Friday, May 29, 2015

Eastern Washington HS Boys Weekly Report - May 29

Central Valley jubilant about heading to the state semifinals
The opening rounds of the state playoffs last week narrowed the field down to the final four for the state championships this week in Puyallup. Plenty of teams were in action at the 4A and 3A levels, vying for a state title. In the end, though, the final two teams remaining in contention this weekend are Central Valley out of the Greater Spokane League and Wenatchee of the Columbia Basin Big 9 - and they face one another in the 4A semifinal Friday evening.

POSTSEASON PLAY :: May 19 - 23  

4A - State Playoffs (GSL / MCC / CBB9) 

On Tuesday, Pasco and Wenatchee played host to a pair of First Round contests in the state tournament and came away victorious.

Giovanny Soto
The Bulldogs set up a rematch with Central Valley with a big opening round win against visiting Mount Vernon. Emilio Meraz-Rodriguez once again provided much of the offense, kicking things off 11 minutes in. He received a short corner and curled a lengthy ball from the corner inside the far post. He then turned provider for his brother Jesus, who fired on the run and put away his own rebound after the initial save in the 21st. Joel Valle pushed the lead to three just two minutes after the break on a screamer inside the upper left corner and Emilio Meraz-Rodriguez netted a second in the 62nd courtesy of Hector Magana.

In Wenatchee, league MVP Giovanny Soto became the school's all-time leading scorer with both goals in the 2-1 victory over visiting Skyline. The winning strike eight minutes from time came from some great build-up from the team with Fabian Soto and Salvador Chavez combining to find Miguel Viramontes, who attracted the defense before slipping the ball to Soto for the winner. His first goal came via a penalty in the 54th when Jairo Alpire was fouled in the box, but Skyline answered eight minutes later courtesy of Pierre Abboud.

Brian Choate (R)
The opening round competition for area teams wrapped up Wednesday with Central Valley putting an end to the hot postseason run of perennial CBB9 power Davis with a 3-1 win. The visitors snared the initial lead on a goal from Michael Raya, who netted his 10th of the year two minutes into the match with a long shot from the right side that narrowly crossed the line after caroming off the bar.

From that point it was the Brian Choate and Nathan Grinalds show for the Bears. Grinalds, from the left side, found the head of Choate in the 16th minute to tie things up with the pair reversing roles on a free kick from off the left touchline that Grinalds headed inside the left post three minutes before intermission to go ahead. Seven minutes into the second half Grinalds tallied his second of the day on a ball from RJ Stretch.

To reach the state semifinals, the Bears had to face Pasco once again. When the pair met in the Regional Final, the two unbeaten sides dueled in a seven-goal affair that finished 4-3 in favor of visiting Central Valley, who gave up three goals for the first time and two for only the second time.

Andrew Enzler
This meeting, however, the host Bears blanked the Bulldogs 1-0 to move on. Choate again provided some heroics as the match waded into overtime. Four minutes into the extra session he took a ball from Noah Whitman and drove 20 yards through three players before firing a shot from the top of the area that beat the keeper for the golden goal winner. The win was possible, in part, thanks to a great play from sophomore defender Luke Livingston, who recovered on a play goalkeeper Andrew Enzler was pulled out on and made a game-saving goal-line tackle late in the second half. The result also marked the first time in league and postseason play that Pasco had been shutout this season.

On the other side of the state, Wenatchee escaped another close playoff contest, advancing via penalties at Gig Harbor after a 2-2 draw. Giovanny Soto and Viramontes both played a role again in moving on. Soto scored the opening tally 33 minutes in and Viramontes put the Panthers back in from in the 54th. The hosts answered each goal, but were unable to find the go-ahead strike or game-winner as the match rolled into overtime. Goalkeeper Raphael Jimenez made one save in the shootout to help give Wenatchee the tiebreaker decision.

Tuesday - Mount Vernon 0 :: 4 Pasco
Tuesday - Skyline 1 :: 2 Wenatchee
Wednesday - Davis 1 :: 3 Central Valley
Saturday - Pasco 0 :: OT :: 1 Central Valley
Saturday - Wenatchee 3 :: SO :: 2 Gig Harbor

The two remaining teams from the east side of the Cascades will square off Friday evening at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup. It will not be the first time this year the two sides will see one another as they met in an early preseason tune-up in central Washington March 13. The Bear prevailed 4-0 in a game that came well before the Panthers really started to take off as they fell 1-0 on the road to league power Davis in their league opener.

"Both matches were tough with Davis - a 0-1 lost at their house to open league and then a 9 player shootout at our house," said Wenatchee head coach Dennis Tronson. "These are just normal reflections of Wenatchee versus Davis matches. They are a rival and have been for years."

Since then, the only other blemish in league play - if you want to call it that - was a 2-1 shootout victory against the Pirates in their second meeting. They ran the table against everyone else in the CBB9.

Chris Trussel
"The season has been a normal Big Nine affair. All matches are close and the teams are evenly matched. We were able to come out on top in a number of matches that could have gone both ways. This season it seems the soccer gods are shining on Wenatchee."

In the playoffs, Sunnyside nearly surprised them in the District Final, but the Panthers avoided the upset in another shootout after a 4-4 draw. The close calls continued with a one-goal decision against Skyline and another shootout tiebreaker at Gig Harbor.

Giovanny Soto, Chris Trussel and Miguel Viramontes have been a potent trio for the Panthers in their attack this season. Soto, named the league's player of the year, comes into the semifinal with a dozen goals while Trussel has eight and Viramontes seven, accounting for 27 of the team's 35 goals.

"These three young men are having outstanding years, and more than in the past they seem to find each other when scoring chances arise.  Chris and Giovanny being seniors have the leadership that is needed for the push we have made. They are two of the three captains and this helps in keeping all players focused. Miguel has fit into his role as a player who finds the open man. His 11 assists lead the team and have set a new school record."

Wenatchee gave up just 10 goals in its 12 league games, but obviously has faced stiffer competition in the playoffs, allowing seven in three games.

"Our defense has played well when needed. We ask a great deal from our defenders to not only stop attacks, but to be a leading force on any counter.  Our goalkeeping has be outstanding with Raphael Jimenez earning First Team All-League. He seems to come up big in big matches."

Miguel Viramontes (L)
Friday's match is a big moment for the Panthers, who are in the final four for the first time. Last year, Wenatchee returned to the state tournament as the second seed from the region for the first time since going reaching the tourney back-to-back times in 2004 and 2005. In 2004, Lewis & Clark knocked them out in the first round and Central Valley did the same a year later. Last year, the Panthers were knocked out, 3-1, by host Skyview, who went on to finish third in the state.

"[That Skyview] match seemed to focus the current crop of players about what they might be able to do this season. This also has been an ongoing process with the level of play in and around Wenatchee at the youth level.  I am seeing players who are bringing a higher degree of skill to the game when they arrive at the high school. We knew we had the ability to be great at this level if we could get all players on the same page at the same time.  This has happened and I feel very good about going into the final two matches," Tronson said.

WIAA State Tournament - Puyallup, WA - Sparks Stadium 
Friday - Inglemoor v Snohomish
Friday - Wenatchee v Central Valley
Saturday - Third Place Game
Saturday - State Championship Game

Roko Bedalov
3A - State Playoffs (GSL / MCC) 

In the first round of the state playoffs, things came to an end for the eastern-based schools as Mt Spokane and Kamiakin were eliminated.

The Braves dominated play against visiting Auburn-Mountainview, outshooting the Lions 23-10. Unfortunately, they were never able to find an answer for getting past the goalkeeper and a goal in the 32nd minute from Conrad Medina decided the contest.

Meanwhile, Mt Spokane had a tougher go of it. Though play throughout midfield was fairly even, the Wildcats were just unable to create any dangerous scoring chances in the offensive third while the visitors created plenty. Striker Roko Bedalov was a threat throughout and scored 12 minutes into the first half and pushed the lead to three in the 57th as Garfield eliminated the hosts.

Tuesday - Garfield 4 :: 0 Mt Spokane
Tuesday - Auburn-Mountainview 1 :: 0 Kamiakin

2A - State Playoffs (GNL)

Micah Lagerquist
The week started off well for Pullman, which used a two-goal outburst in a three-minute span in the first half to pick up an opening round win in the state tournament. Ryan Campbell put them in front 18 minutes into the match and three minutes later Micah Lagerquist converted from the penalty spot. It proved to be enough as the visitors were only able to get one tally in the second half, cutting the deficit less than a minute into the period.

On Saturday, though, the roles were reversed. Host Othello took the lead 17 minutes on a goal from Jacob Quiroz and doubled the lead on a penalty converted by Hugo Martinez two minutes into the second half. Pullman pushed for a comeback, but were only able to spoil the shutout with an 80th minute strike from Lagerquist to close things out.

Tuesday - Quincy 1 :: 2 Pullman
Saturday - Pullman 1 :: 2 Othello

1A - State Playoffs (NEA)

Alberto Cisneros
Alberto Cisneros added two more goals to bring his tally to 16 for the year in league and postseason play, but it was not enough to bring Colville back from a two-goal deficit. The visitors opened the scoring four minutes before intermission and doubled it less than a minute into the second half. Cisneros then cut the hole in in half in the 44th, but Brewster pushed the lead to three with goals in the 50th and 60th minutes. Cisneros rounded out the scoring two minutes from time.

Tuesday - Brewster 4 :: 2 Colville


Tuesday - Garfield @ Mt Spokane [+]
Wednesday - Davis @ Central Valley [+]
Saturday - Pasco @ Central Valley [+]

FIVE STARS - Top performers of the Week

Brian Choate (Central Valley) :: After falling behind, he scored the equalizer and then set up the go-ahead goal that held as the winner in the 3-1 victory over Davis in the opening round of the state tournament. He then provided the lone goal four minutes into overtime to give the Bears the dramatic 1-0 win against Pasco in the second round.

Nathan Grinalds
Nathan Grinalds (Central Valley) :: Trailing by a goal, he played a role in all three goals for the Bears as they rallied to the win. He set up the equalizer and then scored the next two, providing the winner and insurance tally.

Emilio Meraz-Rodriguez (Pasco) :: In the opening round of the state tournament he played a hand in three goals as the Bulldogs drubbed Mount Vernon 4-0. He scored the first and then set up his brother for the second, rounding out the scoring himself for the team's fourth goal.

Giovanny Soto (Wenatchee) :: He scored both goals for the Panthers in the opening round 2-1 win against Skyline, scoring the opener on a penalty and then providing the winner eight minutes from time to break a stalemate. He went on to also score the opening goal in a 2-2 draw at Gig Harbor that Wenatchee advanced out of via penalties.

Miguel Viramontes (Wenatchee) :: He played a hand in two critical goals for the Panthers on the week. He set up Soto for the game-winner late in a 2-1 win against Skyline in the opening round of the state tournament and then scored the second goal to put Wenatchee back in front at Gig Harbor en route to a shootout win after a 2-2 draw.

STANDINGS & STATS (league/playoff games only)

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