|Henry Smaldon (C) battles the North Central defense en route to Lewis & Clark's big win|
As the postseason approaches, things are heating up with some thrilling contests and close races for regular season titles and playoff seeding. The GSL and NEA resumed play this week after spring break with some big meetings that saw Gonzaga Prep take a small stumble in their title bid and Lakeside suffer a rare loss. The GNL, meanwhile, took to the pitch during spring break and over the past two weeks has seen the race for the top of the table become extremely close and up for grabs between three teams, who are joined by a spoiler.
LEAGUE PLAY :: April 7 - 18
Greater Spokane League - A split in a pair of close contests against fellow title contenders for Gonzaga Prep saw them slip down the table while the others all swept their two-game sets this week in dominant fashion. The Bullpups were nearly swept this week, but avoided losing the opener Wednesday against visiting Mead. The Panthers jumped to a two goal lead in the first half before seeing the hosts rally in the second. Drew Mosman evened it up six minutes after the break from the spot and then found Hunter McKenna for the equalizer in the 69th. Spencer Ceballos netted the 3-2 winner six minutes from time.
|Jared Mehaffey (R) set up the winner vs Gonzaga Prep|
The Saxons moved to 4-1 with a pair of 3-0 victories, downing University Wednesday and Rogers on Friday. Terry Cox tallied two goals and an assist on the week with Jacob Bloomfeldt netting once in each contest as well. Filipe Churkin and Alex Pells each recorded shutouts.
|Nathan Grinalds scored in win over Shadle Park|
Among the 3A teams, the story of the week was the near-win for Rogers, which has not won a league contest since March 25 of 2011, a 3-1 versus North Central. The Pirates had a pair of close calls last season with a shootout loss on April Fools Day to Gonzaga Prep after a scoreless stalemate and an overtime defeat at the hands of University in the season finale.
|Avram Sin (L) scored the first league goal for Rogers|
Wednesday - University 0 :: 3 Ferris
Wednesday - Lewis & Clark 6 :: 1 North Central
Wednesday - Rogers 1 :: OT :: 2 Shadle Park
Wednesday - Central Valley 5 :: 1 Mt Spokane
Wednesday - Mead 2 :: 3 Gonzaga Prep
Friday - North Central 0 :: 6 Mead
Friday - University 4 :: 0 Mt Spokane
Friday - Ferris 3 :: 0 Rogers
Friday - Gonzaga Prep 0 :: 1 Lewis & Clark
Friday - Shadle Park 1 :: 4 Central Valley
Great Northern League - The GNL is proving to be quite competitive this year with the Cheney Blackhawks grip of control loosening up. A little bonus soccer on Tuesday of spring break saw the defending champions play host to one of this year's other contenders, Pullman. The Greyhounds took the lead in the 22nd minute only to see Oliver Smith tie it up 11 minutes later and then connect with Spencer Yeager 11 minutes into the second half for what held as the 2-1 winner.
The Blackhawks scrapped for another win a week later at winless Clarkston. Smith found Noah Prophet for the go-ahead goal a minute before the break, but the Bantams tallied their first goal of the season in the 52nd minute to tie things up and put the pressure on. Cheney, though, found a fortunate bounce at the hour mark when the ball skipped off the uneven pitch and past the keeper on a breakaway for the 2-1 victory.
|Kual Nyiang celebrates first of two in win|
Meanwhile, Pullman rebounded at home with a 2-0 victory over East Valley on Tuesday and narrowly defeated Clarkston on the road, 1-0, Saturday, pulling even with Cheney at 6-2 in the table. East Valley is right in the mix as well at 5-3 thanks to a 4-0 win over the Bantams Thursday and a tight 1-0 win over West Valley, now 3-5, Saturday on a goal from Dimitry Kozenya with just four minutes left on the clock.
Tuesday, April 7 - Clarkston 0 :: 4 West Valley
Tuesday, April 7 - Pullman 1 :: 2 Cheney
Tuesday, April 14 - Cheney 2 :: 1 Clarkston
Tuesday, April 14 - East Valley 0 :: 2 Pullman
Thursday, April 16 - West Valley 1 :: 0 Cheney
Thursday, April 16 - Clarkston 0 :: 4 East Valley
Saturday, April 18 - Pullman 1 :: 0 Clarkston
Saturday, April 18 - West Valley 0 :: 1 East Valley
Northeast A League - The return of Colville into the NEA this year is proving to be a thorn for perennial power Lakeside, who faced the Indians and other regular title contender Medical Lake both in the same week. The Eagles looked like they were headed to yet another easy victory Tuesday at Medical Lake with two goals in the first 10 minutes, but the Cardinals rally to pull even with a penalty in the 20th from Ryan Spangler, who set up the equalizer 10 minutes later. Kelly Kyllo, though, snared the win for Lakeside in the dying moments with his second of the game and ninth of the year in the 79th minute for the 3-2 victory.
Then on Thursday was the showdown of the two unbeatens; this time Lakeside had to play catch-up. Alberto Cisneros, who into the game with six goals and three assists, put Colville on the board with two strikes in the first 14 minutes. Three minutes later though Kelly Kyllo sparked a comeback with his first of the day, adding his second a minute after the intermission to pull things even at two. Cisneros found Chris Benson to reclaim the lead five minutes later and then restored the two-goal margin in the 55th, completing a hat-trick. Kyllo also matched the feat, scoring on a spot kick in the 61st, but the Eagles were not able to find another equalizer in a 4-3 road loss.
Tuesday - Colville 7 :: 1 Deer Park
Tuesday - Lakeside 3 :: 2 Medical Lake
Tuesday - Riverside 1 :: 5 Newport
Thursday - Lakeside 3 :: 4 Colville
Thursday - Medical Lake 7 :: 0 Riverside
Thursday - Deer Park 0 :: 5 Newport
NON-LEAGUE PLAY :: April 7 - 9
Though most were idle for spring break, Central Valley and Mead both took to the pitch. The Bears faced nearby side East Valley in a friendly whilst their GNL counterparts were busy with league competition. The Bears grabbed a narrow 1-0 win with a goal from Chase Reidt, who netted a goal and assist in their league game the week before.
In a continuation of a long-distance tradition, visiting Juneau Douglas of Alaska played Mead Wednesday evening, finishing in a scoreless draw in which Andrew Huffman of the Panthers made four saves. The following afternoon the visiting Alaskans came out on top against Ferris. They took the initial lead with Callan Martin putting the Saxons even two minutes before the break. They reclaimed the lead three minutes after intermission and kept Ferris off the board for the win.
Tuesday - East Valley 0 :: 1 Central Valley
Wednesday - Juneau-Douglas (AK) 0 :: 0 Mead
Thursday - Juneau-Douglas (AK) 2 :: 1 Ferris
Tuesday, April 7 - Clarkston @ West Valley [+]
Wednesday, April 15 - Lewis & Clark @ North Central [+]
Wednesday, April 15 - Rogers @ Shadle Park [+]
Wednesday, April 15 - Central Valley @ Mt Spokane [+]
Friday, April 17 - Shadle Park @ Central Valley [+]
FIVE STARS - Top performers of the Week
Alberto Cisneros (Colville) :: All he did was score six goals in two games. It started with a hat-trick in a 7-1 drubbing of Deer Park Tuesday, but his heroics were literally the deciding factor in a thrilling back-and-forth affair against perennial power Lakeside Thursday. He played a factor in all four goals on the day, scoring the first two and setting up the third before providing the deciding goal for a 4-3 victory.
Chris Hatten (West Valley) :: Scored a goal in the team's 4-0 romp versus Clarkston before following it up with a great individual effort to nab the winner in a 1-0 victory at powerhouse Cheney.
Evan Kern (Central Valley) :: The Bears rolled to a pair of easy wins, but Kern tallied five assists on the week in what were five consecutive goals that the team scored over the final three goals in a 5-1 win against Mt Spokane and the first two of a 4-1 win against Shadle Park.
Kelly Kyllo (Lakeside) :: The star striker helped guide the Eagles to a narrow 3-2 victory over fellow contender Medical Lake Tuesday, scoring the second and third goals of the contest. Though they lost the second game Thursday, 4-3, against Colville, Kyllo netted all three for Lakeside to move his season total to a dozen goals.
Oliver Smith (Cheney) :: He helped the Blackhawks avoid losses in the first two of three games over the past week plus spring break. He scored the equalizer and set up the winner in the 2-1 victory over fellow contender Pullman and also set up the go-ahead goal in a 2-1 win versus Clarkston.
Standings & Stats (league games only)
REMAINING SCHEDULES (subject to change)
Greater Spokane League
Wednesday, April 22: Rogers v North Central; Ferris v Mt Spokane; Mead v Central Valley; Gonzaga Prep v Shadle Park; Lewis & Clark @ University
Friday, April 24: Mt Spokane v Rogers; Lewis & Clark v Mead; North Central v Gonzaga Prep; Shadle Park v University; Central Valley v Ferris
Wednesday, April 29: Rogers v Lewis & Clark; Ferris v Shadle Park; Gonzaga Prep v Mt Spokane; Mead v University; North Central v Central Valley
Friday, May 1: Ferris v Lewis & Clark; Mt Spokane v North Central; Shadle Park v Mead; Rogers v Central Valley; University v Gonzaga Prep
Great Northern League
Tuesday, April 21: East Valley v Cheney; Pullman v West Valley
Thursday, April 23: Cheney v Pullman; West Valley v Clarkston
Tuesday, April 28: Clarkston v Cheney; Pullman v East Valley
Thursday, April 30: Cheney v West Valley; East Valley v Clarkston
Saturday, May 2: West Valley v East Valley; Pullman v Clarkston
Northeast A League
Tuesday, April 21: Colville v Medical Lake; Deer Park v Riverside; Newport v Lakeside
Thursday, April 23: Riverside v Colville; Lakeside v Deer Park; Newport v Medical Lake
Tuesday, April 28: Colville v Newport; Deer Park v Medical Lake; Lakeside v Riverside
Thursday, April 30: Deer Park v Colville; Medical Lake v Lakeside; Newport v Riverside
Tuesday, May 5: Colville v Lakeside; Newport v Deer Park; Riverside v Medical Lake
Thursday, May 7: Medical Lake v Colville; Riverside v Deer Park; Lakeside v Newport