Gonzaga Prep is attempting to do what no Bullpups girls soccer squad has done – make the State 4A title game.
The Bullpups (19-2-0) have twice been one win away from the championship. In 2015, they lost to West Valley (Yakima) and in 2004 they lost to Stadium.
This time, G-Prep must get through the Puyallup Vikings (15-2-2) for that dream to come to fruition.
After the Bullpups’ 1-0 overtime win over Mead in the state quarterfinals, G-Prep coach Billy Barmes watched and filmed the games that had each of his possible matchups involved. That allowed him and his team to scour every minute and movement of Puyallup’s quarterfinal win against Sumner.
“We’re hoping they don’t know as much about us as we know about them,” Barmes said.
The Vikings are an athletically gifted team. They are physical and have players who can shoot from distance.
The Bullpups have specifically worked on limiting the Vikings’ chances from outside the box and in the air.
Barmes believes his mix of players provides a unique challenge for Puyallup.
“We like our advantages, just our ability to move the ball quickly on the ground, and kind of our technical speed of play,” he said. “So we’re looking to use that to our advantage and avoid some of those air confrontations.”
G-Prep hasn’t lost in 17 consecutive matches, its last coming Sept. 14 against the Eastside Catholic Crusaders – whose only win of the season was over the Bullpups.
Since then, the Bullpups have been on a tear – as well as a physical journey. It has been important for Barmes to manage his roster as the season wore on. In games in which the Bullpups took a large lead, starters received valuable time off.
“We have everybody training, kind of at their max capacity, and managing the game load has really paid off,” he said. “And so we really feel like going in we only have to fine-tune a little bit, get a little bit of a tactical plan. And other than that, we’re playing our best soccer of the year at just the right time.”
Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) plays in a state semifinal against Cascade (Leavenworth) at Shoreline Stadium on Friday at 4 p.m.
The Eagles are 16-4-1 this season, with two losses coming in three days in the middle of October. Before that, they hadn’t lost since the second week of the season.
Aside from that hiccup, Lakeside has been consistent.
The Kodiaks (10-6-0) beat Deer Park in a crossover and Freeman in a state quarterfinal to get to this point. DP and Freeman are the only teams to defeat Lakeside this season.
Riding a five-game win streak, Lakeside squeaked past Lynden Christian 2-1 in a shootout in the quarterfinals and had no problem with Cle Elum-Roslyn in the first round, winning 8-3.
Head coach Andrew Hackett, in his second year, has guided Lakeside to state in both seasons.
The Eagles are looking to surpass their best finish, a third-place showing in 2010.
Davenport junior Darby Soliday has excelled this postseason with 13 goals – on top of the 24 she scored during the regular season.
The Gorillas (11-5-0) made their first State 2B/1B tournament appearance last week, beating Northwest Christian 3-1 in the quarterfinals. On Friday, Davenport will play Onalaska at Sunset Chevrolet Stadium in Sumner at 4 p.m.
The Loggers (14-4-1) took care of Friday Harbor 4-2 in the quarterfinals last week after they finished fourth in the 2B Central League.
Both teams are fairly young, as Onalaska has four seniors and Davenport has three.
It wouldn’t be a State 2B/1B boys soccer tournament without St. George’s.
The Dragons (11-3-1) have made the tournament 11 of 13 years since the inception of the fall tourney. After missing out last year, St. George’s rebounded this season to make the semifinals.
The Dragons play the Crosspoint Warriors (14-5-0) at Sunset Chevrolet Stadium on Friday at 6 p.m.
The Warriors defeated St. George’s 2-0 in the 2017 title match. The Dragons topped the Warriors 2-0 in the 2016 title match to win their second consecutive title.
The Warriors also missed last season’s tournament.
Levi Abrams is Crosspoint’s leading scorer with 18 goals in 14 matches. He also leads the team with 11 assists.
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