In this edition of “The Full 80,” we’ll look at Seattle Prep’s bid for a third consecutive state title in Class 3A girls soccer and a chance at “big-school” history and Skyline locking up the No. 1 seed into the KingCo 4A tournament, but rival Issaquah on the docket Tuesday.
As always, this week’s big matchups and rankings can be found at the bottom of the post.
All the hard work and energy toward building a bigger legacy in high-school girls soccer at Seattle Prep comes down one date on the calendar.
Friday, Oct. 26 will be that fateful day.
The Panthers, after finishing second to Bainbridge in the Metro League 3A Mountain Division this fall, face a loser-out, second-round Metro League playoff match against the Bishop Blanchet-Chief Sealth winner on Friday at 5 p.m. at Ingraham High School.
With a win on Friday, Seattle Prep (9-1-6) can take one necessary step toward winning an unprecedented “big school” streak of three consecutive state titles. The Panthers, under the direction of 23rd-year head coach Andy Hendricks, have won the last two Class 3A state crowns after losing three in a row in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
After putting a gut-wrenching Metro regular-season campaign behind, nearly every match will be with heightened interest.
“We’ve talked about that [title chase] early on and that one of the biggest opponents we have is complacency,” said Hendricks, who started 26 seasons ago at Prep as a 20-year-old assistant coach. “We try and give regular-season games the meaning they deserve. With that challenge, I don’t know if we followed through all of the time. Couple that with the fact that most teams gave us their best on any given day, and that creates some challenges.
“That accounts for the number of ties. That being said, Metro has always proven to be difficult.”
The annual league tune-up seems a winning formula.
“Playing big games is nothing new for our program,” Hendricks said. “Any teams that come out of Metro are prepared to make a pretty good run at state. That has been borne out over the last couple of decades.
“We won state with seven ties last year.”
Prep, which won state in 2010 after finishing second in the Mountain Division, likely will face a win-or-go-home scenario against Bishop Blanchet on Friday. The two teams played to a pair of scoreless ties in the regular season – Sept. 27 and Oct. 11.
“The rivalry with Blanchet goes back to when Blanchet opened as a school,” said Hendricks, whose squad is bidding for one of three Metro berths to state. “The rivalry has always been pretty strong. We expect no less than their best and we are making sure we are prepared.
“This is where it gets problematic for the No. 2 seed, to be honest. We play a one-and-done on Friday. But if you finish in third and you can go through Ingraham, and I don’t know if No. 4 has ever won that game, then that No. 3 ends up with basically a triple elimination before they are out of state.”
But Hendricks can look past that and his team must.
“In some respects finishing No. 2 is not as good as finishing No. 3,” he said. “We just have to deal with it.”
Bainbridge (13-1-1) beat Prep for the top spot in the Mountain with an 8-1-1 league mark and 25 points. The Panthers took second with a 5-0-5 record and 20 points.
“I think this tells us something about how strong the league is this year,” Hendricks said. “Bainbridge didn’t make the city playoffs last year, and this year Eastside Catholic, a state team last year, didn’t make it.”
Hendricks came away impressed with the Spartans and their team speed.
“It’s hard to defend speed, so they’re going to be dangerous all the way through,” he said.
As a coach, Hendricks gets excited during playoff time as the stakes increase.
“I find a fair amount of the regular season a grind,” said Hendricks, who registered his 300th victory in last year’s state run. “I find it so, especially in Metro. It’s not like you can take much of a break, because you go from one pretty significant game to the next significant game.
“You just want to position yourself in the playoffs. This is where I think the season begins.”
Friday will be fevered pitch.
Skyline clinched No. 1 spot and right to host KingCo 4A tournament
By beating Redmond 2-0 on Thursday, Skyline took much of the drama for KingCo 4A’s race for the No. 1 seed out of Tuesday’s 6 p.m. showdown at Issaquah to end the regular season.
Even with the top spot decided, history says Tuesday’s match with the Eagles will still feature some fire.
“In soccer, they call it a Derby,” said Braman, whose Spartans lead KingCo 4A at 9-0-0 with 27 points. “It’s a crosstown rivalry. It’s the biggest match we’ve had this year to date.
“The only luxury we have is that the game is for fun for both teams. Neither one of us can change our seeding in the playoffs by winning, but you always want to beat your sibling is the way I look at it.”
Redmond sits second at 8-1-0 and 24 points in KingCo 4A heading into the finale on Tuesday at home against Eastlake. Issaquah, with losses to both Skyline and Redmond, are 7-2-0 with 21 points and in third. These seeds won’t change going into the KingCo tournament, which begins on Saturday with loser-out matches for the Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 6 seeds.
“The points we got in that win against Redmond made sure we made it into the [KingCo 4A] championship game,” Skyline coach Don Braman said. “That mattered a lot to us. And, now we have the [head-to-head] tiebreaker over [Redmond]. So, even if we lose to Issaquah and finish with the same record as Redmond, we have the tiebreaker over them.”
The Spartans have locked up the top spot in the standing four of the last five years and three years in a row now. The last school to interrupt that stronghold at the top was Issaquah in 2009.
With the No. 1 seed coming hosting the league tournament.
That tradition starts with passion at a young age for most of the Skyline players. It starts with Spartan girls soccer camps and being ball girls at a young age for varsity matches.
Six members of the current team were ball girls when younger – Abbie Litka, Kelli Sullivan, Emma Elder, Amanda Johnston, Alicia Gable and Brooke Bofto.
Around the Area
The Tahoma Bears, ranked No. 1 in 4A, remained in a tie for No. 9 in the Top 25 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) national poll for Oct. 16, 2012. Issaquah, ranked No. 5 in 4A, stayed in the “also receiving votes” category. Here’s the Oct. 16 poll below:
Games to Watch
Here are this week’s top matchups:
Tuesday, Oct. 23 – South Puget Sound League (SPSL) 4A North Division, Tahoma at Kentlake (French Field), 7:30 p.m.; SPSL 4A South Division, Puyallup at Federal Way, 3:30 p.m.; KingCo 4A, Skyline at Issaquah, 6 p.m.; Eastlake at Redmond, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 24 – WesCo 3A, Everett at Meadowdale (Edmonds Stadium), 7:30 p.m.; Metro League 3A first-round playoffs, Bishop Blanchet (Mountain Division No. 4) at Chief Sealth (Sound Division No. 3), TBA; Ingraham (Sound No. 4) at Holy Names (Mountain No. 3), TBA.
Thursday, Oct. 25 – SPSL 4A North, Tahoma at Kentwood (French Field), 3:30 p.m.; SPSL 4A South, Curtis at Puyallup, 7:30 p.m.; KingCo 3A/2A, Mount Si at Liberty (Issaquah), 7:30 p.m.; SPSL 3A, Bonney Lake at Enumclaw, 7 p.m.; SPSL 2A, Fife at Sumner, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 26 — Metro League 3A second-round playoffs, Bishop Blanchet-Chief Sealth winner vs. Seattle Prep (Mountain No. 2), loser out at Ingraham High School, 5 p.m.; Ingraham-Holy Names winner vs. West Seattle (Sound No. 2), loser out at Ingraham, 7 p.m.
Here are The Seattle Times 2012 rankings for Class 4A, 3A and 2A for Week 8 (current 2012 record in parentheses):
Class 4A, 3A & 2A girls soccer state rankings – Week 8
1, Tahoma (Maple Valley) (14-0-0)
2, Gig Harbor (10-0-1)
3, Skyline (Sammamish) (13-0-2)
4, Davis (Yakima) (14-0-0)
5, Issaquah (13-2-0)
6, Union (Vancouver) (12-1-1)
7, Camas (12-1-1)
8, Puyallup (12-1-1)
9, Cascade (Everett) (10-1-3)
10, Central Valley (Spokane) (11-2-0)
On the bubble: Edmonds-Woodway (11-3-0), Olympia (7-3-2), Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma) (8-2-3), Kentwood (Covington) (9-2-3), Gonzaga Prep (Spokane) (9-3-1), Mead (Spokane) (9-3-0), Kentridge (9-3-2), South Kitsap (7-2-3), Redmond (10-4-1), Skyview (Vancouver) (7-4-4), Snohomish (10-3-1), Curtis (9-2-3), Moses Lake (5-2-0), Federal Way (7-1-6), Chiawana (Pasco) (12-3-0) Richland (11-4-0), Rogers (Puyallup) (7-5-2), Kamiak (Mukilteo) (8-4-2), Emerald Ridge (Puyallup) (8-6-2).
1, Meadowdale (Lynnwood) (14-0-0)
2, Mount Spokane (14-0-0)
3, Kamiakin (Kennewick) (13-1-1)
4, Bainbridge (13-1-1)
5, Seattle Prep (9-1-6)
6, Columbia River (10-1-1)
7, Everett (11-2-1)
8, Liberty (Issaquah) (11-3-0)
9, Mercer Island (12-2-1)
10, Enumclaw (11-3-0)
On the bubble: Interlake (Bellevue) (8-2-4), Auburn Mountainview (8-4-1), Mount Si (9-4-1), Holy Names (9-5-2), Bishop Blanchet (7-6-3), Shorecrest (9-2-3), Kennedy Catholic (10-4-1), Bonney Lake (8-4-1), Hanford (9-4-0), University (Spokane) (9-4-0), Hazen (10-3-1), Nathan Hale (12-4-0).
1, Sumner (14-0-0)
2, West Valley (Yakima) (15-0-0)
3, Archbishop Murphy (Everett) (15-0-0)
4, Sehome (Bellingham) (14-0-1)
5, Klahowya (Silverdale) (13-1-0)
6, Pullman (15-1-0)
7, Squalicum (Bellingham) (13-1-1)
8, W.F. West (Chehalis) (13-1-0)
9, Fife (11-2-0)
10, Black Hills (11-3-0)
On the bubble: North Kitsap (Poulsbo) (10-2-1), Burlington (12-3-0), Capital (Olympia) (11-4-1), West Valley (Spokane) (11-4-0), Hockinson (10-4-1), Ephrata (11-5-0), Tumwater (9-5-0), Ridgefield (7-5-1), White River (Buckley) (7-6-0), Prosser (10-5-0), Ellensburg (8-6-0).