose Ramirez and Matarr Saho. Both recorded a save and earned the shutout for the Trojans.
The next day presented a matchup with Wenatchee Valley. The last time these two teams faced each other was back in 2019 and the game ended in a 1-1 draw. The Knights jumped to the early lead with a goal in the 10th minute, but freshman Juan Castillo scored the equalizer on an assist from River Stewart to draw things even with about 10 minutes to play in the half.
The Trojans rallied after the halftime break and River Stewart was once again involved, this time scoring off of a pass from Nacho Pedrosa to give Everett the lead just 5 minutes into the second half. Wenatchee had a few opportunities but redshirt freshman Matarr Saho was solid in goal making 4 saves in the second half to keep Everett in front. Then in the 67th minute the crowd would erupt when River Stewart connected on a bicycle kick that would put the exclamation point on the game and EvCC would improve to 2-0 on the season with the 3-1 victory.
River Stewart made his mark on the NWAC and was named the NWAC men's soccer athlete of the week. The Trojans will need to continue to play strong as they take on 2-0 North Idaho College next. Kickoff is set for 3:30pm on Friday September 3rd at Kasch Park.