Central Valley boys soccer coach Andres Monrroy admits to a lack of knowledge about the Curtis Vikings, but that can be blissful.
“As a coach, I don’t worry that much about the other team, mostly my own team,” said Monrroy, whose Bears play the Tacoma school in a first-round 4A state playoff game today at 6 p.m. at Central Valley.
“But we’ll be doing our homework today, that I promise you,” said Monrroy, who, unlike the Curtis coaches, won’t have to do it during a six-hour bus ride.
The Bears are one of four area schools still alive in the state playoffs: Ferris plays host to Cascade of Leavenworth in a 4A game Wednesday at 5 p.m. In the 2A tournament, Pullman is at Toppenish today at 5 p.m. while Cheney entertains Othello on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Here’s a look at the upcoming playoffs:
4A: The Bears (13-2) have parlayed a district title into home-field advantage in the first two rounds of state. “Winning district makes it much easier,” said Monrroy, whose club has played just one match in two weeks, a 1-0 regional win over Pasco on May 13.
In Curtis (11-3-4), the Bears get a team that’s battled through the difficult South Puget Sound League, finishing third in its division and scratching its way to state with 2-1 wins over Thomas Jefferson (in a shootout) and Tahoma.
Regardless of preparation, Monrroy said he’s counting on his team to adapt to the opposition – whether it’s a preseason game or the state playoffs – in the opening minutes and discern their tendencies and weaknesses.
“We’re very good at adapting,” Monrroy said.
If the Bears win, they’ll be at home Friday or Saturday against Wenatchee or Skyview of Vancouver.
Like Monrroy, Ferris coach Robin Crain said its more difficult to prepare for an out-of-league opponent. “You really have no clue as to what you’re going to get,” Crain said.
Ferris (15-2) faces a Cascade team that seems to be getting better daily. After winning just one match in their first seven, the Bruins (10-7-2) battled perennial power Snohomish to the end of a 1-0 loss in their district title match.
The constant has been physical sophomore forward Samuel Aygei, the Wesco scoring leader, who has eight of Cascade’s 25 goals this season.
Ferris has had a few ups and downs of its own in the last two weeks: a 1-0 loss to CV at district, a 3-0 rout of Chiawana in the first round of regionals, and a 2-1 shootout win at Pasco on Saturday to earn the state berth. In that match, keeper Alex Pells had two crucial saves in only his second start.
If the Saxons win, they’ll hit the road this weekend for a quarterfinal match against Camas or Moses Lake.
2A: Unlike their 4A counterparts, Cheney and Pullman could meet again if both win opening-round games. Pullman (14-4) has by far the tougher task, traveling today to face Toppenish.
Toppenish (12-5-1), the Central Washington Athletic Conference runner-up, knocked off regular-season champ Grandview, then rolled past Othello 3-1 to take district.
Top-ranked Cheney (15-1-1) opens defense of its state title against an Othello team (15-5) that won 2-0 at Grandview on Saturday. If the Blackhawks win, they’ll play host to the Toppenish-Pullman winner on Saturday at 1 p.m.
A Cheney-Pullman match would be the fourth this season. Last week, Cheney won 2-0 for the district title.