Men's Soccer Playoffs - First Round Preview
Photo: Wilson Tsoi
Men’s 1st Round – November 4th
North #3 Edmonds at West #2 Tacoma
The last time these two teams met was back in August at the Friendlies, a game that ended in a 1-1 draw. Edmonds enters the playoffs after an emotional 1-0 victory over top ranked Peninsula to conclude the regular season. 6’5” So. forward Kobin Nuss leads the team with 7 goals and 6’2” Fr. Karim Piottin-Ndiaye adds 7 assists. Tacoma finishes the regular season ranked 3rd in the NWAC after starting the season unranked. Their only 2 losses on the year are to #1 ranked Highline and the Titans 8 recorded shutouts is tied for second best in the NWAC. The attack is lead by Fr. Tanner Allison (6), along with 14 others that have recorded goals this season.
The winner plays Clark on November 7th in Vancouver, WA.
West #3 Bellevue at North #2 Whatcom
Bellevue is lead by Netherlands native Anthony Dean (11 goals) who is coming off of a recent 4 goal performance against South Puget Sound. Their signature win of the year comes from back in August against Chemeketa so the Bulldogs will be ready for a solid performance. Whatcom defeated Shoreline 2-1 on Halloween to secure the #2 seed in the North in a much needed win to regain some confidence. The defense is lead by 6’4” Fr. Goalkeeper Hector Gutierrez who has recorded 89 saves and a league best 82.9 SV%.
The winner plays Spokane on November 7th in Spokane, WA.
East #3 Columbia Basin at South #2 Chemeketa
Despite losses in the final two game of the regular season, Columbia Basin was able to stay 1 point ahead of Treasure Valley thanks in large part to several key wins throughout the course of the season. The Hawks are lead by two Freshman, Esteban Ojeda (7 goals, 3 assists) and Cesar Bernal (4 goals, 2 assists). Chemeketa is the hottest team playing in the first round, winners of 6 straight and their last lost coming back on September 23rd. The Storm attack has 3 of the top 10 goal scorers in the NWAC in Elvis Pavon (13), Gustavo Mendoza (11), and Jorge Rico (9).
The winner plays Highline on November 7th in Tukwila, WA.
South #3 Southwestern Oregon at East #2 Walla Walla
Southwestern Oregon has scored the fewest goals among all playoff teams (21) yet a sound defense, 6 recorded shutouts, has kept them in plenty of matches. Their most recent key win came last week against South Region Champion and 5th ranked Clark. Graham Hatten leads the Lakers with 6 goals. Walla Walla started the season out hot, not recording a loss until October 3rd. Six total draws in their final record is the highest among all playoff teams, so the Warriors could have just as easily won the East Region Champion as missed the playoffs altogether. The attack is a three headed monster between Emilio Meraz-Rodriguez (25pts), Jose Anguiano (17 pts), and Brenden Kenley (13pts).
The winner plays Peninsula on November 7th in Port Angeles, WA.