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High School Sports Blog

The latest news and analysis on high-school sports around the Seattle area

November 13, 2012 at 4:00 AM

The Full 80: A look at Tahoma girls soccer eyeing the 4A title, how Issaquah coach Tom Bunnell endured his son’s serious injury and national rankings

In this edition of “The Full 80,” we’ll look at how playmaker Brie Hooks factors into Tahoma girls soccer’s hopes of landing a 4A state title after two empty trips to the semifinals.

The No. 1 Bears must get through familiar foe Skyline after the Spartans turned back the Bears 2-0 in the semifinals in 2011.

Issaquah coach Tom Bunnell remained focused somehow since his son was seriously injured in an Oct. 27 auto accident.

All the Final Four matchups are listed below.

Brie Hooks returns to her Tahoma team after a year away

Brie Hooks sat at her laptop in a Boca Raton, Fla., hotel room watching her teammates on the Tahoma girls soccer team compete in Class 4A semifinals.

Hooks felt helpless 3,300 miles away.

Normally, she’s at her teammates’ side, but in 2011 she was away showcasing her skills at the Olympic Development Program (ODP) Thanksgiving Interregional Event.

At this time a year ago, it was a critical time for exposure to college coaches for Hooks, but now that she’s committed verbally to play at the University of Colorado, she’s 100 percent a Tahoma Bear this season.

Hooks is back and so are the Bears. The senior midfielder, who has 26 assists and 15 goals, wouldn’t miss her last opportunity to help bring a Class 4A state title back to the Maple Valley school.

“It was such a hard to decision to leave during the state finals,” said Hooks, a dynamic playmaker who has verbally committed to the University of Colorado. “Coach [Jason] Johnson and I had discussed it for weeks and it did not feel right, but I knew I needed to do it for my future. I hadn’t committed to play in college at that point.

“Last year was the first year I was invited to the Interregional camp, so needed to go there to prove myself.”

Hooks wouldn’t feel right missing another chance at a title.

“I feel so guilty about it,” she said. “I felt like I was letting the team down. I don’t miss a game for anything. I just don’t usually don’t do that. It sucked watching the game on my laptop from the hotel.

“It sucked just watching them and not being able to be there with them or for them in that [semifinal] game.”

The Bears fell 2-0 in the 2011 state semifinals to Skyline before rallying for a 2-1 victory in two overtimes against Gig Harbor for third place.

Top-ranked Tahoma (20-0-0), ranked No. 7 nationally, gets a semifinal rematch with fourth-ranked Skyline (15-1-3) on Friday at 6 p.m. at Sparks Stadium.

The two schools meet for the third consecutive year in the state semifinals. Two seasons ago in 2010, Tahoma upended Skyline 1-0 when the Spartans were No. 1 in the national and No. 1 in the state.

“I don’t know if it’s so much a rivalry as much as we just get really excited to play them,” Hooks said. “We know that it’s always going to be a good game, and we can learn from it. We’re just really excited to get another chance to play them this weekend.”

Tahoma carries the label of “the team to beat” two years later.

“Two years ago, I think we were just excited to get a chance to beat someone that was ranked so high,” Hooks said. “Everyone said they were unbeatable, and we just wanted to proved they were beatable.

“Now, the roles are reversed, but we’re not going to stop working and show why we are ranked where we are.”

Possibly the biggest incentive for Tahoma is to send 11 seniors off as state champions.

“Having so many seniors on the team this year, it’s like helps because everyone is pushing for the seniors as well as themselves,” said Hooks. “The last four years we’ve made it to state. I think we’re getting sick of just being that close, and we’ve been working so hard.

“We feel like this could be our year. If we just keep pushing this week, I think we can do it. Everyone has a willingness to work for each other.”

Hooks has played at higher level than high school for many years, but she wouldn’t trade her experience with Tahoma.

“In high school, everyone knows when your games are, and who you are playing,” she said. “Everyone at school is coming up to you and supporting. I just feel more connected to my high school than I do my other teams. It’s a great experience to go play those games for higher-level teams, and I’m really grateful to be given those opportunities.

“But high school feels more close and at-home. Just to have that support behind is great.”

Bunnell keeps on coaching despite son’s serious injury

The phone call Tom Bunnell, the Issaquah girls soccer coach, got on afternoon of Oct. 27 was a parent’s worst nightmare.

On the other end of the line was Bunnell’s 19-year-old son, Max, a freshman at the University of Idaho. Max was calling from a hospital to tell his parents, Tom, and Karla, that he’d been in an automobile accident in Moscow, Idaho.

“I was literally packing my bag to go to our game when I got the call,” said Tom Bunnell, who got the call at about 4 p.m. just before his Eagles played a 7:30 p.m. match at Issaquah. “We’ve been dealing with that, and that’s made everything just that much more emotionally charged this season. My wife went over there and stayed with him for eight days.

“The team and their parents just rallied around us and made sure things for my family went smooth over here.”

As a passenger, Max, had been thrown from the vehicle and had four vertebrae fractured after the auto essentially rolled over him. He also suffered four broken ribs and punctured both lungs.

The vehicle overturned on rain-soaked dirt road. There was no alcohol involved.

“They were just driving on a Saturday morning, it was raining, they hit washout and lost control,” Bunnell said. “One of the guys tried to help correct and they over-corrected. He’s really lucky.”

The dedicated Bunnell coached his team that night, albeit in a bit of daze as his wife headed off to Moscow to attend to their injured and bed-ridden son.

“My wife just threw everything in a bag, said ‘Good luck’ and took off,” said Bunnell, whose team beat Roosevelt 3-1 at home and then afterward he broke the news of his son’s accident to the team. “It was just brutal. I didn’t know how to handle that. That’s a parent’s worst nightmare.

“To find out he was going to be OK was reassuring. I was trying to stay focused on the girls. The support was fantastic from our team.”

Max Bunnell had already had three heart surgeries to address his “racing” heart condition. His first surgery came at age 11, the week of the state finals in 2004.

The Eagles won the 3A state that season with a 1-0 overtime win over West Valley of Yakima.

Issaquah is two wins away from the school’s fourth state crown. The fifth-ranked Eagles (18-2-1) face Camas (16-3-1) in the 4A semifinals on Friday at 8 p.m. at Sparks Stadium.

Bunnell expects his son, Max, to be in attendance this weekend at the Final Four, less than a month since serious injury in the car wreck.

“For a while, he couldn’t walk or talk,” Bunnell said. “Reality of how serious it was began to set it in.”

Top performers (first two rounds of state)

Taylor Clarin, Tahoma – The sophomore midfielder tallied two goals – her sixth and seventh of the season – as the top-ranked Bears beat Curtis 2-1 in the Class 4A state quarterfinals on Saturday. Clarin scored in the seventh minute to put Tahoma ahead 1-0 and then broke a 1-1 tie in 59th minute with her game-winning tally.

Brie Hooks, Tahoma – The University of Colorado commit provided three assists in a pair of Class 4A state playoff victories as the Bears reached the Final Four for the third season in a row. She now has 26 assists this season, matching last year’s total.

Kiana Hafferty, Liberty (Issaquah) – The Patriots’ leading scorer scored two goals and an assist in the first two rounds of state.

Kali Youngdahl, Liberty (Issaquah) – Provided a pair of assists and a goal in the first two rounds.

Juliana DaCruz, Issaquah – The Eagles junior forward supplied two goals and an assist in the first two state matches.

Tala Fry, Issaquah – The Eagles sophomore goalkeeper stepped up with a pair of shutouts to open state tournament play.

Anna DeWeirdt, Skyline – The Spartans’ junior tallied twice in two state matches, scoring the lone goal in the 74th minute of a 1-0 state quarterfinal win over Puyallup on Saturday.

Kaylie Rozell, Sumner – Spartans’ high-scoring forward scored two goals in two matches and ran her totals to 31 goals and 14 assists.

Alyssa Murray, Sumner – Put up a pair of goals in a pair of state wins. She has 10 goals this season.

Charlene Burger, Columbia River – Scored both her of state goals in a 2-1 win over Seattle Prep in the first round of 3A state.

Alyssa Lloyd, Mount Spokane – Powered the No. 2 Wildcats (19-0-0) in 3A semifinals, their first trip to the Final Four in school history, with two goals in a 4-0 quarterfinal triumph over Kamiakin on Saturday.

Riley Steele, West Valley (Yakima) – The Rams’ freshman came through with a goal and an assist in a 2-0 victory in the 2A quarterfinals against Pullman.

Kim Dorr, Squalicum – Provided a goal and an assist in 4-1 2A quarterfinal win over Hockinson.

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 Nov. 6, 2012. Here’s the Nov. 6 poll below:

http://www.nscaa.com/rankings/1882/Fall/women/National/Poll10

Games to Watch – State Final Four

Here are links to this week’s brackets for the state playoffs:

Class 4A girls (Final Four, Sparks Stadium, Nov. 16-17)

http://www.wiaa.com/Brackets/T170.pdf

Friday, Nov. 16 – Semifinals

Game 1: No. 4 Skyline (15-1-3) vs. No. 1 Tahoma (20-0-0), 6 p.m.

Game 2: Camas (16-3-1) vs. No. 5 Issaquah (18-2-1), 8 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 17

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, noon (3rd-4th places)

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 4 p.m. (Championship)

Class 3A girls (Final Four, Sparks Stadium, Nov. 16-17)

http://www.wiaa.com/Brackets/T171.pdf

Friday, Nov. 16 – Semifinals

Game 1: No. 4 Columbia River (16-0-2) vs. No. 4 Liberty (Issaquah) (14-3-1), 2 p.m.

Game 2: No. 7 Holy Names (15-5-2) vs. No. 2 Mount Spokane (19-0-0), 4 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 17

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 10 a.m. (3rd-4th places)

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 2 p.m. (Championship)

Class 2A girls (Final Four, Shoreline Stadium, Nov. 16-17)

http://www.wiaa.com/Brackets/T172.pdf

Friday, Nov. 16 – Semifinals

Game 1: No. 4 Squalicum (19-1-1) vs. No. 1 Sumner (19-0-0), 6 p.m.

Game 2: No. 6 Sehome (19-1-1) vs. No. 2 West Valley (Yakima) (20-0-0), 8 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 17

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, noon (3rd-4th places)

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 4 p.m. (Championship)

Class 1A girls (Final Four, Shoreline Stadium, Nov. 16-17)

http://www.wiaa.com/Brackets/T173.pdf

Friday, Nov. 16 – Semifinals

Game 1: King’s vs. University Prep, 2 p.m.

Game 2: Seattle Christian vs. Cashmere, 4 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 17

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 10 a.m. (3rd-4th places)

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 2 p.m. (Championship)

Class 1B/2B girls (Final Four, Sunset Chev Stadium, Sumner, Nov. 16-17)

http://www.wiaa.com/Brackets/T157.pdf

Friday, Nov. 16 – Semifinals

Game 1: Crosspoint Academy vs. Bear Creek, 2 p.m.

Game 2: Napavine vs. Liberty Bell, 4 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 17

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 10 a.m. (3rd-4th places)

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 2 p.m. (Championship)

Class 1B/2B boys (Final Four, Sunset Chev Stadium, Sumner, Nov. 16-17)

http://www.wiaa.com/Brackets/T176.pdf

Friday, Nov. 16 – Semifinals

Game 1: Northwest Christian vs. Mount Vernon Christian, 6 p.m.

Game 2: Providence Classical vs. St. George’s, 8 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 17

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, noon (3rd-4th places)

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 4 p.m. (Championship)

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