Scarlet and gray vs. black and gold on the pitch with a chance to compete for a state berth on the line….a preview and our thoughts

It’s a big night on the pitch at Mount Si High School as the Wildcats look to keep their boys’ soccer season alive. To do this, they have to beat an upstart team from Inglemoor.

KINGCO 4A BOYS’ SOCCER
KINGCO TOURNAMENT – LOSER OUT
MOUNT SI WILDCATS VS. INGLEMOOR VIKINGS
MOUNT SI HIGH SCHOOL – KICKOFF 7:00 PM – YOUTUBE (SEARCH MOUNT SI SOCCER)

The Wildcats narrowly avoided a heartbreaking early exit on Tuesday, with Sullivan Smith scoring the game-winner in overtime for Mount Si in their surprisingly tougher than expected 2-1 win over Eastlake in the first round of these playoffs. Tonight’s opponent won’t be any easier, either.

Inglemoor may have finished the league schedule under .500 at 6-8-3 and in sixth place overall, but they seem to be taking a page from their peers on the baseball team up there in Kenmore, who themselves just won the Kingco title last night despite also finishing in sixth this spring, and displaying their own “Cinderella” spirit. They surprised Newport Tuesday 2-1 in their first round match to advance to tonight, and have given Mount Si problems this spring; the Wildcats are 0-1-1 against Inglemoor in 2018, with a 1-1 tie at Mount Si March 22 followed by a 3-1 win by the Vikings at Pop Keeney Stadium April 19.

So with that in mind, the key for Mount Si once again will be to start out strong. But also figure out a way to maintain that momentum. That second part proved to be lacking in the game Tuesday against Eastlake, as the Wildcats couldn’t hold their momentum after scoring the opening goal two minutes in and saw the Wolves tie it in the second half to force that extra session, where Mount Si ultimately took care of business. A lot of that can be attributed to the “lockdown” style defense that Eastlake played against Mount Si in the game Tuesday, a defense that frankly could be best described as soccer’s version of the basketball “press.” Will Inglemoor employ that against Mount Si? Who knows, but if they do, the Wildcats must be ready.

Leading Mount Si will be senior forwards Alec “Big Al” Bothwell and Kyle Hunter. The two All-Kingco first-teamers were active on Tuesday, with Bothwell scoring the opening goal and Hunter coming close to winning it in regulation, only to have the goal late in the second half called back on an offside call by officials which we believed watching it from upstairs in the press box at Mount Si’s stadium to be a correct call. It was close, to be sure, but we give those officials the benefit of the doubt on that call. Speaking of officials, that crew was busy that night and we’d anticipate that to be the case again tonight, as both teams could play a real physical game this evening.

First-team GK Keane Speed and D Ryan Klee, both seniors, will lead the Vikings this evening. With those two in key positions, it will be a challenge for Mount Si perhaps to get much going. But Wildcat assistant coach Ben Tomlisson, as we told you in our game wrap from Tuesday, did remind the boys in the postgame huddle following the win about learning the lessons from that win over the Wolves, and you can be sure they were addressing those hard yesterday at practice. Because they don’t want a repeat of what nearly happened to them Tuesday. These guys have a destination in mind: state. And while a game Saturday if they win tonight could be real challenging – as it would be at either Issaquah or Skyline, the top two teams this season in Kingco – with the full roster back and healthy, Mount Si should find themselves real competitive against either opponent. Look, they played the Spartans in their place last week and tied them 3-3. That there to us says enough about whether the team will be competitive against those top teams in the league should they get to Saturday.

But to get there they’ll have to avoid the near-heartbreak of Tuesday, and we think that may be a bit of an ask. Mount Si knows what it needs to do but the question is one of if Inglemoor employs the same type of defense Eastlake did Tuesday, how will the Wildcats respond? The first 10 minutes of this thing tonight should be telling. If Mount Si can get out of the gate strong and continue that kind of pressure, like what was expected against the Wolves Tuesday, this thing will be over early. But if we end up with a repeat of what actually went down against Eastlake, it’s going to be a long night.

We look for Mount Si’s boys to get it done, but we’re not going to be nearly as rosy as we were the other day about those chances.

MOUNT SI 2, INGLEMOOR 0

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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