Friday, November 20, 2015

HS Update - November 20: Area teams prepare for State Final Four

Gonzaga Prep squares off against Yakima's West Valley in 4A semifinal Friday evening (photo: INWsn) 
The opening round and quarterfinals last week cut the field of the state playoffs down to four teams for the Final Four events being held Friday and Saturday in Puyallup, Shoreline and Sumner.

Gonzaga Prep and West Valley of Yakima square off in one of the two 4A semifinals Friday evening, ensuring one area side will be playing for the title on Saturday. Southridge is still alive in the 3A tournament, Ellensburg is still in the hunt for the 2A championship and Connell is up for the 1A crown. The St George's boys are also still playing, looking for the 1B/2B title.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

NAIA Cascade Conference Round-Up: Frontier programs take three of four NAIA berths from CCC tourneys

Penalties, penalties, penalties. That was a trend late last week for the Cascade Collegiate Conference tournament for the men and women. Four matches went to the tiebreaker, including both men's semifinals and the women's championship game.

Aside from a pair of close games on the women's side, the opening round quarterfinals were rather one-sided affairs on the scorelines that played out to the seeding. In the close ones, the top-seeded Carroll women took a one-goal decision against long-time foe Great Falls and fifth-seeded Southern Oregon edged out fourth-seeded Rocky Mountain in the other penalty kick showdown.

Rocky Mountain captured the double on the men's side, escaping a semifinal upset in penalties against Evergreen State College and narrowly defeating longtime rival Great Falls in a one-goal decision in the championship game. The third-seeded Argos reached the final to lock up one of the two automatic berths by downing second-seeded Corban in an epic 11-round penalty shootout. The Warriors, however, would go on to receive word a few days later that they received an at-large berth in the national tournament and will play host to Biola, which features former CC Spokane standout Devin Leon.

The women's Final Four was not quite as tightly contested with Carroll winning by two against Southern Oregon and Eastern Oregon dominating College of Idaho for a four-goal victory. The championship game, on the other hand, was quite a stalemate with the two sides deciding matters from the spot. Carroll took the tiebreaker to capture the double, but the NAIA tournament has them on the road for the opening round while EOU is at home.

With the first season of the expanded CCC featuring the four schools from the Frontier Conference concluded, three of the four automatic berths went to the Frontier programs with the Eastern Oregon ladies, which are experiencing a breakthrough campaign, being the lone exception. All four, though, do hail from east of the Cascades.

NCAA Round-up: Bozeman's Collins leads Stanford to Second Round

A handful of area players are still alive in their respective national tournaments, but the opening weekend of the event saw the season come to an end for Washington State and the Whitworth men. Among those still in action are a pair of Bozeman, MT natives at Stanford, where Averie Collins helped lead the Cardinal onto the second round in the women's tournament and Sam Werner scored in the men's season to cap off a championship PAC-12 season before they kick off tournament play this week.

Friday, November 13, 2015

CC Spokane headed to NWAC Final Four after doubleheader sweep

Despite two completely contrasting games, there was plenty of drama Saturday as the CC Spokane women and men came away victorious to book trips to this weekend's NWAC Final Four in Tukwila, WA. The women equalized twice before grabbing the 3-2 win in overtime against Everett and the men took advantage of a Whatcom side that imploded with three red cards en route to a 5-1 result in which the visitors also initially led.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Division II & III Round-Up: Whitworth to face Redlands in NCAA DIII opener

In the end, the Whitworth Pirates were not facing a must-win situation as second-place Pacific Lutheran lost earlier in the evening to rival Puget Sound, but they capped the season against rival Whitman with a celebratory 3-1 victory in which Karl Muelheims set a school record.

The Northwest Conference championship booked the Bucs a spot in the Division III tournament in which they will travel to San Antonio for the first two rounds of the event. First, they will square off against University of Redlands, which features defender Ben Thompson (Spokane, WA), who knows Muelheims well from playing with him on the Spokane Shadow First Team in EPLWA.

Puget Sound won the NWC title on the women's side, yet again. Their 14th consecutive title has them playing Augustana in the first round of the tournament.

In the GNAC, Seattle Pacific will play host to the first two round games in the Division II men's tournament after winning the regular season title, facing the winner of the first round contest between CSUDH and Fresno Pacific.

Their counterparts on the women's side advanced as an at-large berth to the tournament and will face UC San Diego in the opening round with the winner advancing to face GNAC season and playoff champion Western Washington, which is hosting both matches.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Division I Round-up: Washington State to host Northwestern in NCAA opener

The Washington State University ladies, as an at-large selection, were the lone side from the region to earn a spot in the NCAA Division I tournament unveiled Monday afternoon. They will host Northwestern Saturday at 5:00 pm in Pullman.

Eastern Washington, Montana and regular season conference champion Idaho missed out on earning a spot in the dance in the Big Sky tournament over the weekend as Northern Colorado claimed the league championship.

The Bears, however, feature one of only a handful of area players - other than the Cougars - that will be playing in the tournament with Carolyn Cox (Spokane, WA) on the squad. Other players from the region include Kelcie Hedge (Post Falls, ID) with the University of Washington, Stanford's Averie Collins (Bozeman, MT) and the trio of Jackie Bollinger (Wenatchee, WA), Rachel Estopare (Bend, OR) and Hayley Estopare (Bend, OR) with the University of Arizona.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

HS Update - November 10: Gonzaga Prep survives three shootouts to win regionals

The state playoffs kick off Tuesday after a week of regional playoff contests to determine who would advance to the final bracket.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Idaho title bid falls short as Big Sky Final goes to penalties again

2015 Big Sky Conference Tournament Champions - University of Northern Colorado
Perhaps the Big Sky Conference should get two automatic berths to the NCAA tournament. For the fourth time in five years the league's championship game was decided from the penalty spot as unbeaten University of Idaho came up short of capturing the Big Sky double, falling 3-0 in the tiebreaker to second-seeded Northern Colorado after a 1-1 draw.

There was one clear, decisive performance on the day, and it was from goalkeeper Madeline Burdick, who doubled her save total for the afternoon with three saves in the penalty kick shootout in the midst of a light rain to give the Bears the Big Sky championship Sunday afternoon at Guy Wicks Field in Moscow, ID.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Unbeaten Idaho advances to Big Sky Final with win over Montana

The regular season champion University of Idaho Vandals used a pair of early goals in the second semifinal Friday afternoon in Moscow to down the University of Montana 3-2 and advance to play second-seeded Northern Colorado, which prevailed in the earlier game against Sacramento State 3-1.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Lower seeds prevail in Big Sky: Eastern Washington falls, Montana advances

Thick, wet snow created a sticky situation in at the tourney Thursday | INWsn photo galleries coming soon
The opening day of the Big Sky tournament in Moscow was an eventful day. First, third-seeded Eastern Washington was knocked out, 3-1, by six-seeded Sacramento State in the first half of the doubleheader that saw the rain increase throughout. Then the snow - and plenty of it - began to fall as the second game kicked off. Fifth-seeded Montana looked right at home in it and used a pair of goals from Ashlee Pedersen (Spokane, WA) to down fourth-seeded Weber State 2-0.

The Hornets will face Northern Colorado in the morning game Friday and the Grizzlies will face host Idaho in the second half of the semifinal doubleheader.

NAIA Cascade Conference Round-Up: Playoff fields are set

In the final week of play for the CCC, all eyes were focused primarily on the women's side of things where two postseason berths were still up for grabs.

Corban made a late charge with a pair of victories over playoff bound Northwest University and fellow hopeful Evergreen, which came up short. The wins were enough to give them the seventh spot despite a losing 4-6-1 record.

The eighth spot, meanwhile, went to a team even further in the hole. The University of Great Falls, having already finished their campaign a week prior, still got in with just two league wins on the campaign thanks to also having four draws on their ledger. The four extra points edged out three-win Oregon Tech and two other sides with a pair of victories.

On the men's side of the conference, seeding was still up for grabs for the teams still in action. Great Falls locked up their spot at third with a pair of blowout victories over the bottom two sides, registering 23 goals on the weekend. Carroll did similarly to finish fifth.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

NWAC East Playoff Update - NIC women, Walla Walla men advance to quarters

TheNorthwest Athletic Conference soccer playoffs kicked off in earnest Wednesday with the majority of the opening round of playoff games. Four teams from the East were in action while the champions at CC Spokane were awaiting results elsewhere to learn their opposition for Saturday in the quarterfinal round.

NWAC EAST UPDATE - MEN #############

The Warriors of Walla Walla CC moved on with a 2-0 victory against Southwest Oregon while Columbia Basin came up short, dropping a 2-1 decision to Chemeketa.

Jose Anguiano (Kennewick, WA) put the Warriors on the board in the 25th minute on a ball from Emilio Meraz-Rodriguez (Pasco, WA) and Alex Saldana (Milton-Freewater, OR) added some insurance a minute before the break. Walla Walla controlled the contest with the visitors only eliciting one save from goalkeeper Francisco Flores (Milton-Freewater, OR). Walla Walla now travels to take on powerhouse Peninsula Saturday.

Host Chemeketa took the lead against Columbia Basin in the 20th minute and doubled the advantage a minute into the second half. The Hawks attempted to come back, but a goal with six minutes remaining from Jason Rodriguez (Othello, WA) was all they could muster as their season came to a close.

Traveling to Spokane Saturday will be Whatcom, which advanced with a victory over visiting Bellevue led by a goal and assist from Uriel Herrera.

Playoff Results 

Wednesday, November 4

Southwest Oregon 0 :: 2 Walla Walla
Columbia Basin 1 :: 2 Chemeketa
Bellevue 1 :: 2 Whatcom
Edmonds 1 :: 3 Tacoma

Upcoming Games 

Saturday, November 7
Whatcom @ Spokane 2:15
Walla Walla @ Peninsula 2:00
Chemeketa @ Highline 7:00

NWAC EAST UPDATE - WOMEN #############

The North Idaho College ladies advanced with a 2-1 victory against visiting Chemeketa while Treasure Valley came up short in a narrow 1-0 decision on the road against Clark.

Former high school teammates combined to put NIC in front 19 minutes into the contest Wednesday evening when Haley White (La Grande, OR) fed Jasmine Smith (La Grande, OR) for the go-ahead goal. The visitors pulled even in the 38th minute, but ten minutes into the second half NIC reclaimed the lead for good when Emily Aspen scored on a ball from Megan Lowery (Hayden, ID). The Cardinals will now travel to face perennial power Peninsula on Saturday.

Fernanda Rogel made six saves for the Chukars, but the one that got by her in the 63rd minute was all Clark needed as Treasure Valley was unable to produce any goals at the other end.

Spokane will play host to Everett, which posted a dominant 4-0 victory over Tacoma Wednesday evening in which they scored twice in each half - Claire Nelson and Lauren Allison each tallying two goals and an assist - and forcing the Tacoma keeper to make 12 saves as well.

Playoff Results

Tuesday, November 3
Shoreline (5) 1 :: PK :: 1 (3) Bellevue

Wednesday, November 4
Chemeketa 1 :: 2 North Idaho
Treasure Valley 0 :: 1 Clark
Tacoma 0 :: 4 Everett

Upcoming Games 

Saturday, November 7
Everett @ Spokane 12:00
North Idaho @ Peninsula 12:00
Clark @ Highline 4:30

-- INWsn --

CC Spokane sides sweep the week; claim NWAC East titles

The CC Spokane men's and women's sides faced a tough final week at home with local foe North Idaho College visiting midweek and longtime rival Walla Walla visiting on Saturday. The division championships were in reach for both, but they needed to take care of business to earn the top spots going into the NWAC postseason.

The Bigfoot ladies used a dramatic 2-1 victory over the Cardinals Wednesday to lock up a division championship repeat and celebrated with a 5-0 playoff tuneup victory Saturday against the Warriors.

The Sasquatch men also topped NIC by a 2-1 scoreline, but the title race went down to a season finale showdown with second-place Walla Walla Saturday that finished 3-0 in favor of Spokane.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Division II & III Round-Up: MSU-Billings women snag GNAC tournament spot

It was an interesting finish to the final week of play in the GNAC women's race for the postseason as Central Washington picked up a narrow win Thursday over fellow playoff hopeful Concordia. The victory set up a big showdown for the Wildcats Saturday at MSU-Billings, where both teams were still in the hunt for the fourth and final berth, needing a win and a little help. The Yellowjackets prevailed in another one-goal affair and got some help from Western Oregon, who beat Simon Fraser in overtime, to earn a spot in the postseason tournament.

On the men's side where there is no tournament, Seattle Pacific and Simon Fraser both picked up wins win the the Falcons clinching at least a share of the league title and the Canadians keeping within three points by downing third-place Northwest Nazarene.

The race for the Northwest Conference men's title is even closer going into the final game of the season as Whitworth and Pacific Lutheran each posted a pair of wins over the weekend. The Pirates hold a one-point advantage with a road game against last-place Whitman remaining while the Lutes will be playing host to rival and third-place Puget Sound.

Division I Round-up: Washington State rebounds with Oregon road sweep

The Cougars of Washington State were in the midst of an extremely rare three-game conference losing streak, but snapped it over the weekend with a pair of 2-1 victories on the road against Oregon and Oregon State.

Meanwhile in the Big Sky, Eastern Washington came up just shy of getting the second bye in the conference tournament, but handed the Idaho Vandals their first blemish on their conference record with a 1-1 draw. The result allowed Northern Colorado to snag second. The Eagles and Montana will both play in first round games Thursday in Moscow.

Boise State, however, will not be moving onto the postseason as a draw in their final game allowed others to grab the final berths in the Mountain West Conference tournament.

Whitworth men sail past Willamette, put title repeat in reach

The senior Pirates did a lot of celebrating Sunday, starting from the pre-game ceremony where they were recognized for their time with the program - which boasts the best four-year win percentage in program history - and continuing into the match versus Willamette, a dominant 6-1 victory.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

High School Girls Update - October 31: Halloween high school playoffs today

The last of the leagues that were in play wrapped things up on Thursday, and now everyone has entered the postseason (see brackets below). Most of the leagues feature postseason contests for Halloween, which will certainly lead to some cheesy, ghoulish headlines should surprises play out.

NAIA Cascade Conference Round-Up: Playoff fields taking shape

Carroll locked up the regular season title on the women's side in the first season of the newly expanded league with a pair of victories in western Oregon on the week and another Frontier side, Rocky Mountain College, secured the top spot on the mens side with a win and a draw on the road.

With a few more of the eight conference tournament berths still up for grabs going into this week's action, three other programs from the region are among the six teams that had secured berths as of last week's play with College of Idaho, Eastern Oregon and Rocky Mountain headed to the postseason.

Seeding is all that is left to be settled on the men's side with all entrants determined after last week's play. Great Falls, Carroll and the College of Idaho will be joining RMC in the postseason field.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Division II & III Round-Up: Whitworth men suffer first loss, MSUB sides split

The dominant Whitworth Pirates were handed their first NWC defeat last weekend, dropping a 2-0 contest on the road to second-place Pacific Lutheran that tightened up the race for the league championship going into the final weeks. They rebounded for a narrow victory the next day at Puget Sound in what is arguably their toughest road trip annually.

On the ladies side of things, the Whitworth women played to a pair of draws to build themselves a three-game unbeaten run while their regional foe Whitman is continuing to find semi-positive results despite a lack of offense, getting a win and a draw that makes them 1-1-5 in their last seven outings.

Meanwhile, in the GNAC it was an interesting week for MSU-BIllings on the road. The women and men combined for four 1-0 contests last weekend, each earning a split in their road trips.

The Northwest Nazarene also split, dropping the second game to Seattle Pacific, which continues to hold onto the league lead. On the ladies side Central Washington tied third-place Seattle Pacific and defeated Simon Fraser to keep themselves in the hunt for third in the conference.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Barmes' Bullpups transformed to GSL champs in two years

Gonzaga Prep surprised everyone this season. Not only did the Bullpups end a three-year series of identical 5-4 records by reaching the top of the Greater Spokane League table, but they did so in convincing fashion by running the slate at 9-0.

Tonight, the ladies at G-Prep face the reigning two-time state and GSL champion Central Valley Bears in the district semifinals with a chance to lock up a state berth.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

High School Girls Update - October 27: Postseason kicking off for GSL, MCC

With the regular season titles and top seeds for the 3A and 4A classifications already locked up in both leagues, things wrapped up rather quietly in the Greater Spokane League Friday and Mid Columbia Conference Saturday... aside from seniors celebrating their final home games.

Division I Round-up: Idaho wins conference title; Big Sky and MWC tourneys nearly set

Still showing their doubters wrong, the Idaho Vandals - picked ninth in the preseason - poll now have nine wins on the season after downing North Dakota and second-place Northern Colorado over the weekend to clinch the regular season Big Sky Conference title and right to host the league tournament. Meanwhile, their neighbors up the road at Eastern Washington - chosen seventh - are also continuing their strong showing, playing to a draw against Northern Colorado and getting a win against North Dakota to pull into a tie for second.

Eastern Washington tops North Dakota, moves back into second

Full INWsn match gallery [+]
The Eastern Washington Eagles put together a great game Sunday with a 2-1 victory over visiting North Dakota, moving the Eagles slightly up the table into a tie with Northern Colorado, which they played to a road draw with on the road Friday, for second place in the league with a game remaining.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

NWAC East Round-Up: CC Spokane sweeps Wenatchee Valley; division races still tight

Full INWsn women's match gallery [+]
The Bigfoot of CC Spokane dominated the competition Wednesday evening in a doubleheader that saw them outscore Wenatchee Valley by a combined 17-1 scoreline. The ladies kicked off the night with a 12-0 victory in which Alysha Overland broke the program's single-season scoring record and the men rallied in the second match for a 5-1 victory over the Knights.

Friday, October 23, 2015

NAIA Cascade Conference Round-Up: Carroll squads sweep

The Saints of Carroll College had a big week, sweeping their opposition from Evergreen State College and Northwest University, keeping the men's squad in postseason contention and maintaining the top spot in the league on the women's side.

It was also a good week for the ladies this side of the Cascades for contenders College of Idaho and Eastern Oregon. The Yotes swept Warner Pacific and nearby Eastern Oregon to nab sole possession second in the table. The Mountaineers won their opener against third-place Rocky Mountain on the road before playing to a stalemate at College of Idaho that went to overtime before the Yotes prevailed.

The Rocky Mountain men, meanwhile, dominated Eastern Oregon and Warner Pacific to maintain their one-loss record at the top of the table along with Corban, which kept pace with two wins of their own.  

High School Girls Update - October 23: G-Prep clinches GSL, Idaho semis set

Gonzaga Prep locked up the Greater Spokane League regular season title with a stunning 5-0 victory Wednesday over second-place Mead with the final night of games remaining Friday. The Bullpups are nearly perfect with a shootout win within its 8-0 record. The rest of the league, meanwhile, features a jumble of teams from second to sixth that are separated by six points, including 3A school Mt Spokane, which has locked up the top spot in their classification.

Regular Season GSL Champion Bullpups (courtesy GPHS)
In the lower classifications, the race remains close for the top two in the Great Northern League and Northeast A League. After dropping a point in a shootout win to Clarkston Tuesday, West Valley rebounded with a win in their finale Thursday to join East Valley at the top of the table on points, leaving things up to Saturday's final game between the Knights and host Clarkston. In the NEA, Deer Park leads Freeman by three points with the two set to meet at Deer Park in the season finale. Before then the league-leaders have any easy foe in Colville while Freeman plays takes on Lakeside, who handed them their other league defeat.

Elsewhere on this side of the state the only real surprise came Thursday amidst a Columbia Basin Big Nine trio of 3-1 results. Sunnyside picked up its first victory of the season against fellow cellar dweller Eisenhower, moving out of the last-place spot based on points with the two now tied at 1-9 on the year. West Valley (Yakima) remains perfect at 10-0 in the 4A Big Nine while 3A Southridge is comfortably in front at 12-1 in the Mid Columbia Conference and further down the table 4A Chiawana is assured the top spot in its classification as the league hits the field for the regular season finales Saturday. The Big Nine wraps things up next week with two more game days.

Across the border, Idaho kicked off the state playoffs Thursday. Most of the district-winners from the Inland Empire League and Intermountain league advanced to the semifinals with victories in the opening round. The IEL5 winners from Lake City advanced with the boys downing Boise 2-1 and the girls topping Rocky Mountain 4-3. Play-in winner Coeur d'Alene dropped a 1-0 contest to Centennial.

The IEL4 schools split as the Lakeland boys blew by Blackfoot 4-0 and reigning two-time state champion Sandpoint were unable to survive penalty kicks, falling 3-1 in the tiebreaker after a scoreless draw against Century to end hopes of a three-peat. Unexpected district runner-up and play-in winner as the IEL third-seed, the Moscow boys side was knocked into the consolation portion of the bracket with 2-0 defeat to Century.

Intermountain boys runners-up and district tournament champion Bonners Ferry was handily dispatched 6-0 by Community. Meanwhile, the top two girls sides from the Intermountain League moved on with champion Timberlake downing Community 2-1 and CDA Charter edging Shelley 3-2 to keep alive their chances to repeat after claiming the region's first girls 3A title a year ago. The two Intermountain League sides will now square off for a spot in the state final.

The teams that lost on opening day Thursday are now in the consolation half of the bracket, and have a chance to continue playing for fifth in state.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Division II & III Round-Up: MSU-Billings climbs into GNAC men's title race

The Yellowjackets of MSU-Billings avenged their earlier loss to Northwest Nazarene as part of a weekend sweep that put them past the Crusaders and in second place in the GNAC over the weekend, sitting just three points back of Seattle Pacific.

On the women's side, MSUB split and the Central Washington Wildcats nabbed an overtime road victory against NNU Saturday, but the two sides had lost two days prior, leaving them mired at the middle of the table.

The Whitworth men, meanwhile, continue to dominate the Northwest Conference. They showed Saturday that their previous misstep in a draw at George Fox was an aberration, drubbing the Bruins 6-0 Saturday thanks, in part, to a hat-trick from Karl Muelheims. The hometown senior also went on to repeat the feat the following day against Pacific.

On the women's side of the conference, the struggles continued for Whitworth and Whitman. After the two sides played to a scoreless stalemate midweek, the Pirates remained on the road and dropped a game against George Fox before rebounding for a narrow win against Pacific to stay mid-table while Whitman continues to be mired in the basement with another scoreless draw and a loss.

Here's a recap of Division II & Division III action for last week:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Division I Round-up: Idaho posts sweep; Spokane duo have big outings

After a series of three 1-0 victories in league play, the Idaho Vandals have added some offense in their repertoire, scoring four goals in both matches over the weekend to give them three consecutive games with at least three goals. The Vandals dominated Southern Utah and preseason favorite Northern Arizona by a combined 8-1 scoreline to improve to 7-0-0 for the year.

Boise State split their final two games of the season at home - though one was moved off-campus - and the rest of the area programs had a rough outing as Gonzaga and Washington State teams went winless.

It was a good week, however, for a pair of players from Spokane with Kara Marbury guiding Illinois to a big win in a return from a concussion and Julia Moravec played a big role in a pair of wins for Seattle University.

Here is a round-up of the action last week:

High School Update - October 20: League races enter final days; Idaho state tourneys set

There were some intriguing matches in the Greater Spokane League, Mid-Columbia Conference and Columbia Basin Big Nine in the second half of last week, but the more interesting pair of results, arguably, were the two from West Valley in the 3A Great Northern League.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Muelheims guides Whitworth to big weekend sweep

Full INWsn match gallery [+] 
Two weeks ago, the perfect Pirates of Whitworth were handed their first blemish of the season on the road by George Fox with a 1-1 draw. They finished the first half of the Northwest Conference campaign 6-0-1 a week later. On Saturday they opened the second half of their league slate against the Bruins and made a huge statement with a thoroughly dominant performance that finished in a 6-0 scoreline. On Sunday they followed it up with a 3-0 win. Oh, and Karl Muelheims netted a hat-trick in both matches.

NWAC East Update: Spokane men tie rival Walla Walla 2-2, hold first with unbeaten week

Having recently moved into the top spot in a men's NWAC East Division that nobody seemed to want to take control of, CC Spokane went into a Wednesday night showdown with heated rival Walla Walla and rallied from a goal down on two occasions to earn a draw on the night.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Catching Up: Round-Up for new-look Cascade Conference

Now officially conference foes, schools from the Frontier Conference now members of CCC
With the conference tournament coming up in about a month, the first year of the new-look Cascade Collegiate Conference has been quite intriguing with the new additions from the Frontier Conference playing a big role in the title chases. On the men's side two teams are in the top four and on the women's side three of the top four are newcomers.

In case you missed it, the CCC officially accepted teams from the smaller Frontier Conference into the fold in February as Associate Members for soccer and softball. Carroll College, Rocky Mountain College and the University of Great Falls had been competing among the unaffiliated groups in the NAIA for postseason and regular season.

After years of non-conference games - including the Red Lion Challenge held in Spokane in 2012 and 2013 - against their neighbors from the west, the trio from Montana became members of the league this season, creating a simpler and more robust conference schedule. The first official games between schools from the two conferences on September 11 marked the end of a lengthy process that began two years earlier.

"The conversations really began back in August of 2013 when the NAIA held a "West Coast Summit" to address issues NAIA schools face in the west," Cascade Conference Commissioner Robert Cashell told INWsoccernews in February. "From that a task force was developed and the legislation to allow for per-sport membership among conferences was crafted. Along with the legislation, conferences needed to to have the mechanisms in place through bylaws if they had a desire to accept associate membership applications.

"The CCC established the necessary processes last summer after the legislation passed. We received applications the end of October of 2014 and our AD's and others have been reviewing. Ultimately was up for a President's vote."

Cashell and Frontier Conference Commissioner Kent Paulson played key roles in making changes in the NAIA rules to pave the way for the changes.

"The discussions of Associate Membership for softball and soccer was a nearly three-year process," Paulson told INWsn in February. "Rob Cashell and I sponsored some initial legislation to the National Administrative Council some two-plus years ago that didn’t pass due to some legislation that was in place but it did pave the way for the legislative changes that were passed by the NAIA body at the 2014 National Convention. This legislation was co-sponsored by our conferences along with others and presented by Rob Cashell representing the CCC."

The move of the Frontier teams into the CCC could be the beginning of a wave of Affiliated Memberships throughout the NAIA, which features quite a large contingent of teams in sports outside of football and basketball that are considered unaffiliated due to a lack of teams in their home conference.

"I see this as a positive opportunity for the advancement of student-athlete’s in many conferences throughout the NAIA," Paulson said of the NAIA's rule changes. "I think that these positive arrangements will be utilized in a number of sports depending on the needs of the various conferences involved."

Though Cashell did not feel the Red Lion Challenge -- a series of non-conference soccer, basketball and volleyball games held in Spokane as a neutral location -- between the two conferences played a role in furthering the process, Paulson did feel it helped prepare for the upcoming change.

"I think it had a lot to do with shaping the foundation for our presentation of granting Associative Membership for other sports in addition to football within the NAIA. I know that it has also developed increased scheduling alliances between the FC and the CCC in other sports such as basketball and volleyball as well."

The merger came at a time when there were also several other changes for both conferences.

For the Frontier contingent, it's only the second year for the Carroll men's program and Westminster (Salt Lake City) departed for NCAA DII.

"Westminster College officially notified our league of their intention to leave the NAIA and the Frontier Conference in June of 2013," said Paulson. "Had they elected to stay, they too would have made application to be considered as part of our group seeking Associate Membership in the CCC."

Meanwhile, the membership in the CCC was already seeing some major changes. Powerhouse Concordia departed for the NCAA DII GNAC while Southern Oregon and Eastern Oregon were adding men's programs. The conference had also approved the previous summer Walla Walla University and Multnomah University as new members. WWU and MU are only fielding men's teams for soccer.

Here is a look at the season up to this point:

High School Girls Update - October 15: Idaho playoffs in full swing

Surprise results continue to come in for the Greater Spokane League. This week, winless Lewis & Clark downed Mt Spokane in a shootout Wednesday after a 1-1 draw. In a showdown of contenders, Ferris rallied from a two-goal deficit at home to defeat Mead 3-2. The three other contests were blowout results decided by four goals or more. The race for the regular season title still remains extremely tight with the top five separated by just four points.

In the Great Northern League, second-place East Valley took a 2-1 win over visiting third-place Clarkston Tuesday in a close-fought contest. It bumped the Knights into first over idle rival West Valley, whom they will square off against this Saturday in a game that could play a big role in deciding the league title.

Outside of the Spokane area, there was plenty of action in the MCC and CBB9 Tuesday. No surprise results out of either league, but in a showdown of two top Tri-Cities sides, Hanford prevailed in a shootout after a 2-2 draw against Kamiakin for sole possession of second in the MCC behind Southridge.

Meanwhile, across the border in Idaho, three of the four Inland Empire League's regional champions for Districts I & II have been determined with the fourth set for Thursday afternoon.

Advancing to the state tournament out of the 5A are the Lake City boys and girls. The boys advanced with a convincing 4-0 win against Coeur d'Alene and the ladies also downed their local rival, 4-1, to move on. The two CDA sides are still alive, however, and will compete in a play-in contest Saturday in Lewiston against the fifth-placed team coming out of District III of the Boise area.

Sandpoint defeated Lakeland, 2-1, in the 4A girls regional final to return to the state tournament and defend their two consecutive Idaho titles. The top-seeded Lakeland boys take on Moscow, which used a shootout win to upset Sandpoint in the first round of regionals after a 1-1 draw. The runners-up from the regionals will also feature in a play-in game, taking on the third-place school out of District III.

Further south in District III where the regional tournament has been plagued by delays due to smoky air quality from remaining wildfires, the championship games for 5A and 4A have been determined for Friday. The matches that will determine who the play-in opponents for the DI-II winners are also scheduled for Friday. (link includes District III 4A & 5A brackets)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Division II & III Round-Up: Rough road trip for NNU keeps GNAC men's race wide open

The Northwest Nazarene men were off to a fantastic start in the GNAC, but a two-game trip to face Simon Fraser north of the border and Western Washington on the way back kept the door ajar for the other title contenders. Simon Fraser used a victory Thursday to help keep them in the mix after a win and draw on the week. Then a dramatic overtime loss to the Vikings allowed perennial power Seattle Pacific to slip back in the driver's seat atop the conference with their sweep of MSU-Billings and Mary on the week. Newcomer Concordia also remains in the mix with just one loss, playing to a scoreless draw at Simon Fraser after a draw against the Vikings.

On the ladies side of things in the GNAC, the MSU-Billings Yellowjackets also slipped in the table on the road, going from one loss to three by dropping a close-fought contest to Northwest Nazarene before being shutout by league-leading Western Washington.

Meanwhile, the NWC hit the halfway mark in league play. On the men's side Whitworth finished a nearly perfect first run through the conference with a victory over local rival Whitman while on the ladies side the Pirates and Missionaries continue to struggle, though it was Whitman that picked up a point on the week with a draw against Lewis & Clark.

Here's a recap of Division II & Division III action for last week

High School Girls Update - October 13

Going into this week's matches, the biggest storyline continues to be down south in the Mid-Columbia Conference where the trio of 3A teams - Southridge, Kamiakin and Hanford - are dominating the league and only one 4A school has an even record.

The classifications are holding up for the most part in the Greater Spokane League where Mt Spokane is the lone 3A school in the upper half of the table, sitting fourth with one loss and within two points of league-leading Gonzaga Prep. The Wildcats upset previous leaders Ferris 3-2 last Wednesday in the league's last day of action. Five teams are now separated by just four points in the race for the league title.

Nearby, Deer Park's domination of the Northeast A League was also put to an end last week when Riverside handed them a 3-1 road loss last Thursday evening, opening the door back up to the regular season title in the NEA.

In the Great Northern League, the race for the league's top spot looks to be coming down to Spokane Valley rivals West Valley and East Valley. Both enter the week with just one loss and will meet again on Saturday. The EV Knights took the first match, 3-2, on the first of the month.

West Valley - of Yakima - is atop the Columbia Basin Big Nine with a perfect record through six games, but one-loss Wenatchee and 5-2 Moses Lake are in reach in the 4A league.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Division I Round-up: Vandals grab Big Sky lead; WSU & BSU sweep

Unbeaten a year ago, the Montana Grizzlies know how difficult maintaining that status is and were in position to knock both Big Sky leaders Eastern Washington and Idaho off their perfect league starts and put themselves back in the conference title picture in the process. It took overtime, but Montana was able to prevail at home against the Eagles, but the second half of the two-game dip was a bit tougher as they fell on the road, leaving the Vandals - picked ninth in the preseason coaches poll - in sole possession of first place.

Meanwhile, the Washington State women posted a pair of road victories in Utah and Colorado to remain second in the Pac-12 and Boise State posted a pair of convincing wins as well at home and on the road in the Mountain West to even out their record.

The Gonzaga women split in their two-game trip to California with a loss and a draw while the Bulldog men opened conference play with a 2-1 victory at Portland.

Here is a round-up of the action last week:

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Whitworth men down local foe Whitman 2-0, conclude first half of campaign nearly perfect

Full gallery INWsn match photos [+] 
The Whitworth men finished the first half of their conference slate with a convincing victory against nearby rival Whitman Saturday afternoon, getting a 2-0 victory against the Missionaries in a game in which the Pirates controlled the possession by a vast margin and the visitors were allowed very few chances.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Division II & III Round-Up: NNU men grab control of GNAC, Whitworth avoids upset

The Northwest Nazarene Crusaders picked up two more victories to remain unbeaten in the conference, using a narrow 1-0 win Saturday over fellow unbeaten MSU-Billings to grow their league lead with powerhouse Seattle Pacific suffering their first defeat of the season to Simon Fraser the same day.

On the women's side, MSU-Billings is proving to be the best of the area trio but were only able to earn a split on the weekend, receiving their first loss courtesy of Simon Fraser as well. Central Washington broke through with six goals Thursday against Northwest Nazarene only to fall two days later against Western Oregon.

In the Northwest Conference, the Whitworth men continue to impress. The road trip to Oregon was a tough one to finish though as a 3-0 win at Pacific was followed by a nail-biter at George Fox that finished 1-1 in which they allowed their first goal in six league matches and dropped their first points.

On the women's side, the Whitworth women have joined Whitman in heartbreak. Both sides are doing well defensively, but are struggling to find the back of the net at the other end. They tallied one goal between them in four close contests against visiting Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound on the weekend.

Here's a recap of Division II & Division III action for last week

Monday, October 5, 2015

Division I Round-up: Eastern Washington, Idaho continue to roll

The inland northwest duo of Eastern Washington and Idaho continue to be the big story among the Division I contingent as the Cinderella sides, ranked seventh and ninth respectively in the preseason polls, are still unbeaten after four games and lead the Big Sky Conference. The two sides posted victories at home over the duo of Sacramento State, who went into the weekend also 2-0-0, and Portland State.

Across the border from the Vandals, the Cougars split their weekend homestand, falling in a narrow 1-0 decision to a USC side led by their former coach and winning a wild back-and-forth affair with UCLA, 4-2.

Back north in Spokane, the Gonzaga women also split their two home contests as they opened play in the West Coast Conference, which saw all but one women's game on opening weekend decided by one goal. The lady Zags nearly got a surprise result against sixth-ranked BYU in a 1-0 loss before rebounding with a win against San Diego.

On the men's side, Gonzaga earned a split on a travel-heavy road trip to play Bradley and eighth-ranked Denver, where they dropped another tight contest.

Here is a round-up of the action last week:

High School Girls Update - October 5

Here is a look around the leagues for Eastern & Central Washington.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Whitworth women fall 1-0 to Puget Sound

Full INWsn photo gallery [+]
After a three-game win streak to move atop the Northwest Conference table, the Whitworth women dropped their second straight game by a 1-0 score Saturday against visiting Puget Sound.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Spokane Area Girls HS Update - Sept 30

INWsn is still working on its database for the ongoing Fall HS Soccer season. Here is where things currently stand in the Greater Spokane League, Great Northern League and Northeast A League as of Wednesday morning.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Division II & III Round-Up: Whitworth, NNU & MSUB men lead their conferences

A trio of area men's teams are off to leads in the GNAC and Northwest Conferences, but the single biggest result of the weekend came on the women's side where the Northwest Nazarene Crusaders ended a 14-year, 27-game losing streak against Seattle Pacific with a 1-0 GNAC victory over the 11th-ranked Falcons Thursday in Nampa, ID.

Meanwhile, the 22nd-ranked Crusader men continued their positive start to the campaign with a scoreless draw against the third-ranked Falcon men, who find themselves 1-0-2. NNU added a win against Saint Martin's for a 2-0-1 mark and a share of the conference lead with MSU-Billings. The Yellowjackets blanked Western Washington and played Simon Fraser to a draw on the week.

In the NWC, the focus was in Spokane, WA where the three early leaders squared off on the men's side. The Whitworth men moved to 4-0-0 with a sweep of Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran on the weekend, shutting out both.

Here's a recap of Division II & Division III action for last week - Sept 14-20

Division I Round-up: Eastern Washington, Idaho off to great Big Sky starts

Big Sky action kicked off and after the first week of play, the three programs that are 2-0-0 are the teams that were picked to finish 7-9 in the preseason coaches poll. Eastern Washington (predicted 7th) and Idaho (9) swept on their trips to play Idaho State and Weber State and Sacramento State (8) won twice at home.

Also opening conference play last week was the Pac-12 women. Washington State picked up a 2-1 road win at Arizona State courtesy of a pair of goals to rebound from their first loss and move to 8-1-0 overall.

Here is a round-up of the action last week:

Monday, September 28, 2015

Whitworth men top Puget Sound, Pacific Lutheran to lead NWC

Full INWsn photo galleries  -  Saturday :: Sunday
In the midst of the early stages of the conference campaign, the Whitworth men faced a tough weekend at home playing host to the two other sides in the Northwest Conference that were also 2-0-0 after the first week of play. The Pirates dominated the contest Saturday in a 2-0 victory over Puget Sound and then blanked Pacific Lutheran in a tight 1-0 match Sunday against the Lutes, who were picked to finish second behind the Bucs by the conference coaches.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Local foes CC Spokane, North Idaho College go scoreless in Border Battle

In the first meeting of the year between the two nearby rivals, the Bigfoot and Cardinals battled to a scoreless stalemate Wednesday evening in Spokane.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Division II & III Round-Up: Whitworth men, women open with wins

It was no surprise the Whitworth men kicked Northwest Conference play off with a pair of victories, but after dropping their midweek opener against regional rival Whitman, 1-0, the ladies rebounded with a pair of wins at home to grab an early lead in the conference after just one week.

The Whitman women, meanwhile, suffered a setback as they continue to struggle at the offensive end, dropping a 2-1 overtime decision and playing to a 1-1 draw. The Missionary men split.

In the GNAC, the Northwest Nazarene men won their opener against newcomer Concordia, whose women's side won in their DII debut against visiting Central Washington. NNU's women fell in a regional showdown with MSU-Billings, which got a sweep on the week with the men also picking up a victory.

Here's a recap of Division II & Division III action for last week - Sept 14-20

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Gonzaga men upset 13th-ranked Oregon State 2-1

Full INWsn photo gallery [+]
For the second time in three days, there was plenty to celebrate at Luger Field as the Gonzaga men followed the ladies' 2-2 draw against 25th-ranked Washington with a surprising 2-1 victory against the 13th-ranked Oregon State Beavers.

Division I Round-up: Boise State, Idaho unbeaten on the week

The powerhouse schools in Washington squared off against in-state foe Gonzaga and Portland this week. Thursday went well with the Cougars blanking the Zags 3-0 and the Huskies dropping the struggling Pilots 2-1, but things changed on Sunday. Gonzaga surprised visiting Washington for a 2-2 draw and the Cougars were upended in Portland 2-0.

Meanwhile, things went well for a pair of Idaho schools on the week. Boise State went unbeaten on the road against a pair of WCC opponents, getting a 2-1 win at St Mary's and scoreless draw against San Francisco.

Idaho drubbed visiting South Dakota 4-1 Friday and played to a scoreless stalemate against Seattle University Sunday as the rest of the Big Sky had a rough week. The rest of the conference went 4-8 on the week with Northern Arizona accounting for two of the wins and Eastern Washington picking up a victory in their lone contest as they finished their successful midwest trip with a 1-0 win at University of Illinois-Chicago Wednesday.

Here is a round-up of the action last week:

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Gonzaga gives nationally-ranked Washington a fight, settles for draw

Full INWsn photo gallery [+] 
They were not supposed to be serious threat to the 7-1-0 Huskies, but Gonzaga (1-4-3) put forth one of its best performances of the year Sunday afternoon at Luger Field and came away with a 2-2 draw in a game in which they surprisingly led by two goals early in the second half. Aliyah Miller and Karley Baggerly played big roles in putting the Zags up two in a three-minute span, but the 25th-ranked visitors rallied with two from Kimberly Keever in the span of less than a minute to tie things up.

Sasquatch sweep Treasure Valley in convincing fashion

Full INWsn photo galleries - MEN :: WOMEN
The CC Spokane women and men posted a pair of big wins over their opposition from the south. The men cruised to a 5-0 victory in the afternoon contest, but the things did not go as smoothly for the ladies, who needed to rally from an early deficit for a 3-1 win.

Friday, September 18, 2015

GNAC & the NWC: NNU, Whitworth men off to good starts

With conference play just around the corner for the Great Northwest Athletic Conference and the Northwest Conference, handful of area teams and players have gotten things off to good starts in non-conference play.

In the GNAC, the Northwest Nazarene men have gotten off to a great start to the season. The Crusaders are 4-1-0 with the lone loss, 1-0, being their only game at home. The team swept a three-game trip in Hawaii and picked up another victory in California. They also netted an impressive exhibition result in their first action of the fall, netting a 2-2 draw in Spokane against Division I Gonzaga.

Meanwhile, league power Seattle Pacific has been perfect through its first four games with Cody Lang (Spokane, WA) not allowing a single goal along the way.

GNAC newcomers Concordia has gotten off to mixed starts in their move up from the NAIA. The men are 2-1-0 and the ladies are 2-1-1.  MSU-Billings (2-1-1) and Northwest Nazarene (3-2-0) also boast winning non-conference records heading into the women's season.

In the NWC, the reigning champion Whitworth men have been rather dominant in their non-league start at 4-0-0 in addition to a pair of road draws against GNAC opposition Saint Martin's and Western Washington in exhibition contests on the same day.

On the ladies side of the NWC, it has been a tough start for the local programs with Whitworth going 2-2-0 and Whitman 0-4 in non-league play.

Here is an update on the action thus far in the GNAC and NWC along with some notes on players around the nation at the DII and DIII levels...

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Whitman edges rival Whitworth 1-0 in NWC women's opener

Full INWsn photo gallery [+]
In a match where each side had the better of play for a half, it was the visiting Missionaries that were able to break the stalemate, tallying their first goal of the campaign via a Danielle Wieck penalty to record their first positive result of the season as the Northwest Conference opened play in the women's league Wednesday.

PAC-12, the WCC & more DI: Great starts for WSU, UW & OSU

Washington State is off to one of the best starts among the INWsn area schools at 6-0-0. The Cougars have taken care of business in the non-conference portion of their slate thus far, downing three Big Sky schools as well as handing Seattle University one of its two losses - Washington being the other. In fact, Post Falls, ID native Kelcie Hedge (Post Falls, ID) as a true freshman is helping the Huskies get off to a 6-1-0 start with a goal and two assists on the other side of the state.

In Spokane, the Gonzaga programs have mixed results thus far, each with their own predicaments. The ladies are 1-3-3 with injuries making things difficult in the arly going while the men are 3-2-1 thanks to a stifling defense that has seen every game decided by just one goal, including a season-opening 1-0 loss at Washington, as the team searches for offensive consistency.

Also of note, the Oregon State Beavers are off to a perfect 5-0-0 start thanks to a team-leading four goals from Timmy Mueller (Post Falls, ID). And further away from home, Kara Marbury (Spokane, WA) has helped Illinois get off to a great start as well with two goals and an assist in the program's 6-1-0 start.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Big Sky & the MW: Eastern Washington off to hot start in non-conference play

Things are looking a bit different so far this year, particularly in the Big Sky Conference where Eastern Washington University is off to it's most impressive start in program history. The Eagles boast the best non-conference record thus far in the league while Montana is 3-4-1 and Idaho is 3-4-0.

The real eye-opener is the possible fall that Idaho State is in the midst of after having reached the Big Sky Final a year ago. The Bengals, Big Sky champions in 2012, have struggled through the early part of the campaign with a 1-6-1 record and the only win coming against Division II Westminster, which just moved up from the NAIA.

Idaho State's other positive result was a 1-1 draw against Boise State, which is also finding a hard go of things with a 1-4-2 record that also has them among the worst of the Mountain West Conference in regards to non-conference results. The Broncos' lone victory was a 1-0 win against Idaho.

The big litmus test for the teams in the region is Washington State, an NCAA tournament team. Three teams out of the Big Sky and Mountain West took on the Pac-12 side and two nearly came away with a surprise result. Boise State fell 2-1 while Montana took the Cougars all the way to overtime before falling 1-0. In the border battle, WSU came out on top 3-1 against Idaho.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Gonzaga men edge UW-Milwaukee, ladies fall to Oklahoma State

Full INWsn photo galleries: MEN -- WOMEN
After a heartbreaking, dramatic loss in overtime Friday, the Gonzaga men bounced back and earned a hard-fought 1-0 win against UW-Milwaukee Sunday afternoon at Luger Field thanks to a second half Ben White tally. The Bulldog women, however, were unable to find the back of the net in a 2-0 loss to the Cowgirls of Oklahoma State.

CC Spokane splits NWAC East openers versus Columbia Basin

Full INWsn Photo Gallery[+]
Both games started with scoreless draws through the first half, but the second stanza proved fruitful for the CC Spokane ladies in a 3-0 win against Columbia Basin College while the men continued to find misfortune in front of goal in a 2-0 defeat to the Hawks.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Overtime sees Gonzaga women tie, men fall in heartbreaker

Full INWsn Photo Galleries - WOMEN :: MEN 
It was a disappointing day of double overtime at Gonzaga's Luger Field Friday as the lady Bulldogs played to a 1-1 draw in a game both they and Cal State Fullerton would probably rather forget and the Zag men dominated a contest that saw them fall 2-1 in a dramatic finish to Hartwick.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

CC Spokane wins home opener versus Highline

Full INWsn Gallery [+] 
The Sasquatch ladies continued their outstanding start in non-league play by moving to 3-0-1 with a dominant performance against 2014 quarterfinalist Highline at Spokane Falls CC Tuesday afternoon in a 3-1 victory.

Eastern tops Big Sky foe Idaho in non-league game

Full INWsn Gallery [+] 
A pair of programs continuing to grow in their second year under new coaches met up Monday in their last non-conference match-up scheduled prior to Idaho re-joining the Big Sky Conference. In a back-and-forth affair, Eastern Washington picked up a 2-1 victory at home thanks to a goal and assist from Chloe Williams in a one-minute span in the first half.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Whitworth women open with win under spotlight

Tiara Pajimola and Megan McCart tallied in Pirates' win  |  More photos coming soon 
Taking the field amidst controversy for their season opener, the Whitworth women put forth an outstanding effort against visiting Carleton College for a 2-0 victory that brought, at least momentarily, some smiles to the players on the squad as five of their friends and teammates were absent for a suspension handed down for a racially-insensitive incident that occurred earlier in the week and has brought unprecedented attention to the women's soccer program.

With the roster shaken up and three true freshman in the starting lineup, the Pirates came out and shut down a Knights squad that was 7-1-3 (11-4-4 overall) a year ago and was selected to finish second in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's preseason coaches poll. In a game that was primarily a midfield battle, the Whitworth defense allowed just one shot on goal that Andrea Stump needed to save.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Gonzaga women top Roadrunners 3-1

Aliyah Miller helped lead defense, opened scoring... Zags celebrate third goal | Full Gallery [+] 
The Gonzaga women rebounded from a heartbreaking 3-2 overtime loss Friday with a quality performance in a 3-1 victory Sunday afternoon against visiting CSU-Bakersfield. Karley Baggerly helped lead the way with a goal and assist.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Gonzaga, Whitworth men prepare for season with exhibition

Coming off their Division III Northwest Conference title last fall, the Whitworth Pirates scheduled a tough preseason exhibition against the DI Gonzaga Bulldogs. Gonzaga used a goal in the first few minutes of the match and a clincher with six minutes remaining to nab a 2-0 win Tuesday.

The exhibition test was also a big one for Gonzaga, which opens the season Friday with arguably their biggest test of the year as they travel to face 10th-ranked Washington.

"It can't start any higher than that; and they are gonna be loaded. They are a good team, and we have our hands full, obviously," Gonzaga head coach Einar Thorarinsson. "Our guys will be ready. They have been waiting for that game."

Saturday, July 18, 2015

EPLWA Round-Up - July 17

Brady Ulen celebrates Shadow winner versus Wenatchee
Down to two.

The week started early with league-leading South Sound showing they were not going to just lay down for the Shadow, who had grabbed control in the title race the previous weekend. The Shock downed Vancouver Wednesday in a game that narrowed the title contenders realistically down to two sides. The weekend action, though, featured some surprise outcomes, the most notable being South Sound dropping points against Bellingham, which was previously pointless.

The week's results leave just South Sound and Spokane in contention for the title. The defending champion Shadow, trailing currently by two, only need five points from their final three games, two of which are on the road this week. The Shock, meanwhile, are idle in league play this week before wrapping things up at Wenatchee.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

EPLWA Round-Up - July 11

Extreme temperatures added to a huge week as the league's title race began to truly heat up with some big match-ups between some of the contenders. In the end, Vancouver's struggles continued as they dropped matches to both South Sound and Spokane, which posted a six-point weekend while on the road to take control in the title race courtesy of having games in hand.

Meanwhile, things are getting interesting for the rest of the pack as four teams are now separated by five points in the race to finish fourth going into the final two weeks of play.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

EPLWA Round-Up - June 24

The title race continues to heat up. The previously perfect Vancouver Victory dropped points for the second consecutive match while second-place South Sound picked up a win and the defending champion Spokane Shadow, which have games in hand, won to move up to third. The top three all face tough tests this week, including the first meeting between the top two.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

EPLWA Round-Up - June 20

In Weeks 7 and 8 of the Evergreen Premier League season, the table has split in half as the top four are battling to either gain control at the top or stay in the race. Meanwhile, in the bottom half the four sides are working to avoid to avoid the bottom.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

EPLWA Round-Up - June 6

In Week 6 of the Evergreen Premier League season, the home teams came out and took control of things for the first time this season, winning four of the five matches to improve the league record to an even 11-11-2. The duel at the top of the table continued with South Sound getting another win to take the lead for a day before Vancouver kept its perfect status intact and moved back atop the standings.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Defensive players lead Spokane to 2-0 win over Yakima

An early save from Jeff Srock was one of several great stops on the night - Full Gallery [+] 
Longtime foes Yakima and Spokane took to the pitch Saturday night in their first meeting of the season and once again did not disappoint in a thoroughly entertaining contest that saw many near misses, an outstanding goalkeeping performance from the Shadow's Jeff Srock and a late first half goal seconds before the whistle that gave the hosts command en route to a 2-0 victory at Spokane Falls CC Stadium.

Friday, May 29, 2015

EPLWA Round-Up - May 29

Wenatchee had a tough time stopping the league's top two teams last week
In Week 5 of the Evergreen Premier League season, Wenatchee FC's posting of back-to-back wins put their momentum to the toughest of tests as they had to take to the road and face the league's two unbeaten sides. It did not go so well. Similar to an earlier season home loss to Spokane, they saw a close match get away from them in the first game at South Sound and then struggled to compete against the perfect Vancouver Victory. Meanwhile, their central Washington rival, Yakima United, completed a season sweep of Bellingham with another big win and the newcomers, Olympic Force, picked up their first win.

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.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

EPLWA Round-Up - May 23

Wenatchee players celebrate winning goal against Yakima
In Week 4 of the Evergreen Premier League season, the home teams finally had a decent week, grabbing wins in two of the four match-ups. The big theme of the week though was defense as three of the four matches featured clean sheets. There had only been one shutout in the previous 11 games.

This week, the big story is the massive test ahead for fourth-place Wenatchee FC. Not only are the Capitals embarking on the first two-game road trip of the season for any team, they have the unlucky task of having to face the unbeaten league-leading sides South Sound Shock (3-0-1) and Vancouver Victory (4-0-0).

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Eastern Washington HS Boys Weekly Report - May 20

Kamiakin celebrates earning the unexpected second berth to state after wins at Spokane and against rival Kennewick
State Tournament berths were on the line last week all across the Eastern side of the Cascades. This week we merge the two reports previously posted here on IWNsn with the feature contests of the week being the Greater Spokane League versus Mid-Columbia Conference regional playoff tournaments. It was quite a week with 11 of the 14 games among the INWsn coverage decided by a goal or less as numerous contests went to overtime or shootout tiebreakers.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

First win over Shadow puts Vancouver back atop EPLWA

Vancouver improves record against Spokane to 1-1-1 with the win  |  Full Gallery [+] 
Having built a 3-0-0 record on teams struggling to get off to a good start, the Vancouver Victory took the long trip to Spokane Saturday for its biggest test of the season against the defending league champions. A bit of a chess match at times, the visitors found the winning moves for a goal in each half to leave town with a 2-0 victory and their place back atop the league table once again.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

EPLWA Round-Up - May 14

Yakima and former league-leader South Sound battled to 2-2 draw last weekend
In Week 3 of the Evergreen Premier League season, the winless streak for home teams came to an end with Vancouver Victory downing Bellingham to move to 3-0-0, but it was the only one as the three others finished in two draws and a loss. Last year's top two sides, Spokane and South Sound, both finished even with their opposition.

This week, two of the three eastern-based sides are set to square off in this week's matches with Wenatchee playing host to Yakima Sunday afternoon. Spokane, meanwhile, will welcome the unbeaten Victory Saturday evening.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Southeast WA HS Boys Update - May 12

Kennewick players celebrate winning their 3A District playoff title 
District playoffs in the MCC spent the week in the midst of the district playoffs while the CBB9 wrapped up the regular season early in the week and kicked off its district postseason tournament over the weekend. In both cases, things played out according to seeding.

Spokane-Plus HS Boys Weekly Report - May 12

Central Valley and Lewis & Clark battled hard for the 4A District title 
It's playoff time. A season of games were put behind them for most of the area schools as they took to District playoffs to determine who advanced to regionals and beyond. In the Greater Spokane League and the Mid-Columbia Conference, set to face one another in regionals, things played out according to seeding but saw some interesting contests.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Stars find redemption in Spokane with 1-1 draw

Saturday's contest in Spokane was a case of two completely different halves  |  Full Gallery [+] 
The home opener for the reigning Evergreen Premier League champion Spokane Shadow did not go as expected. Coming off an 8-2 season opening win at Wenatchee, the Shadow came out flat in the second half and saw the visiting Seattle Stars take control and snare a 1-1 draw.

For Seattle, it was redemption for a team that came to Spokane on the final weekend of the season with only nine players and were walked all over in an 11-0 defeat.

Friday, May 8, 2015

EPLWA Round-Up - Week Two

Everyone was in action for the second week of the Evergreen Premier League season with defending champion Spokane kicking off their title defense in Wenatchee with a win while newcomers Olympic Force were downed in their debut by visiting Vancouver, who were led by a pair from eastern Washington. The other area team in action, Yakima United, raised a few eyebrows with a one-sided result in Bellingham.

Two league-wide themes so far is the performance of visiting teams and the scoring rate. Road teams are 6-1-0 thus far away from home with the Seattle Stars the only side with a win at home. Scoring is also up from last year, which is surprising considering the season averaged nearly four goals per game last year. Through seven games, the scoring rate is 5.43 per game compared to 3.86 in the first seven a year ago.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Southeast WA HS Boys Update - May 5

League play finished out over the past week for the Mid-Columbia Conference, which saw a complete mix between the 4A and 3A schools - a stark contrast from the Greater Spokane League. Meanwhile, Wenatchee locked up the top spot in the Columbia Basin Big 9, which has three teams battling for second going into the final few days of the season this week.

Spokane-Plus HS Boys Weekly Report - May 5

Alex Garza (10) and Medical Lake had plenty to celebrate Thursday at Lakeside 
With Central Valley having already secured the GSL title, the final week of the season was all about seeding... and it was a rough eight days for Ferris, which went from a first-place showdown with the Bears to finishing fourth. Meanwhile, Pullman took care of business in the GNL to wrap up the title and things got very interesting among the top three in the NEA with an extra week still to go.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Spokane’s EPLWA title defense opens with a bang

Home opener for Wenatchee also served as the season opener for the Shadow | Full gallery [+] 
The early moments of the match showed signs of a Spokane team still coming together due to collegiate player availability, but by the time the intermission was over everyone was on the same page. A 3-2 halftime lead turned into an 8-2 victory against host Wenatchee FC as the defending champion Shadow ran past the Capitals to a season opening Evergreen Premier League win.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

EPLWA this Weekend - Week 2

The eastern trio of the Evergreen Premier League will all be in action the second week of the season as the defending champion Spokane Shadow take to the pitch for the first time. The title defense for Spokane begins Sunday in Wenatchee. Yakima United, meanwhile, is heading to Bellingham Sunday.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Southeast WA HS Boys Update - April 30

Inland NW Soccer News' coverage of high school soccer has gone well. Meanwhile, over the past few weeks, the site has been quietly working on building up a database to provide similar updates on the bigger classifications to the south in the Mid-Columbia Conference and the Columbia Basin Big 9.

Help Us Out - Missing high school game info

Thank you for your viewership and INWsn hopes you are enjoying the site and its new expanded coverage of the high school ranks. Unfortunately, the difficulty in covering high school sports is that sometimes it can be difficult to track down complete information due to its online availability or a lack of communication with coaches, etc. INWsn has done its best to get create a database of HS info, but is missing the following information.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Spokane-Plus HS Boys Weekly Report - April 27

Central Valley celebrates clinching top spot in the Greater Spokane League Friday night
Teams are still scrapping for the regular season title going into the final week or so of play in the Great Northern League and the Northeast A League, but the top spot is all settled in the Greater Spokane League following a fantastic showdown Friday evening at Joe Albi Stadium that finished with the Central Valley Bears clinching the crown. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, Pullman ended a long drought versus Cheney and ROGERS ended a four-plus years long winless run with a victory Friday.

EPLWA Round-Up - Week One

Wenatchee opened with a narrow loss at Seattle Saturday
Most of the Evergreen Premier League kicked off play this weekend, but it was a tough couple opening days for Wenatchee FC and Yakima United, who both fell in their season debuts while the Spokane Shadow wait another week to get things under way.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Spokane-Plus HS Boys Weekly Report - April 20

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.