The Central Valley girls soccer players bought into a team concept this fall. Two months later, the Bears were repaid with a Greater Spokane League title.
“They were really committed to winning this year,” said CV coach Andres Monrroy, whose Bears ran the table in the GSL and hope to do the same at regionals during the next two weeks.
The path begins Wednesday at 5 p.m. as Walla Walla visits the Bears in a first-round match. As the top seed at regionals, the Bears will host until they’re either eliminated or reach state.
For CV, the goal is always the same: a spot in the Final Four in Puyallup. Monrroy’s clubs won back-to-back State 4A titles in 2013 and 2014, thanks in large part to state player of the year Kelsey Turnbow.
But even those teams failed to sweep the GSL, a rare feat for any program. This year’s Bears went 9-0 while outscoring opponents 36 -5.
By CV standards, the last two years were spent rebuilding, although the Bears still went a combined 14-4 in GSL play.
Meanwhile, the young Bears gained experience that paid off this season with an overall record of 12-0.
Sticking to the team concept, Monrroy is reluctant to single out anyone for praise, but he credited goalkeeper A.J. Crooks and defender Alyssa Molina.
Up front, Kaelen Barnes has been a consistent scorer and notched both goals in a 2-1 win over Ferris. Earlier in the season, it was Anna Hilbert who hit the winner in a 1-0 victory over U-Hi.
Last week, in a title-clinching 3-2 win over Gonzaga Prep, the Bears got an equalizer from Megan Robertson and the winner from Kailyn LaBrosse.
“Everyone has stepped up when we needed it,” Monrroy said.
Next up is regionals, an eight-team, double-elimination affair that will send three teams to state.
Also in CV’s half of the bracket is GSL third-seeded Lewis and Clark (9-3), which is at Mid-Columbia Conference No. 2 seed Richland at 5 p.m.
In the other half, GSL No. 2 Mead (9-3) faces Hanford at 6 p.m. at Albi Stadium, and MCC top seed Chiawana hosts U-Hi at 6 p.m.
Win or lose, all eight teams will play again on Saturday. Play continues next week.
In the 3A regionals, GSL No. 2 seed North Central (4-8) hosts Kennewick on Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Albi Stadium. The winner will play at Kamiakin on Saturday.
Also on Wednesday, GSL No. 3 Shadle Park (3-10) is at Southridge at 6 p.m. The winner takes on GSL top seed Mt. Spokane on Saturday.
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