By MATT MASSEY
Special to The Seattle Times
The Snohomish High School boys soccer team hasn’t done much wrong — if anything — since being named the No. 1 team in the nation last Tuesday by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
Snohomish retains the No. 1 spot in The Seattle Times’ Class 4A rankings again this week.
The Panthers, who are 14-0-0 under coach Dan Pingrey, kept their record clean of defeat last week with a pair of victories. They beat Monroe 6-0 on Tuesday and Stanwood 8-1 on Thursday.
Snohomish hopes to keep that No. 1 in-the-nation status as it hosts Marysville Pilchuck on Monday night. The Panthers have outscored opponents 55-7 and recorded eight shutouts, primarily against the always-tough WesCo 4A Conference.
Shorewood stays atop the Class 3A rankings in dominant fashion despite suffering on minor blip on their ledger.
The Thunderbirds (14-0-0) gave up their first goal of the season, falling behind Marysville Getchell on April 23 before rallying for a 4-1 WesCo 3A win.
Shorewood has a 41-1 edge in goals scored against opponents, mostly in WesCo 3A action. The T-birds also had a 3-0 home triumph over Everett last Wednesday.
Life is good for T-birds head coach Nathan Davis, his squad and his family. Davis, 31, was the junior varsity boys coach for four seasons prior and he took over Shorewood’s girls soccer program five seasons ago.
Davis and his wife, Ariel, welcomed a baby girl, Madeleine, into their family on April 1.
“It’s been pretty exciting this spring,” he said. “This spring has been surprising with the birth of my first child, a baby girl, about a month ago, and a soccer team playing better than any team I’ve ever coached.”
Davis and the T-birds are coming off spring break and a short absence from Davis when his first child was born.
“I took two games off and the boys won those two games, so they handled that well,” Davis said. “I gave them some time off for spring break, so hopefully we come back strong. Our goal has always and only been to win Wesco and then get a state berth and see what we can do. We’re only five games away.”
Shorewood hosts Oak Harbor on Monday night at 7:30 p.m. at Shoreline Stadium.
The Thunderbirds registered just seven wins in 2010 and were 12-7-0 in 2011, so they’ve achieved quite the reversal of fortune under the school’s second-year coach.
Another area team has turned things around in short period and that’s Inglemoor.
Perhaps the best team not in the state rankings is Inglemoor. The Vikings (5-7-2) also could be the best team in the state with a losing record.
The Kevin McGibbon-coached team certainly has turned things around in KingCo 4A action after an 0-5-0 start. The Vikings are 5-2-2 in KingCo 4A play and likely to be one of the top seeds into the conference tournament on Saturday.
“We treated our preseason like an exhibition baseball schedule,” said McGibbon, who said he made a couple key lineup shuffles midway through the season. “We played a lot of guys in the preseason. We wanted to focus on league. League is more important than preseason for us. We knew nobody would play more than six halves out of 10 halves in our first five matches.
“Like any good recipe, it took a little bit for the ingredients to come together.”
Playing five matches in the first eight days of the season didn’t help McGibbon’s team in the win column, but it helped him find the right mix.
“There’s no one thing that led to the turnaround,” McGibbon said. “It was a lot of little things. We just had games where we didn’t play as well. Our mantra was, ‘It’s only preseason.’ They were patient.”
The Vikings’ defender David Barker broke his foot in football and has gutted through the season at less than 100 percent. Martin Canning, Jr., center and outside back, suffered a meniscus knee injury in the first game of the season. He’s on schedule to be back for the playoffs.
Two key moves before the ninth match of the season accelerated Inglemoor’s success.
McGibbon moved Mehron Abdi from center midfielder up front to forward and took Baxter Hagen and plugged him into the center back position.
Abdi, who will end up missing the final two KingCo 4A games away at DECA nationals, leads the team with six goals and four assists.
Things began to change with a 3-0 win over Newport on March 30, just 15 days after the Knights socked it to Inglemoor 6-3 in the teams’ first meeting.
“We got that win against Newport, and we had confidence again,” he said. “It kind of got the ball rolling.”
McGibbon knows his team can’t relax if it wants one of two automatics berths to state from KingCo 4A. There is a third possible berth at stake as the No. 3 teams from KingCo 4A and WesCo 4A square off for an additional spot at state.
“We can’t have a lapse at all,” he said. “The state champs were from KingCo last year. This is a tough league. You cannot take your foot off the gas. We’ve got to keep going.”
The current ESPN HS Powerade Fab 50 team rankings now includes five teams from the state of Washington in the Week 8 rankings. Snohomish (4A) remains at No. 7, Bellarmine Prep (4A) climbs to No. 33 from No. 37, Central Kitsap (4A) to No. 34 from No. 38, Cheney (2A) to No. 37 from No. 41 and Shorewood (3A) moves to No. 38 from No. 42 in the Top 50. Camas (3A) drops out after being at No. 42 the previous week. Listed below is the link to the rankings:
The third spring boys soccer rankings from National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) came out on Tuesday, April 24. Three teams are in the national Top 11 and four mentioned. Snohomish moved into the No. 1 spot, Shorewood checked in at No. 6, Central Kitsap (4A) climbed to No. 11 and Bellarmine Prep was among other receiving votes. The next set of rankings come out on Tuesday, May 15. The link is below:
The NSCAA regional poll is filled with all but one Washington team, from No. 1 through No. 10, with a tie at No. 10. Here’s the current Region V poll:
Here are The Seattle Times rankings for Class 4A and 3A for Week 6 of the 2012 season (this year’s record in parentheses):
1. Snohomish (14-0-0)
2. Bellarmine Prep (9-0-2)
3. Central Kitsap (10-0-2)
4. Kentwood (9-0-5)
5. Federal Way (12-1-1)
6. Puyallup (13-1-0)
7. Jefferson (11-2-1)
8. Jackson (12-2-0)
9. Mead (Spokane) (8-2-0)
10. Skyline (10-3-0)
On the bubble: Roosevelt (10-3-1), Tahoma (11-2-1), Moses Lake (7-3-0), Union (Vancouver) (10-2-2), Skyview (Vancouver) (10-4-0), Central Valley (Spokane) (8-3-0), Newport (9-5-0), Emerald Ridge (10-2-2), Stadium (7-4-2), South Kitsap (4-4-2), Lake Stevens (10-3-1), Chiawana (8-4-0), Lewis & Clark (9-6-0), Issaquah (9-2-4), Woodinville (6-4-2), Davis (Yakima) (10-3-1), Eisenhower (6-4-2), Rogers (Puyallup) (8-5-1), Kamiak (8-5-1), Inglemoor (5-7-2), Marysville-Pilchuck (6-6-1), Redmond (8-5-0).
1. Shorewood (14-0-0)
2. Bainbridge (11-1-3)
3. Camas (12-2-0)
4. Decatur (12-2-0)
5. Eastmont (14-2-0)
6. Peninsula (11-2-0)
7. Kennewick (12-3-0)
8. Chief Sealth (11-1-1)
9. Mercer Island (10-1-2)
10. Wilson (Tacoma) (9-1-3)
On the bubble: Eastside Catholic (6-5-3), Bishop Blanchet (6-5-3), University (Spokane) (8-3-0), Pasco (?4-3-0), Marysville Getchell (8-4-2), Mount Spokane (8-4-0), Sammamish (7-5-1), Mount Si (9-2-3), Lynnwood (8-4-2), Lakeside (7-4-0), Nathan Hale (10-3-1), Bonney Lake (8-6-1), Shorecrest (8-4-3), Bremerton (11-2-1), Capital (5-3-3), Tyee (9-4-1), Liberty (Issaquah) (7-5-2), Prairie (8-5-1).