Last season, a rash of injuries and some personnel shuffling kept the Inglemoor High School boys soccer team from getting off to fast start.
This season, the Vikings couldn’t avoid injuries, but this time they’ve managed getting out of the blocks faster.
In 2012, they fell to 0-5-0 beginning. This year, Inglemoor endured and is off to a 5-0-1 surge and the Vikings sit atop the Class 4A state rankings put out by www.scoreczar.com.
Inglemoor should be primed for fast finish, similar to last season’s 5-0-3 conclusion before a 2-1 season-ending defeat to Issaquah in the KingCo 4A tournament. The Vikings were 5-9-3 overall last season, so coach Kevin McGibbon knows things will get tough deeper inside KingCo 4A.
“Going into the league, there were four teams [Redmond, Inglemoor, Roosevelt and Eastlake] from KingCo 4A who were undefeated in preseason,” said McGibbon, whose team was 5-3-2 in KingCo 4A play in 2012. “And, Skyline, Bothell and Issaquah had one loss in preseason. It just points out how strong and tough it is in KingCo 4A.
“Newport is going to better late in the season when [injured KingCo 4A] Jordan Thompson comes back. Redmond and Skyline, you’ve got to label them the favorites.”
The Vikings, behind five shutouts and five saves per game from junior goalkeeper James Takami, have outscored foes 12-1 so far.
“We try to be stingy and not let the other team have the ball, so that helps us,” McGibbon said.
Ironically, the only other goal they Vikings have given up was on an own goal in the season-opening jamboree.
“We try not to shoot on our own goalie, and when I say try, we played a jamboree and we scored the first goal of the season,” McGibbon said. “It was one of our own defenders scoring on us. Since then, we’ve tried not to score on our goalie.”
Senior Baxter Hagan, the team’s center back and KingCo 4A first team pick in 2012, played his first minutes of the season on Friday after nursing along a hip flexor injury the first five matches.
The Vikings played Garfield to a 1-1 tie on Friday.
“Because he’s had [the injury] for a while we’re going to try to stretch him out bit by bit,” McGibbon said. “We’ll see if we can get him a half this week. He would’ve liked to play more on Friday. We had a conversation, and we’re a little more long term than this.
“But he’s a warrior.”
Hagan’s replacements at the back on defense were seniors Ian Schweickart and Corey Schirmer. Both Schweickart and Schirmer are injured and on the shelf.
“We’ve got a couple new guys who were injured are back filling in at the back,” McGibbon said. “On Friday, I looked over at the sidelines and there were five starters who couldn’t play.”
The 6-foot-2 Takami, also a Vikings’ basketball player, took over as the starter in goal midway through 2012 and continued to blossom after winning a three-way competition for the job.
“During the second half of the season and playoffs, he was playing very well and confidently,” McGibbon said. “The back players feel like they can pass the ball around the back and not worry about it.”
Inglemoor will get a boost with Tuesday’s return of former Academy player junior defender/midfielder Cody Miller, a starter a year ago, and sophomore forward Braden Devey.
Miller joined the team late and needs to gain the needed practices for eligibility.
“To be where we are at, with six different starting lineups in six games, is amazing,” McGibbon said. “We’ve just had injuries this year.”
Senior midfielders Christian Nesselquist and Kyle Zimmerman have given the Vikings some direction and organization.
“They’ve been rock solid and outstanding leaders,” McGibbon said.
Snohomish (9-0-0, WesCo 4A), Federal Way (8-0-0, SPSL 4A), Lakeside (8-0-0, Metro 3A), Redmond (8-0-0, KingCo 4A), Seattle Christian (7-0-0, Nisqually 1A), Liberty (7-0-1, KingCo 3A/2A), Jefferson (7-0-2, SPSL 4A) and Inglemoor (5-0-1, KingCo 4A) remain as the local teams who are still unbeaten overall.
Marquee matches upcoming
Tuesday, April 9
KingCo 3A/2A, Mount Si (5-2-1) at Liberty (Issaquah) (7-0-1), 7:30 p.m.
KingCo 4A, Inglemoor (5-0-1) at Skyline (7-1-0), 7:30 p.m.
KingCo 4A, Roosevelt (4-3-2) at Redmond (8-0-0), 7:30 p.m.
3A Metro League Sound Division, Franklin (4-4-0) at Ingraham (6-2-1), 3:30 p.m.
SPSL 4A South Division, Federal Way (8-0-0) at Emerald Ridge (3-2-3), 7:30 p.m.
SPSL 4A South Division, Puyallup (4-2-2) at Rogers (Puyallup), 7:30 p.m.
WesCo 3A, Marysville-Pilchuck (3-3-2) at Glacier Peak (4-3-1), 7:30 p.m.
WesCo 4A, Lynnwood (6-1-1) at Snohomish (9-0-0), 7:30 p.m.
WesCo 4A, Mariner (5-2-1) at Lake Stevens (6-1-2), 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, April 10
SPSL 4A North Division, Jefferson (6-0-2) at Kentwood (6-1-1) (French Field), 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 11
3A Metro League Mountain Division, Bainbridge (3-1-0) at Seattle Prep (5-3-0) (Magnuson Playfield No. 6), 3:30 p.m.
3A Metro League Sound Division, Chief Sealth (8-1-1) at Franklin (4-4-0), 3:30 p.m.
Friday, April 12
KingCo 4A, Bothell (5-2-0) at Skyline (7-1-0), 7:30 p.m.
Washington state computer rankings
Area schools Inglemoor (4A) and Lakeside (3A) top their respective classes in the Washington state computer rankings with Archbishop Murphy (2A) checking in at No. 2 and Seattle Christian (1A) coming in at No. 3. Inglemoor displaced Redmond as the No. 1 team in 4A after a re-calculation of the website’s formula this week.
Link below to full rankings by classification:
National rankings picture
The first spring boys soccer rankings from National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) came out on Tuesday, March 26. Four teams from Washington state opened in the top 20 with a fifth team in the also receiving votes category. There is a two-week gap between updated rankings. But, for now, defending Class 4A state champion Skyview of Vancouver debuted and remains at No. 5 with a string of fellow Washington schools getting mention – Jefferson (4A) at No. 9, Snohomish (4A) at No. 11 and Federal Way (4A) at No. 16. Lakeside (3A) was among four teams also receiving votes. The next set of spring rankings is due out Tuesday, April 9. The current rankings link is below:
The NSCAA regional poll was filled with all but one Washington team, from No. 1 through No. 10. Here’s the initial Region V poll for spring of 2013: