After looking back on my pre-tournament picks in the Class 4A and 3A girls state soccer fields, you can probably imagine what my NCAA brackets look like every year.
In case you’re keeping score, my No. 1, No. 2 and championship pick in 4A all lost in the first round. That’s three of my predicted final four. In 3A, I lost my predicted runner-up.
Either my rankings and prognostication have been off all year (very possible) or, as I mentioned before, the field is wide open and loaded with several quality teams that should make a very entertaining postseason (more likely).
— The most unexpected result of Tuesday was probably Monroe’s 5-1 win over No. 2 Emerald Ridge, as ER came into the game with a perfect record (no ties, no losses). It was only the third time all season the Bearcats had scored more than three goals — the previous two times were against last-place Oak Harbor. ER had only allowed nine goals all season and never more than two in a game.
— Issaquah continues its tremendous run of form with a 3-0 win against Bellarmine Prep. Senior Kristen Maris accounted for all three goals, to run her season total to 18. She’s certainly a big-game player, if you remember she scored all four goals in a big 4-0 win against Eastlake earlier in the year.
— Surprisingly (or maybe not), I accurately predicted both first-round games on the east side of the mountains. As Lewis & Clark and Kennewick against to the quarterfinals.
— In a game I attended last night, Kentwood squeaked by Eastlake 1-0. KW coach Aaron Radford admitted relief to getting an early goal, because neither team created many chances all night. A shootout after a 0-0 tie seemed the likely scenario after watching the first half hour. Kentwood faces South Kitsap (the Wolves beat Kamiak 2-0 at home).
— Finally, Beamer upset top-ranked Jackson via shootout last night. The Titans, state-runners up a couple years ago, gave the T-Wolves their first loss of the season. From our report of the game, it kind of sounded a bit like Beamer was playing for the shootout at the end of the game, which is a capable strategy at this time of year.
— The Greater St. Helens League had a good showing Tuesday, as the No. 3 team from the league, Columbia River, got a 2-0 win on the road over the Metro champs, Holy Names. Camas also got a big 2-0 road win against second-ranked Bonney Lake. The team I picked to go the farther, Union, lost to Lakeside 1-0.
— In one of the craziest games of the year, Meadowdale came back from a 4-1 deficit to beat Lindbergh 6-5. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a result like that since I’ve worked here, and credit the Mavericks for not giving up. District-mate Glacier Peak also advanced to the quarterfinals with a 2-0 win over Sumner. You can imagine how tough it was to earn the two state berths out of the Northwest 3A District.
— No. 1 Kennedy Catholic earned a workmanlike 1-0 win against Bainbridge to set up a big quarterfinal showdown against No. 3 West Valley of Yakima. That’s a matchup worthy of a final, as have many of the early games we’ve seen.
— Lastly, Mercer Island beat Auburn Mountainview 2-1. The Islanders have seemingly been off for a month as they didn’t have to participate in a league of district tournament. MI qualified to state with a first-place finish in the KingCo 3A league.