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September 17, 2013 at 2:17 PM

The Full 80 girls soccer blog | Week 1

“The Full 80”:  A look at Skyline’s girls soccer going for their third 4A title in a row, national rankings and Week 1 state rankings

Editor’s note: This is the first edition for the 2013 season of Matt Massey’s “The Full 80″ blog, an in-depth look at Washington girls soccer. In the coming weeks, check the blog for similar coverage for volleyball, girls swimming, and football.

In this edition of “The Full 80,” we’ll look at how the tussle at the top of KingCo 4A could ultimately reveal the top Class 4A team in the state – either Skyline or Issaquah. Skyline topped Issaquah 1-0 last year’s 4A final. As always, there’s national rankings, this week’s upcoming big matchups, college commits, all-classification Top 10 rankings and state rankings by classification at the bottom of this post.

KingCo’s reign

Until something really changes on the girls soccer landscape, the KingCo 4A Conference will be the league to beat.

Skyline of KingCo 4A has won four of the last five Class 4A state championships, including the last two, and there have been KingCo 4A teams in the title match nine of the last 13 years, including six of the last seven.

There have been three All-KingCo 4A championships in the last five years.

That’s a big reason that two-time defending 4A state champion Skyline and fellow KingCo 4A power Issaquah, which lost to the Spartans 1-0 in the 2012 title match, start the 2013 state rankings atop the 4A classification.

Kelli Sullivan, right, and Skyline won a battle of KingCo teams in the 4A state title game last year, beating Issaquah 1-0. (Photo by Colin Diltz / The Seattle Times)

Kelli Sullivan, right, and Skyline won a battle of KingCo teams in the 4A state title game last year, beating Issaquah 1-0. (Photo by Colin Diltz / The Seattle Times)

They are the teams to beat until further notice. That means it’s only fitting that the powers that be — Skyline and Issaquah — open atop The Seattle Times’ Class 4A rankings for Week 1 of the 2013 rankings.

“We are able to return a bunch of girls from a team that did very well, so that’s a good thing,” said Skyline coach Don Braman, whose team is off to a 3-0 start. “The other part is that we’re not playing too well right now, and have some people injured and out.

“The other reality is we’re winning games even though we’re not playing that well. (Issaquah) has looked great so far. They had two good wins already over Mount Si and Lake Washington. When I watched them play that first game against Mount Si, I said, ‘This team is better than us right now.’ That was before (Kentucky commit) Rachel Wheeler got hurt.”

Skyline, which has eight starters back, hosts Issaquah in the KingCo 4A finale on Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in match that likely will determine the regular-season titlist.

Seattle Prep, a Metro-League regular at the top of the standings, opens as the top target in Class 3A in the initial rankings. The Panthers lost to last year’s eventual 3A champ, Columbia River, 2-1 in the first round of state. Before that loss, Prep had reached the title match five of six years, winning in 2010 and 2011.

“They’re solid,” Braman said.

Skyline beat Seattle Prep 1-0 on a 35th minute goal by Amanda Johnston in a nonleague match on Sept. 10.

Lake Washington, which plays in the top-to-bottom-tough KingCo 3A/2A Conference, owns the No. 1 spot in the opening rankings for Class 2A. The transfer of Washington commit Taylor Sekyra should boost the Kangaroos’ chances.

Added Braman of owning that top target of other teams in 4A: “I really think we’re not quite there yet. For us, it’s not about being in the top-5 rankings at the early part. We wanted to be there when it comes down to the final weekend. We want to be in the Final Four.”

Senior captain Jordan Branch is back and will play midfield or forward. She has committed verbally to play at Washington State, likely as a defender.

Another senior is Brooke Holland, who will play at Seattle Pacific University.

And Johnston, a junior forward, figures to be the team’ top goal scorer and Kelli Sullivan, a junior midfielder, will be a factor for the Spartans.

Skyline finished 18-0-2 in 2011 and 17-1-3 in 2012 for a combined record of 35-1-5 the last two seasons.

“We stopped worrying about the target,” Braman said. “I think the second year you talk about the target. It’s one of those things, you learn to deal with it. We don’t even worry about it any more

“We know we’re going to get the best out of every opponent.”

Around the Area

The Issaquah Eagles, ranked No. 1 in 4A, debuted at No. 18 in the Top 25 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) national poll for Sept. 3, 2012. Issaquah moved up to No. 10 in Week 2 and fellow KingCo 4A rival Skyline debuted at No. 19 in Week 2. Below are the NSCAA’s Sept. 3 and Sept. 10 opening polls, which came out prior to Washington state’s opening matches:

Week 1
http://www.nscaatv.com/rankings/2136/Fall/women/National/Poll1

Week 2
http://www.nscaatv.com/rankings/2220/Fall/women/National/Poll2

Three teams from Washington state debuted in NSCAA’s Region VI Top-15 poll (Issaquah at No. 3 and moved up to No. 2, Skyline at No. 5 and up to No. 4 and Camas at No. 14 and dropped out; Gig Harbor debuted at No. 15). The link below is for the Region VI, which came out Sept. 3 and Sept. 10:

Week 1
http://www.nscaatv.com/rankings/2135/Fall/women/RegionVI/Poll1

Week 2
http://www.nscaatv.com/rankings/2219/Fall/women/RegionVI/Poll2

Games to Watch

Here are this week’s top matchups:

Tuesday, Sept. 17:

South Puget Sound League (SPSL) 4A South: Emerald Ridge at Curtis, 7:30 p.m.
KingCo 3A/2A: Interlake at Mount Si, 7:30 p.m.; Bellevue at Lake Washington, 7:30 p.m.
WesCo 3A: Meadowdale at Mountlake Terrace at Edmonds Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
2A Cascade Conference: Archbishop Murphy at Lakewood, 6 p.m.
Nonleague: Eastside Catholic at Ballard, 5:30 p.m.; Seattle Prep at Redmond, 7:30 p.m.; Newport at Bishop Blanchet, 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 18 – None.

Thursday, Sept. 19:

KingCo 4A: Ballard at Inglemoor at Pop Keeney Stadium, 7:30 p.m.; Woodinville at Issaquah, 7:30 p.m.; Newport at Skyline, 7:30 p.m.
SPSL 4A South: Rogers (Puyallup) at Emerald Ridge, 7:30 p.m.
KingCo 3A/2A: Mercer Island at Interlake, 7:30 p.m.; Lake Washington at Liberty (Issaquah), 7:30 p.m. Nonleague, Holy Names at Eastlake, 7:30 p.m.; Seattle Prep at Auburn Mountainview, 7 p.m.; Peninsula at Bainbridge, 7 p.m.; University Prep at Bear Creek (Redmond), 3:45 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 20:
Nonleague: University Prep at Forest Ridge, 3 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 21:
Nonleague: Eastlake at Wenatchee, 2 p.m.; Snohomish at Ballard, 1 p.m.; Lakeside at Newport, 7:30 p.m.; Bothell at Arlington, 3 p.m.; Redmond at Meadowdale at Edmonds Stadium, 3 p.m.; Holy Names at Shorewood, 3 p.m.

College commits

WASHINGTON STATE PLAYERS VERBALLY COMMITTED TO PLAY
NCCA DIVISION I-II-III WOMEN’S SOCCER FOR 2014, 2015, 2016
(Please e-mail sports@seattletimes.com with any additional commits)

Air Force – Madison Adams, Bonney Lake, F, Sr.
Arkansas – Karli White, Cedarcrest, F, Jr.
Arkansas State – Lauren Crimi, Auburn Riverside, D, Sr.
Arizona – Sierra Bilginer, Redmond (not playing for school team), F, Sr.; Calisse Crisler, Archbishop Murphy, F, Sr.; Kennedy Kieneker, Redmond, MF, Jr.
Boise State – Annie Hoffman, Issaquah, CMF, Jr.
California – Emily Boyd, Nathan Hale, GK, Sr.
Cincinnati – Jaeden Chew, Skyline, GK, Sr.
Colgate – Emily Crichlow, Meadowdale (Lynnwood), F, Sr.
Colorado – Courtney Fedor, Interlake, D, Sr.
Columbia – Emily Johnson, Forest Ridge (does not play for school team), F, Sr.
Florida International – Lyrik Fryer, Issaquah, D, Jr.
Idaho – Andes Archibald, Richland, D, Sr.
Illinois – Kara Marbury, Mead (Spokane), F, Jr.
Middle Tennessee State – Kathy Thomas, Franklin Pierce, D, Sr.
Kentucky – Rachel Wheeler, Issaquah, F, Sr.
Minnesota – Hannah Holm, University (Spokane), F, Sr.
Montana State-Billings – Jordyn England, Stanwood (does not play for school), GK, Sr.
Northern Arizona – Maddie Sjothun, Union (Vancouver), D, Sr.
Oregon – Abby Morrow, Inglemoor, MF-F, Sr.
Oregon State – Emma Bergstorm, Interlake, MF-F, Sr.; Celia Vaughn, Gig Harbor, MF, Sr.
Pennsylvania – Darby Mason, Lakeside (does not play for school team), MF, Sr.
Portland – Kimberly Hazlett, Squalicum, F, So.; Jessica Kennedy, Lewis & Clark (Spokane), MF, Sr.; Mady Seckman, Kamiak, D, Sr.
Seattle Pacific University  — Brooke Holland, MF, Sr.
Stanford – Mariah Lee, Kentwood (does not play for school), F, Sr.
Utah – Natalie Vukic, Bainbridge, MF-F, Sr.
Vanderbilt – Logan Cox, Capital (Olympia), D-MF, Sr.
Washington – Taylor Sekyra, Lake Washington (transfer from Liberty-Issaquah), D, Jr.; Jessica Udovich, Puyallup, MF-D, Jr.
Washington State – Jordan Branch, Skyline, MF-D, Sr.; Elizabeth Griffith, Puyallup, MF, Jr.; Abbey Porter, Skyline, D, Jr.

Rankings

TOP 10 PREP GIRLS SOCCER ALL-CLASSIFICATION PRESEASON RANKINGS
By Matt Massey

(All classifications)
1. Skyline
2. Issaquah
3. Curtis
4. Puyallup
5. Seattle Prep
6. Mead (Spokane)
7. Meadowdale (Lynnwood)
8. Union (Vancouver)
9. Mount Spokane
10. Lake Washington

Week 1 State rankings by classification (4A, 3A, 2A)

Class 4A
1, Skyline (3-0-0)
2, Issaquah (3-0-1)
3, Mead (Spokane) (4-0-0)
4, Curtis (2-0-0)
5, Puyallup (1-0-1)
6, Union (Vancouver) (0-0-1)
7, Gig Harbor (1-0-0)
8, Bellarmine Prep (0-0-0)
9, Edmonds-Woodway (2-0-0)
10, Tahoma (2-0-0)

Class 3A
1, Seattle Prep (1-1-0)
2, Meadowdale (Lynnwood) (2-0-0)
3, Mount Spokane (1-0-1)
4, Columbia River (2-0-0)
5, Bainbridge (2-0-0)
6, Kamiakin (3-0-0)
7, Hanford (4-0-0)
8, Auburn Mountainview (2-0-0)
9, Interlake (1-0-1)
10, Shorecrest (1-0-1)

Class 2A
1, Lake Washington (1-1-1)
2, West Valley (Yakima) (3-0-0)
3, North Kitsap (3-0-0)
4, Archbishop Murphy (Everett) (2-0-0)
5, Black Hills (3-0-1)
6, West Valley (Spokane) (3-0-0)
7, Kingston (3-0-0)
8, Prosser (1-0-0)
9, Mark Morris (Longview) (1-0-0)
10, Squalicum (Bellingham) (1-1-0)

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