Mount Si seniors lead way, help Wildcat boys soccer clinch return trip to Kingco playoffs with Senior Night home win

Mount Si High School’s boys’ soccer program held its Senior Night festivities last night, as it finished up its spring “Friday Night Lights” schedule hosting Inglemoor in a huge clash at Mount Si’s stadium in Snoqualmie that saw the Wildcats break out to an early lead, and maintain that all the way to the finish line to lock up a playoff spot.

Goals from Caelan Johnson and Kyle Hunter lifted Mount Si to the 2-1 win that clinched a return trip to the Kingco 4A postseason and in the process eliminated the Vikings from postseason contention. Mount Si now has four wins, four losses and five ties in league with 19 points, tied with Eastlake (6-6-1) for fourth place in the conference, while Inglemoor dropped to 4-8-1 in league play. Mount Si overall is now 6-4-5 on the season.

“Big win. And now we’re, what, 4-0-2 in the second half, we’re hot. We’re hot. We’re starting to come together, and we’re doing the things we’ve been talking about all along,” said Mount Si coach Darren Brown, as his team continues to improve in the second half, and now looks to close out with a flourish on Tuesday against last-place Woodinville.

Mount Si opened the scoring in the 17th minute, with the help of an Inglemoor turnover deep in their own end. Alec Bothwell was the recipient of that turnover and proceeded to fire a shot on goal, which missed, but Johnson, one of several Wildcat seniors honored prior to the game for their four years in the program, picked up the resulting rebound and made no mistake, zooming it past Viking keeper Caleb Travis for the 1-0 lead.

“I just knew I had to get to the ball. The keeper bobbled it a bit, so I got back as quick as I could and then just slid it low,” he said, adding that he’ll miss being a part of this team. “Just all the hard work everyone puts in here. Everyone on the team just bonds so well together,” Johnson said.

Mount Si went into halftime up by that 1-0 score, and they extended that lead in the 69th minute. Junior Hunter put together a great individual effort, sneaking past several Inglemoor defenders, then fired a shot from a very sharp angle to the left of Travis past the Viking junior keeper and into the net. The absolutely filthy goal, a literal thing of beauty, put the Wildcats in comfortable shape for a postseason berth. “(Coach Brown) just threw me back out wide and said, ‘Get in and take that kid on and go to the goal’ and that’s what I did,” Hunter said. “That was dirty. Dirty,” Brown said. “We’ve been getting on him about it. He’ll tell you first hand we’ve been saying ‘Go direct,’” The coach then added, “We’ve been harping on him about it, to be honest.”

Hunter will miss his senior teammates. “They’re great leaders and they bring the energy at practice and honestly, they’re just best friends,” he said.

Mount Si looked as if they were going to cruise home, and fellow seniors Griffin Popp and A.J. Zanas would share in a clean sheet manning the Wildcat goal. But Inglemoor changed that in the 73rd minute, with a laser that raced past a diving Zanas into the back of the net, cutting their deficit in half. Mount Si toughened up on defense the rest of the way, and closed the deal to punch their return trip.

Brown will miss his seniors. “A lot of these guys have been with me a long time, so it’s special,” he said. “We’ve played a lot of games together, like over 50, so this is meaningful to me because I remember when they were young.” Team leader Cameron Dwight will remember his four years well with MSHS. “It’s been a lot of fun. Every year has been different, but I’ve gotten to know a lot of people and who they are as a person and as a player and it has been a good life experience,” he said. Same for fellow senior Nathaniel Apone, whose work ethic will not be forgotten by this program. “A lot of good experiences,” he said. “Learned a lot, not just in soccer, but in life.”

Mount Si wraps up the regular season on Tuesday at Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell meeting the Falcons at 5:30. A win with an Eastlake loss or tie could see the Wildcats finish fourth in league and thus earn a home playoff game next Saturday.

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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