The Central Valley boys soccer team is tough to beat any surface, but coach Andres Monrroy has converted to turf.
And why not: The Bears head to state with three big wins on artificial turf, confirming Monrroy’s belief that “We feel very good about playing on turf with the skills we have and the speed we have.”
In those three matches, the Bears have outscored opponents 8-2. The clincher was a 2-1 win at top-ranked Pasco in the regional final.
“That was quite an achievement … we feel it gets us ready for state,” said Monrroy, whose team also swept to the GSL title.
CV opens state 4A tournament play Tuesday night against Sumner on the turf at Spokane Falls Community College. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.
The Bears, 14-2 and winners of 13 straight will be solid favorites to advance to the quarterfinals.
The Sumner Spartans are 17-3-2 overall, but have lost two of their last three while salvaging the last state berth allotted to the South Puget Sound League.
However, it was another SPSL team, Curtis of Tacoma in 2014, which stung a heavily-favored Bears team in a shootout in a first-round match on the grass at Central Valley Stadium .
That match helped turn Monrroy’s opinion toward playing on artificial surfaces.
Most West Side teams play on turf. “We need to play as many teams on turf as we can to get ready for state,” said Monrroy, whose program is chasing its third straight trip to the Final Four.
The Bears have given up just two goals in its last five matches, while scoring 18. Beat Sumner, and they will host Sunnyside or Camas on Friday or Saturday.
In the 2A tournament, Cheney is at Lindbergh of Renton. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. at Renton Memorial Stadium.
If the Blackhawks (11-6) win, they’ll face Cedarcrest or Aberdeen in the quarterfinals.
Cheney finished only third in the Great Northern League, but beat host Othello 1-0 on Saturday in a Great Northern League/Central Washington Athletic Conference loser-out crossover game to advance to state.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.