The second season has already begun for high school girls soccer teams in the Inland Northwest, and it feels almost as long as the first.
In a new format approved this year for the 4A and 3A classifications, district play has been scrapped in favor of a two-week-long regional tournament that will determine state qualifiers.
Greater Spokane League 4A coaches hope the new format will improve their chances at getting two teams to state.
“We just felt we were better than many of the MCC (Mid-Columbia Conference) teams,” said Houston, who thought that the old regional schedule made it difficult to get two teams through.
The double-elimination aspect was another selling point for Kevin Houston.
“I think it gives us a little bit of breathing room,” said Houston, whose team is 14-1 overall and finished atop the GSL standings with Central Valley at 8-1.
“Of course, we don’t want to overlook any team – we want to make the most of our first opportunity,” Houston said.
Regional action continues Wednesday afternoon, as Mead hosts Walla Walla and defending regional champ Gonzaga Prep is at Chiawana.
In the other 4A bracket, Lewis & Clark - which eliminated University on Monday - is at top-seeded Hanford and CV hosts Richland.
The winners of Wednesday’s matches will square off on Saturday. The tournament won’t end until Nov. 5. Two teams will qualify for the 16-team state playoffs.
3A: Shadle Park is at Kamiakin while North Central faces Kennewick at Albi Stadium, with winners advancing to the second round.
Mt. Spokane, the top seed from the GSL, will play the Shadle-Kamiakin winner on Saturday. The tournament continues next week, with two teams advancing to state play-in games Nov. 3-5.
2A: Pullman is at Clarkston and West Valley visits Cheney on Thursday. Winners play Saturday for the right to face Great Northern League champion East Valley.
That match takes place on Nov. 1; both teams will advance to state play-in games against teams from the Central Washington Athletic Conference.
1A: Lakeside faces Freeman on Thursday at Spokane Falls Community College for the District 7 title. Both teams will advance to subregional games next week.
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