Now that they’ve received some help, the Central Valley boys soccer players are ready to help themselves to a 4A District title.
The Bears, preseason favorites to win the Greater Spokane League, take on Ferris tonight in a matchup that seemed unlikely less than a week ago. But as front-running Lewis and Clark staggered down the homestretch, CV and Ferris overhauled the Tigers to set up today’s 5:30 p.m. showdown at Spokane Falls Community College.
The winner advances directly to next week’s regionals, while the loser gets a second chance Friday night at SFCC against the winner of tonight’s loser-out game between LC and Mead.
The Bears (11-2) had lost to both LC and Ferris earlier this year, but booked their passage with a 4-0 win over Gonzaga Prep, while the Tigers lost 5-0 at Mt. Spokane.
“We were counting on Mt. Spokane to help us out, but we were trying not to worry about anyone else,” said CV coach Andres Monrroy, who said his young team has jelled just in time.
Meanwhile, a veteran Ferris team (12-1) has gotten healthy at the right time; in a shootout win at CV on April 16, the Saxons had to employ forward Eric Hollenbaugh as an emergency goalkeeper.
“Hopefully, that won’t come up again,” said Ferris coach Robin Crain, noting the last three matches against the Bears have gone to a shootout.
That included last year’s district title game, which the Saxons won to set up a run that didn’t end until the state quarterfinals.
In the nightcap, LC (9-4) will face a Mead team that is only 5-6, but has won three of its last five. LC took the earlier matchup 5-2.
Here’s a look at the rest of the postseason picture:
3A: Mt. Spokane not only celebrated its first outright GSL title last week, but also appeared to distance itself from the rest of the 3A teams. The Wildcats (10-2 overall) finished 8-1 in league play – five games better than 3A runner-up Shadle Park (5-7 overall, 3-6 GSL), and have outscored GSL foes 26-3. They’ll meet again Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Joe Albi Stadium for the district title and the top spot at regionals.
Their earlier matchup was much closer; after a scoreless first half, the Wildcats prevailed 2-0, with the clincher coming with a minute to play.
In the early game at Albi, University (4-9, 3-6) faces North Central (2-8, 1-8). The loser will be the fourth and last seed at regionals, while the winner will play Friday at SFCC against the Mt. Spokane-Shadle Park loser for the second and third seeds.
2A: Today, top-ranked Cheney faces Pullman in a game that will either give the Blackhawks the outright Great Northern League title or force a tie.
Cheney (12-1-1 overall, 11-0 GNL) defeated Pullman (13-2, 10-1) earlier this year, 3-1. District opens on Saturday, with both teams guaranteed byes into the second round. West Valley (9-7, 8-4) is sure to finish third, while East Valley, Clarkston and Colville scrap for the last three spots.
1A: Regular-season champ Lakeside (8-1 Northeast A, 13-2 overall) will face Medical Lake or Riverside on Wednesday for the district title, but both teams will advance to home games in Saturday’s regionals against teams from the Caribou Trail League.
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