This is the eighth installment of The “Full 80” prep boys soccer blog for the spring of 2014. Here’s a look at Ingraham eying its first state, marquee matches and final state rankings.
Ingraham, Aur have big chance for special season
Paul Aur knew this season could be memorable. He just didn’t know how memorable.
If his players on the Ingraham High School boys soccer team elevated their commitment, Aur was certain to see a rise in performance and in the Metro League Sound Division standings.
An offseason of dedication has grown into something bigger.
And, the Rams have taken things one step beyond winning the Sound Division – which they did win – and are on the cusp of the school’s first state berth in the sport.
Ingraham (9-3-4 overall, 9-2-1 Sound Division) is just one win away from that historical advancement into the Class 3A state tournament. By winning their division, the Rams sit a win away from that goal in Wednesday’s Metro League tournament semifinals.
Ingraham meets Monday’s Seattle Prep-Bainbridge Metro quarterfinal winner on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in the winner-to-state, semifinals on its home field. Hanging in the balance is something no other team in school history has been able to accomplish under third-year coach Aur.
“Our expectation coming into the season was that the guys wanted to win the league, and we knew we had the talent,” said the 29-year-old Aur, a Memphis, Tenn., native who graduated from Seattle University and remained the area to coach soccer. “We have the same group pretty much and I’ve been with them three years. Some of these guys were on the team four years ago when they won the league [first in Sound], so they remember what it was like and what it took.
“They definitely knew that it was going to be hard work. The put in the work in the offseason. They did speed and agility training and endurance training.”
The Rams went 8-2-2 and took third in the Metro Sound last season and finished 10-6-3 overall. They fell 3-0 to Juanita in a winner-to-state playoff against KingCo 3A’s No. 2 seed after losing a pair of Metro League tourney matches.
Aur is confident his team, which returns eight starters from 2013, can turn the tables in 2014.
“I kind of believe we could do this by just seeing the group develop,” said Aur, who was named Coach of the Year for the Metro Sound by his peers. “I’ve had three years with them. We finished fourth the first year, and second the second year to a very good Chief Sealth team last year and they went undefeated in league.
“We knew we had the experience and the dedication. We did have a couple of stuttering moments, losing to Hale and losing to Franklin at home. Honestly, I think that’s what helped us win the league.”
That tough stretch built character and resolve.
“We were able put in the work and do what it took to recover from those mistakes and become even stronger,” said Aur, whose team has won four matches in a row. “That’s given us great momentum going into the playoffs. We have a lot of confidence going into it.
“I’m not saying we are expecting to win or that it will be easy. Last year we found out real quick against Bainbridge last year when we scored on them first and then they put away five goals on us.”
Bainbridge took the Rams down 5-1 in the Metro League tournament semifinals and then went on to take third in Class 3A state.
“Whoever we play, we’re looking forward to that challenge,” Aur said. “We need to keep truckin’ away. We have three chances to make it state. It’s something that’s no Ingraham sports team has done of recent memory that I know of.
“The guys believe we can do that. Last year was a tough experience losing that play-in game. The boys worked hard.”
In the other Metro semifinal this season, Mountain Division champion Lakeside (10-2-2) awaits Monday’s Bishop Blanchet-Nathan Hale winner for a 3:30 p.m. matchup on Wednesday at Ingraham.
The Metro League championship match will be played Friday at 7 p.m. at Nathan Hale High School. The third-fourth place match takes place on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Ingraham.
“I think we’re strong enough to put up a fight to get into state,” Aur said.
Metro’s top three finishers advance to state and the No. 4 seed travels to the KingCo 3A No. 2 seed for another shot at a state berth.
The Rams were led in the regular season by Guatemala native Kevin Leonzo-Perez. The senior forward, who came to the United States from his native country four years ago, is the team’s most dynamic player and he leads them with 11 goals.
“He is capable of going on runs and scoring on whole teams,” Aur said of Leonzo-Perez, who came back strong after breaking his foot in club in the fall of 2013. “Our team struggles with putting goals away, that was a concern for this team, but he put in the extra last summer. He’s a really passionate kid about the game.
“As a senior, he really wants to prove something. He’s put a lot of his back.”
Leonzo-Perez is one of 16 seniors attempting make school history with the program this spring.
Although his stats don’t stand out, the Rams’ center midfielder Duncan Greeley, is integral to the team success.
“He’s the heartbeat of the team and he’s been a captain since his sophomore year,” said Aur. “He’s a motivator. He’s compassionate. He’s understanding. He’s supporting.
“If you make a mistake, he’s right there to pick you up. He drives the group.”
Greeley’s contribution goes deeper than his one goal and two assists.
This is Aur’s third and final year coaching Ingraham. He will be coaching Seattle United teams with future Ingraham players later this season, precluding him from coaching those player at Ingraham under high-school rules.
He’s enjoyed his short time with the Rams and credits the players for building good morale and a winning attitude.
“I think Ingraham flies under the radar,” Aur said. “It doesn’t get much recognition. Inside the school, walking around, everyone is saying, ‘Congratulations.’
“We are appreciate there. The whole school is united.”
The Rams’ boys soccer team is trying to knock down those walls with a breakthrough win on Wednesday.
KingCo 3A comes down to Liberty, Mercer Island
Liberty of Issaquah hosts Mercer Island on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. to decide the KingCo 3A tournament title.
The Patriots (13-2-2) won the regular-season crown in KingCo 3A/2A. MI (8-4-5) was second.
Coming down to it
With regular-season play concluded last week, the district and bi-district tournaments fill the week of May 12-17 and will determine state berths. The spring state tournaments begin with first-round matches in Class 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A on May 19-20.
The state tournaments for all classifications playing boys soccer in the spring take place May 30-31.
The Class 1A and 2A Final Fours will be played at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner and the 3A and 4A Finals Fours are scheduled at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.
Upcoming boys soccer playoff link
(League and district tournaments)
Main bracket page for district
ScoreCzar.org gives its unique twist on rankings
Here’s the link to the latest 2014 ranking for boys soccer by ww.scoreczar.org:
Marquee matches upcoming
Tuesday, May 13
KingCo 4A tournament: Garfield at Skyline, 7 p.m. (No. 2 seed from Sea-King District to state; loser plays at WesCo 4A No. 3 seed bi-district No. 3 seed to state)
Northwest 4A District tournament semifinals: Mount Vernon at Snohomish, 7 p.m.; Cascade (Everett) at Kamiak, 7:30 p.m.
South Puget Sound League 4A, play-in match: Kentridge (SPSL North No. 5) vs. Beamer (SPSL South No. 5), TBD, loser out
Northwest 3A District tournament: Marysville-Pilchuck at Shorecrest at Shoreline Stadium, semifinals, 5:30 p.m.; Glacier Peak at Shorewood at Shoreline Stadium, semifinals; Marysville Getchell at Stanwood, loser out; Meadowdale at Oak Harbor, loser out, all 7 p.m.
West Central 3A sub-district tournament: Peninsula vs. Hazen at Franklin Pierce District Stadium, 5:30 p.m., 5th place, loser out; Bonney Lake vs. Kennedy Catholic at Highline Stadium, 7 p.m., championship; Decatur vs. Auburn Mountainview at Franklin Pierce District Stadium, 7:30 p.m., 3rd-4th places
KingCo 3A tournament: Mercer Island at Liberty (Issaquah), 7 p.m., championship; Interlake at Mount Si, 5 p.m., loser out
Northwest/Sea-King bi-district tournament: Sedro-Woolley at Anacortes, TBD, semifinals; Cedarcrest at Squalicum at Civic Stadium (Bellingham), 7 p.m., semifinals; Archbishop Murphy at Sammamish, TBD, loser out; Sehome at Lakewood at Civic Stadium (Bellingham), 5 p.m.
Tri-District 1A tournament: Seattle Academy at Mount Baker, TBD; District 3 No. 5 at Charles Wright Academy, TBD; Blaine at Vashon, TBD; Cascade Christian at South Whidbey at Kamiak High School, 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 14
Metro League 3A tournament, semifinals: Bishop Blanchet-Nathan Hale winner vs. Lakeside at Ingraham High School, 3:30 p.m.; Seattle Prep-Bainbridge winner vs. Ingraham at Ingraham High School, 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 15
Northwest 4A District tournament: Mount Vernon-Snohomish winner vs. Cascade-Kamiak winner at Monroe High School, 7:30 p.m.; Mount Vernon-Snohomish loser vs. Cascade-Kamiak loser at Monroe High School, 5:30 p.m.
West Central/Southwest 4A bi-district tournament: Tahoma (SPSL North No. 3) vs. Olympia (Narrows League No. 3) at Curtis Field, 5 p.m.; Curtis (SPSL South No. 4) vs. Jefferson (SPSL North No. 2) at Curtis Field, 7 p.m.; Kentridge (SPSL North No. 5)-Beamer (SPSL South No. 5) winner vs. Camas (Greater St. Helen’s League No. 2) at Doc Harris Stadium, 5 p.m., loser out; Central Kitsap (Narrows League No. 4) vs. Federal Way (SPSL South No. 2) at Sparks Stadium (Puyallup), 7 p.m., loser out; Kentwood (SPSL North No. 1) vs. Gig Harbor (Narrows League No. 1 ) at Mount Tahoma High School, 7 p.m., semifinals; Puyallup (SPSL No. 1) vs. Skyview (Vancouver) (Greater St. Helen’s League No. 1) at Doc Harris Stadium, 7 p.m., semifinals; Union (Vancouver) (Greater St. Helen’s League No. 3) vs. Rogers (Puyallup) (SPSL South No. 3) at Sparks Stadium, 5 p.m., loser out; Mount Rainier (SPSL North No. 4) vs. Bellarmine Prep (Narrows League No. 2) at Mount Tahoma High School, 5 p.m., loser out.
Friday, May 16
Metro League 3A championship at Nathan Hale High School, 7 p.m.; Metro League 3A 3rd-4th place match at Ingraham High School, 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 17
Northwest/Sea-King 4A bi-district: WesCo 4A No. 3 at KingCo 4A No. 3, 2 p.m. (Winner No. 3 berth to state)
West Central/Northwest 4A bi-district championship at Mount Tahoma High School, 2 p.m.; West Central/Northwest 4A bi-district 3rd-4th places at Mount Tahoma High School, Noon; West Central/Northwest 4A bi-district 5th-loser out at Art Crate Stadium, 4 p.m.; West Central/Northwest 4A bi-district 6th-loser out at Art Crate Stadium, Noon; West Central/Northwest 4A bi-district 7th-loser out at Art Crate Stadium, 2 p.m.
Northwest 3A District championship at Shoreline Stadium, 7 p.m.; Northwest 3A District 3rd-loser out at Shoreline Stadium, 5 p.m.;
Sea-King 3A District: Metro League No. 4 at KingCo No. 2, TBD, winner to Sea-King District as No. 5 seed.
Northwest/Sea-King 2A bi-district championship at Sedro Woolley High School, 1 p.m.; Northwest/Sea-King 2A bi-district 3rd-4th places at Sedro Woolley High School, 11 a.m.
West Central District 2A tournament: SPSL No. 4 vs. Olympic No. 1, 2 p.m., winner No. 1 to state; Tyee vs. SPSL No. 1 at Franklin Pierce High School, 2 p.m., winner No. 2 to state; Olympic No. 4 vs. Foster at Renton Memorial Stadium, 2 p.m., winner No. 3 to state; SPSL No. 3 vs. Olympic No. 2, Noon, winner No. 4 to state; Olympic No. 3 vs. SPSL No. 2 at Franklin Pierce High School, Noon, winner No. 5 to state.
National rankings picture
The third spring boys soccer rankings from National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) came out on Tuesday, April 22. The next set of rankings is due Tuesday, May 20. Three teams from Washington state were ranked in the top 20 were in the third set of rankings for the spring of 2014. Class 4A Camas checks in at No. 8, Skyview of Vancouver at No. 11 and Skyline at No. 20.
The NSCAA regional poll was filled with all Washington teams, from No. 1 through No. 9, and only Alaska breaking up the top 10 from Washington. Here’s the third Region V poll for spring of 2014 (also pasted below) on Tuesday, April 22:
FINAL 2014 SEATTLE TIMES STATE BOYS SOCCER RANKINGS
Here are The Seattle Times rankings for Class 4A, 3A and 2A for Week 8 of the 2014 season (this year’s record in parentheses):
Class 4A, 3A & 2A boys soccer state rankings – Week 8
(2014 records in parentheses)
1, Skyview (Vancouver) (14-0-3)
2, Camas (13-1-3)
3, Issaquah (12-1-1)
4, Skyline (12-1-3)
5, Snohomish (14-2-0)
6, Kentwood (11-2-3)
7, Ferris (Spokane) (13-2-0)
8, Gig Harbor (13-1-0)
9, Union (Vancouver) (12-4-1)
10, Federal Way (11-3-2)
On the bubble: Rogers (Puyallup) (10-2-4), Jefferson (11-4-1), Inglemoor (8-6-1), Lewis & Clark (Spokane) (10-5-0), Central Valley (Spokane) (12-2-0), Puyallup (12-3-1), Kentridge (7-4-5), Kamiak (10-4-2), Mount Vernon (10-7-0), Pasco (12-5-0), Beamer (9-5-2), Lake Stevens (8-6-3), Curtis (9-3-4), Mariner (8-6-2), Mount Rainier (8-3-5), Tahoma (10-2-3), Olympia (8-4-2), Redmond (9-6-1), Roosevelt (9-6-1), Woodinville (9-6-2), Cascade (Everett) (9-6-2), Davis (Yakima) (10-5-1).
1, Bonney Lake (14-1-1)
2, Mount Spokane (11-2-0)
3, Glacier Peak (13-2-2)
4, Sunnyside (14-2-0)
5, Hanford (13-3-0)
6, Liberty (Issaquah) (13-2-2)
7, Lakeside (10-2-2)
8, Shorecrest (14-3-0)
9, Kennedy Catholic (10-1-5)
10, Bainbridge (12-3-0)
On the bubble: Mountain View (Vancouver) (12-4-0), Mount Si (10-5-2), Kennewick (11-5-0), Shelton (9-2-3), Mercer Island (8-4-5) , Shorewood (10-3-4), Interlake (10-6-1), Hazen (9-2-5), Auburn Mountainview (9-3-1), Nathan Hale (8-3-3), Ingraham (9-3-4), Chief Sealth (9-6-2), Bishop Blanchet (7-6-4), Decatur (8-5-0), Wilson (Tacoma) (9-5-0), Foss (8-1-2), Columbia River (8-5-3), Meadowdale (9-6-2).
1, Cheney (13-1-1)
2, Squalicum (15-0-2)
3, Capital (16-1-0)
4, Anacortes (13-2-2)
5, Fife (12-2-0)
6, Archbishop Murphy (13-3-1)
7, Sedro-Woolley (12-2-3)
8, North Kitsap (14-2-0)
9, Kingston (14-2-0)
10, Pullman (13-3-0)
On the bubble: Othello (13-4-0), Ridgefield (9-3-1), Hockinson (12-4-0), Aberdeen (10-5-0), Bellingham (8-4-4), Orting (11-3-1), Cedarcrest (12-4-1), Sequim (13-3-0), Franklin Pierce (5-6-1), Foster (10-2-3), Toppenish (10-5-1), Ellensburg (10-7-0), Sehome (10-3-4), Sumner (9-6-0), Grandview (10-5-0), Tyee (7-5-4), Selah (9-8-0).