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Haley Edwards

North Bend's Haley Edwards poses with her parents, Michael and Heather, after signing a letter of intent Thursday to play soccer for Clark Community College. 

NORTH BEND — Haley Edwards spent the fall helping North Bend’s girls soccer team rebuild as it adjusted to life in the Midwestern League, with more league losses than wins.

She will continue her career at one of the most successful college programs in the Northwest.

Edwards signed a letter of intent Thursday to play for Clark Community College, in Vancouver, Wash.

The Penguins were the NWAC South Region champions the past three season. Last fall they fell 2-0 to Peninsula in the NWAC championship match. They lost in the semifinals in 2017 and have regularly been near the top of the NWAC standings.

“They are really competitive,” Edwards said.

The Penguins plan to use the dynamic player as a forward, she said. That’s her preferred position, too.

In North Bend, Edwards was a fixture on teams that finished at or near the top of the Far West League until the Bulldogs moved up to Class 5A last fall.

She was a first-team all-league selection in 2016 and was the league’s player of the year and a first-team all-state pick in 2017.

“I am excited that Haley is going to continue playing soccer,” North Bend coach Dustin Hood said. “She is a competitor — in practice as well as in games, which has helped to make her as well as her teammates better.

“Haley has good pace and honed her ball handling skills to be able to create space for herself.”

At Clark, Edwards will study dental hygiene. That played a big role in her college selection.

“She knew she wanted to do dental hygiene, so we started looking at schools that offered that,” said her mom, Heather.

“She wanted to stay in the Northwest,” added her dad, Michael.

Edwards emailed the coach and they set up a visit to the school.

It was a good fit immediately.

“I like their coach,” Edwards said.

She follows her older sister, McKenzie, as a college soccer player. McKenzie finished her redshirt sophomore year at Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma in the fall, scoring three goals.

Heather and Michael weren’t disappointed their second daughter wanted to stay closer to home.

“We get to watch her play,” Michael said. “With McKenzie, we only get to see her play on TV.”

Playing with McKenzie as a freshman was one of the biggest highlights of Edwards’ career for North Bend.

She said she enjoyed helping the younger players develop the past two years. This year 14 of the 18 players on the squad were freshmen or sophomores, and last year was similar, even though North Bend went unbeaten in its final year in the Far West League. 

“I liked the building years,” she said. “I got to help the girls.”

Hood said Edwards improved the past two seasons.

“I think over the course of the past two years Haley also developed good field vision and became an excellent passer, playing the ball into runs her teammates would make,” he said.

Her overall skills should be a benefit for Clark, Hood said.

“She will enhance that program and it is exciting that she will continue to play,” he said.

Edwards also is a hurdler for North Bend’s track team.

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Sports Editor John Gunther can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 241, or by email at john.gunther@theworldlink.com. Follow him on Twitter: @jguntherworld.

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