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October 30, 2012 at 7:31 AM

The Full 80: A look at Liberty’s girls soccer dominance in league, sisters phase from playing to coaching, playoff brackets, national rankings and Week 9 state rankings

In this edition of “The Full 80,” we’ll look at Liberty of Issaquah girls soccer maintaining a streak of three consecutive KingCo 3A/2A titles despite a run of four different coaches in four years and former Seattle Christian standout sisters move from their playing days to coaching playoff teams.

As always, this week’s big matchups and rankings can be found at the bottom of the post.

For each of the last four fall seasons, the Liberty High School girls soccer team has seen a changing of the guard.

When Tami Nguyen took over the head coaching job for the Patriots, it marked the fourth new coach in four seasons.

Nguyen, 33, a former high school standout at Seattle Christian and University of Washington known then as Tami Bennett, hopes to be at Liberty for years to come.

Even during all that change, the Patriots have strung together three consecutive KingCo 3A/2A regular-season titles, the last coming just last week in Nguyen’s first season as a high school coach. Liberty finished atop the league with a 12-1-1 mark with 37 points.

“Our senior class is unbelievable,” said Nguyen, who married former Seattle Sounders midfielder Viet Nguyen in 2007. “It’s just their leadership and they raise the standard in our program, for sure. They’ve had a different coach every single year.

“I think a huge part of their success they’ve had has fallen to them and their leadership.”

The eighth-ranked Pats (12-3-1) get an automatic berth into the 3A state tournament and a break until Nov. 7 when they host a first-round game against WesCo’s No. 3 seed.

“I was familiar with the talent at the high school and I’d coached or watched a lot of these players,” said Nguyen, who was a former club coach for three teams who now has started a family and wants more time for family. “On varsity, there’s 16 players on varsity and at one time I’d coached 11 of them.”

Liberty fell to Seattle Prep 3-2 in last year’s 3A state-title match, leading 2-0 after the first six minutes only to give up that commanding lead to the Panthers, who won for the second year in a row.

The Patriots didn’t graduate many players from last year’s 3A state runner-up team, but they lost 20 goals from the senior class, led by Cassidy Nangle, who took her 15 goals and five assists to the University of Oklahoma.

“They pretty much had three players contribute,” Nguyen said. “They didn’t lose a lot in numbers, but they did lose a lot talent-wise, and definitely people who produced. Cassidy definitely was an attacking presence for them last year.”

Nguyen took over for Jamie Giger and has a core group of six seniors.

“Obviously, we have some seniors who have stepped into bigger roles,” Nguyen said.

Seniors Kiana Hafferty (10 goals, 5 assists), Kailiana Johnson (9 goals, 5 assists) and junior goalkeeper Amy Ellenberg (8 shutouts) lead the Patriots.

“Kiana and Kailiana have stepped up and filled the gap,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen said the leaders on the team have helped her transition into her first high school coaching job. Nguyen was an assistant at Portland State University and UW for eight years total.

“Because of the leadership, and changing so many coaches, a lot of the players know the deal,” said Nguyen. “They kind of know the schedule and know what’s going on even before I took the job. It’s like, ‘This is what we do. That’s made my job a lot easier.”

From players to coaches

They both are married now and coaching. They are maybe a step out of their prime, but still remain in the competitive arena.

When Tami Bennett (now Nguyen) and younger sister Melissa Bennett (now Dunckley) were at Seattle Christian in the late 1990s, it was all about scoring goals.

Melissa erased the state record of 152 goals set by Tami in 1996, reaching 166 by the end of her career in 1999.

Both have their eyes on the state playoffs with Tami leading Liberty of Issaquah in 3A and Melissa guiding Seattle Christian in 1A.

Melissa coaches the Warriors with her husband, Zack Dunckley.

Seattle Christian won the Nisqually League and now awaits the Nov. 1 University Prep-King’s winner and a Saturday, Nov. 3 date in the Tri-District 1A championship match at King’s at 3 p.m.

Around the Area

The Tahoma Bears, ranked No. 1 in 4A, remained in a tie for No. 7 in the Top 25 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) national poll for Oct. 23, 2012. Issaquah, ranked No. 5 in 4A, fell out of the “also receiving votes” category. Here’s the Oct. 23 poll below:

Games to Watch

Here are links to this week’s brackets for the league and district playoffs:

KingCo 4A


South Puget Sound League 4A

Sub District 4A SPSL TOURNEY 12-13 rev 2.SPSL.10262012.pdf

WesCo 4A

Metro League 3A

2012 Metro League Girls Soccer Tournament Bracket (Final as of 10-1).10222012.pdf

KingCo 3A

SPSL 3A/Seamount

WesCo 3A

SPSL 2A/Olympic/Seamount 2A

Cascade Conference/Northwest/KingCo 2A


Here are The Seattle Times 2012 rankings for Class 4A, 3A and 2A for Week 9 (current 2012 record in parentheses):

Class 4A, 3A & 2A girls soccer state rankings – Week 9

Class 4A

1, Tahoma (Maple Valley) (16-0-0)

2, Gig Harbor (12-0-1)

3, Skyline (Sammamish) (13-0-3)

4, Davis (Yakima) (15-1-0)

5, Issaquah (14-2-1)

6, Union (Vancouver) (14-1-1)

7, Puyallup (13-1-2)

8, Camas (13-2-1)

9, Cascade (Everett) (12-1-3)

10, Central Valley (Spokane) (12-2-0)

On the bubble: Edmonds-Woodway (11-3-1), Olympia (8-3-2), Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma) (8-4-3), Kentwood (Covington) (10-3-3), Gonzaga Prep (Spokane) (10-6-1), Mead (Spokane) (10-4-0), Kentridge (11-3-2), South Kitsap (8-3-3), Redmond (10-4-2), Skyview (Vancouver) (8-5-4), Snohomish (11-3-2), Curtis (10-2-4), Moses Lake (11-4-0), Federal Way (7-1-6), Richland (12-4-0), Rogers (Puyallup) (9-5-2), Kamiak (Mukilteo) (11-4-2), Emerald Ridge (Puyallup) (9-6-1), Garfield (8-5-3), Inglemoor (8-5-3).

Class 3A

1, Meadowdale (Lynnwood) (16-0-0)

2, Mount Spokane (15-0-0)

3, Kamiakin (Kennewick) (13-1-1)

4, Bainbridge (13-1-1)

5, Seattle Prep (10-1-6)

6, Columbia River (14-0-2)

7, Everett (13-3-1)

8, Liberty (Issaquah) (12-3-1)

9, Mercer Island (12-3-2)

10, Bonney Lake (10-4-1)

On the bubble: Enumclaw (12-4-0), Interlake (Bellevue) (10-2-4), Auburn Mountainview (9-5-1), Mount Si (10-4-2), Holy Names (11-5-2), Bishop Blanchet (7-7-3), Shorecrest (11-3-3), Kennedy Catholic (12-4-1), Hanford (9-6-0), University (Spokane) (10-5-0), Hazen (10-3-1), Nathan Hale (12-4-0), Wilson (Tacoma) (9-0-2), Timberline (9-0-2), Hazen (11-4-1).

Class 2A

1, Sumner (16-0-0)

2, West Valley (Yakima) (17-0-0)

3, Archbishop Murphy (Everett) (17-0-0)

4, Sehome (Bellingham) (16-0-1)

5, Klahowya (Silverdale) (16-1-0)

6, Pullman (15-1-0)

7, Squalicum (Bellingham) (15-1-1)

8, W.F. West (Chehalis) (14-1-0)

9, Fife (12-3-0)

10, North Kitsap (Poulsbo) (13-2-1)

On the bubble: Black Hills (11-4-0), Burlington (12-5-0), Capital (Olympia) (11-5-1), West Valley (Spokane) (11-4-0), Hockinson (11-4-1), Ephrata (12-6-0), Tumwater (10-5-0), Ridgefield (9-5-1), White River (Buckley) (8-7-0), Prosser (12-6-0), Ellensburg (9-7-0).

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