WOODINVILLE - When a program is on its third coach in four years, the need for stability nears DEFCON 1 status. After coach Andrew Croft stepped down last summer, the Woodinville program seemed adrift.
But the recent hiring of M’ily Reiter-Morton seems a step in the right direction. In her first week in charge, the Falcons went 2-0-1, beating Emerald Ridge 6-1, tying Redmond 1-1, and then knocking off Eastside Catholic 3-2.
Reiter-Morton likes what she sees from her new club.
“I feel like there is never going to be a game when these kids stop or quit,” she said. “That was one of the things I started to enjoy about them was their attitude. There are going to be some games where we’re not as talented as the other team -- but we’re going to hit them until the very end. I’m excited, it’s going to be a good year.”
A native of Billings, Mont., Reiter-Morton played soccer at Seattle University from 2007-2010 and continued playing professionally for the Seattle Sounders Women for six years.
She has coached Premier Youth Soccer for 10 years and was an assistant coach with the Washington Youth Soccer Elite Player Development Program. She also coached at Nathan Hale High School as the Girls Varsity Head Coach from 2010-2014. While there, she twice received Coach of the Year honors, and led her team to two undefeated seasons and Metro Titles.
“I’m a small-town girl who came to the big city,” Reiter-Morton said. “I wanted to get back into high school. I was missing the team camaraderie and being part of a big program and having fun with the girls. Then the job opened at Woodinville and I was like `I have to have that!’ I want to build a new culture there and have a winning program. This is my second week here and I already feel so connected to the girls and I love it.”
What stood out from last week’s Redmond match was how hard the Woodinville girls played.
“To get the most of the payers, they have to believe in you,” Reiter-Morton said. “They need to see that you’re invested in them. And I have been trying to show them how invested I am in them. The leadership from the seniors is great and I appreciate their effort.”
Going forward, what does she want to see from the team?
“Defending together as a unit,” Reiter-Morton said. “Staying compact. Knowing when to press and when to drop off... We need to work on our attacking presence. If we don’t let teams score on us that’s great. But we need more of a scoring mentality if we want to win games. That will come in the weeks ahead.”