TUMWATER, Wash. - (www.TumwaterPioneers.com release) The Tumwater Pioneers make their PASL debut on Saturday, December 1st when they travel to Bremerton to take on the Kitsap Pumas at the Olympic Soccer and Sports Center. Today, the Pioneers are proud to announce the “Pioneer 17″, the founding roster that earned the opportunity in preseason to represent the Pioneers in their debut match against the Pumas. The “Pioneer 17″ is a mix of experienced veterans and younger players with a heavy Evergreen State College flavor.
Ten of the “Pioneer 17″ are former or current Evergreen Geoducks. Head coach and goalkeeper Matt Stalnik followed his career at Evergreen with indoor stints with the Denver Dynamite and Wenatchee Fire. The Soldotna, Alaska native took a season off last year to work in the oil fields of Alaska but returned to Olympia this season to lead the Pioneers.
Former Geoducks include defender Chris Pugh and midfielder Matt Herrera, both graduates of North Thurston High School in Lacey. Pugh earned All-Cascade Conference second team honors in 2002 and Herrera is currently the head coach of his alma mater Rams boy’s soccer team. Forward Corey Johnson was a tw0 time all-conference honoree who, along with defender Carl Determeyer, wrapped up their careers at Evergreen in 2011. And defender Kyle Foster was an All-Cascade Conference first teamer in 2009.
Four members of the 2012 Evergreen squad that finished second in the Cascade Conference will also represent the Pioneers on the initial roster. Goalkeeper Mauricio Sanchez was a second team all-conference honoree for the Geoducks. The junior from Wenatchee made 42 saves in nine games and posted a 7-2 record. Midfielder George Bundy was also named to the conference second team in his senior season. The Enumclaw native played in 18 games with three assists. He is joined by Kevin Flavin, a senior who scored five goals with five assists in 2012 and fellow senior Kyle Wiese.
A handful of non-Evergreen players make up the rest of the “Pioneer 17″ including assistant head coach and defender Kevin Creeley. The Olympia High School graduate is one of the most experienced indoor players on the team and has spent time with the Tacoma Stars. Auburn-Riverside alum Mike Rancipher Jr. is also an experienced indoor player and a solid preseason has earned him a spot in the lineup.
Midfielder Ivan Gonzalez joins the Pioneers after wrapping up his junior season at Saint Martin’s. The Salem, Oregon native started 16 games for the Saints and tallied two assists. He is joined by a former Saint, Pasco’s Sergio Lopez, who will play forward for the Pioneers.
South Puget Sound Community College is represented by 18 year-old freshman defender Riley Hoiem and former Clipper and Olympia native Logan Smith, a 22 year-old midfielder.
And rounding out the roster, a player that has been playing soccer longer than any of the rest of the roster has been alive, 42 year-old Carlos Ortiz. Ortiz is a versatile presence for the Pioneers and will play midfield, defense and serve as emergency goalkeeper.
The “Pioneer 17″ make their debut on Saturday night when they travel to Bremerton to take on the Kitsap Pumas. First kick at Olympic Soccer and Sports Center is scheduled for 7:00 PM. Updates from the game can be found on the Tumwater Pioneers Twitter page, @TumwaterPios.