Tragedy strikes Seattle Stars Women ahead of Sunday’s NWPL Final

Tragedy strikes Seattle Stars Women ahead of Sunday’s NWPL Final

Seattle Stars FC of the Northwest Premier League met Thursday night and decided to go forward with Sunday’s NWPL league final after the tragic death of player Haylei Hughes.

The Stars will host the Washington Timbers on Sunday July 30 at 4:45 PM at Starfire Sports Complex.

They will do so while still reeling from the loss of their player. Hughes was lost in an accident on Wednesday night at Wallace Falls. Most-recently she had featured for the Stars in their 3-0 semifinal win over Fuerza FC at French Field in Kent on July 23rd.

Hughes was much-loved and admired in her home town of Las Vegas where she excelled at multiple sports. She is being remembered online as well for her competitive spirit, kindness and strength.

The NWPL released the following article:

Haylei Hughes (back row, first player on the right) with her Seattle Stars teammates last week in their playoff win over Fuerza FC.

BREMERTON, WA—Seattle Stars FC and the Northwest Premier League are in shock and mourning after the tragic death of player Haylei Hughes on Wednesday night. Haylei was with a group hiking at Wallace Falls in Snohomish County when reports say she fell into the water.

Haylei joined the Seattle Stars from Las Vegas, where she was a star athlete for Cimarron-Memorial High School. She was slated to be a key player with Highline Community College soccer in Des Moines this year in the NWAC.

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People gather for a vigil in memory of former Cimarron-Memorial HS student-athlete Haylei Hughes, who died in a hiking accident in Wash.


Seattle Stars players were told of Haylei’s passing on Thursday night while at the same time in Las Vegas many of her friends were gathering to lend each other support. The Las Vegas Review-Journal posted this story.

Haylei Hughes (center) with Stars teammates during last week’s NWPL Semifinals win over Fuerza FC. (Rick Edelman)

Seattle Stars Women’s Head Coach Chris Wells recruited Haylei for his Highline Thunderbirds side. Wells said on Facebook:

2017_Stars_clear“Haylei was truly special in so many ways. Soccer, for sure. She loved the game more than anything and the game loved her back. She was well on the way to being the most special player I’ve ever seen at this level.”

Hughes concluded, “I’ve never been closer to a recruit in my 4 years as a college coach. She was a kid who you only wanted to help and do anything you can to help her be happy in life. Haylei will never be forgotten and always loved. She will be a part of me for the rest of my life, and for that, I am truly thankful and blessed.”

The Seattle Stars will host the Washington Timbers on Sunday July 30 at 4:45 PM at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, WA in the Northwest Premier League Championship Match. Seattle will dedicate their performance to the life and competitive spirit of Haylei Hughes.

Memories of Haylei’s life are currently being shared at the Twitter hashtag #RIPHaylei.

A Go Fund Me account has been established to assist Haylei’s family.

 Rest easy Haylei. We will always remember your beautiful smile, that big heart of yours and your fearless competitive spirit. 

Maffeo, Mercado named NWPL Players of the Week in semifinal wins

Maffeo, Mercado named NWPL Players of the Week in semifinal wins

Posted on July 26, 2017 by 

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BREMERTON, WA—The Northwest Premier League (NWPL) today announces that Maddison Maffeo of the Washington Timbers andVanessa Mercado of the Seattle Stars are the NWPL Players of the Week for their performances in the playoff semifinals.


Maddison Maffeo (purple headband) celebrates with her Timbers teammates after her free kick goal gave her club a 2-1 lead in the NWPL semifinals Sunday at Spokane. (Alan Moditz photo)

MADDISON MAFFEO (OFFENSE) – Washington Timbers

Maddison Maffeo (Battle Ground WA, Clark College) scored the winning goal on Sunday in Spokane as the Washington Timbers knocked out the defending NWPL Champion Spokane Shadow 4-1 in the semifinals.

“Maddy scored on a wicked set piece which gave us the lead for the first time on Sunday and really changed the momentum of the game,” says Timbers Head Coach Kat Tarr. “Additionally, she created many of our second-half chances. Her movement and forward threat helped us create goals 3 and 4 in the second half.”


Vanessa Mercado helped the Seattle Stars advance to the NWPL final with a strong defensive effort in a shut out win over Fuerza FC. (Rick Edelman)


Vanessa Mercado (San Jose CA, Seattle University) led a Seattle Stars back line that did not surrender a goal in a 3-0 win over Fuerza FC in the semifinals on Saturday.

Seattle Head Coach Chris Wells feels fortunate to have Mercado on his defense. “She is very solid and sure in the back for us,” Wells says. “She is our brick back there and doesn’t get beat, doesn’t make mistakes.”

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About the Northwest Premier League Players of the Week Honors

The Northwest Premier League will honor an offensive and defensive standout each week of the regular season. The league encourages nominees from head coaches. A panel of 3 NWPL staff members vote on the honors. The players who are honored receive a “NWPL Player of the Week” scarf. 

Sanchez, Ramos lead Seattle Stars sweep of July 16 Player of Week honors

Sanchez, Ramos lead Seattle Stars sweep of July 16 Player of Week honors

Posted on July 18, 2017 by 


BELLINGHAM, WA— The Evergreen Premier League today announces thatMiles Sanchez and Ramon Ramos of Seattle Stars FC have been named the EPLWA Players of the Week for July 16, 2017.

The Seattle Stars went into hostile territory twice last weekend and came home with two wins and six standings points. On Saturday Seattle shut out the Oly Town Artesians 2-0 in Olympia. On Sunday the Stars shut out the Olympic Force 1-0 in Poulsbo. The Stars need 4 points from their final two matches to win their first EPLWA title.


Miles_Sanchez_MUGMiles Sanchez scored in stoppage time on Saturday night in Olympia. Then he scored the winner on Sunday afternoon in Poulsbo. His two goals over the weekend were big for Seattle.

“I’m very grateful to have scored two goals this weekend,” Miles says. “But I am even more happy to have ended the weekend with six points that helped us stay on top of the table.”

Sanchez says of Saturday’s match: “The game against Oly Town was a good battle, as a team we were aware of how well they had been playing lately but we came in with a good mindset for the weekend knowing we needed to get two wins. I was fortunate enough to score a header off of a corner in the last couple minutes of the game that secured us the win.”

About Sunday’s win, Miles says: “In the Olympic Force game we had a lot of tired legs from the night before but knew we still needed to get the result. Right before half I received the ball and saw some space open up between their back line and center mids and once I saw that space I shot it and was happy to see it go in (watch video above.) It was a great weekend and I was happy to help my team get closer to winning the championship!”

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The Stars are succeeding this season with a roster of new players, but there are some veterans who have played with the club over the years. Ramon Ramos is one of those guys. His leadership was evident in the side getting two away shut outs last weekend.

Ramon_Ramos_MUGRamon says it was a team effort. “It was two hard-fought games from all of my teammates. I never had a doubt that we could come out on top at the end of the games. The team has come a long way from the past two years now that we have players that are committed to come out to practice and also being there at the games. With having this great coaching staff, they give us the support needed to keep our heads up and pushing forward to our main goal we all have. It is a pleasure having such a committed squad that will fight till the end to make this season a success.”

About the matches, Ramos adds: “This past weekend was tough but I never had a doubt that the team would pull off 6 points. We have great team chemistry and the most important thing of it all is the trust we have in each other to get the job done. It is and will always be a team effort that will lead us to success.”

Seattle assistant coach Ernesto Lopez says of Ramon: “Ramon has been with the Stars for 5 years. He is a solid player that you know you can count on to play—even if he is injured he will manage to return and finish the game. He has been there in our best and worst moments throughout the years. He is a player others look up to as a leader on the back line.”

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About the Players of the Week honors

The Evergreen Premier League  will be selecting an offensive and defensive Player of the Week each week during the 2017 season. The Players of the Week will be acknowledged with a pair of custom, unique socks featuring the EPLWA logo. The socks are from Rock’Em Apparel, the Official Provider of the weekly reward. The league worked with Rock’Em Apparel to finalize the look of the socks. The league logo is complemented by a rendering of George Washington in the State seal.

The phrase “Rock ‘Em” represents the willingness to achieve greatness; to go above and beyond limits,” says

Evergreen Premier League players will work to do just that for their clubs this season. The best of the best will have cool custom socks to show off around town for their efforts.

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Celedon Released from Spokane Hospital

She wants Pizza: Celedon released from Spokane hospital after match collision

Posted on June 12, 2017 by 

Angela Celedon

SPOKANE, WA— Angela Celedon went east to Spokane with the rest of her Seattle Stars teammates this weekend. Her journey took a different course near halftime of the Stars’ Northwest Premier League match at Whitworth College against the Spokane Shadow.

It’s an unsettling experience for players, coaches, everyone at a match when I player goes down and medical assistance is required. Celedon blacked  out after a collision that required immediate care.

According to Stars founder Margarito Vasquez the play was a “fifty-fifty air ball, both players going for the header.” The Seattle and a Spokane player met with Celedon being impacted. “From the sideline it looked like a shoulder to Angela’s neck in mid-air. She fell flat. It looked like head first. I asked her at the hospital, and she said that she just saw everything go black. The doctors were worried because she couldn’t move her neck due to the pain.”

Angela is awake, alert, and ready to make the trip home. She’ll be under orders to have family members watch over her for a few days more. TheShoreline College grad was once a member of the US U-17 team while playing with Harbor FC.

Vasquez stayed in Spokane with Celedon over night as she remained under watch in the hospital. He reports that she has been released and is hungry for pizza and chicken.

“Time to eat some solid food for her and then head back to Seattle,” Vasquez says. “During the hospital stay Angela kept asking for a pizza with chicken. But, they put her on a liquid diet.” Now Celedon is coming home, but not before she gets a solid meal.