It’s the playoffs, baby!!! Mount Si’s boys soccer team starts climb to potential state title in Daffodil Country. Preview and our thoughts now……

Time now to head to the pitch. It’s a big night in the history of Mount Si High School’s boys’ soccer program. For only the third time in school history, and first since 2010, the Wildcats embark on the road to a state championship.

KINGCO 4A BOYS’ SOCCER
WIAA STATE 4A FIRST ROUND, LOSER OUT
MOUNT SI WILDCATS AT SUMNER SPARTANS
SUNSET CHEVROLET STADIUM, SUMNER – KICK 7:00 P.M. – YOUTUBE AVAILABLITY TBD

Mount Si finished the season 11-5-3 and in fourth in Kingco 4A, and advanced to tonight’s game after the dramatic efforts of a certain freshman goalie named Colby Ramsey on Saturday. We mentioned this for you yesterday in our Athlete of the Week segment, how Ramsey stopped three straight shots in a penalty-kick shootout sequence that followed 90 minutes of regulation and overtime soccer in which Mount Si and Issaquah finished in a 1-1 tie in their winner-to-state loser-out conference playoff battle at Skyline High School in Sammamish, before the young man, on the eighth attempt in the shootout with that tied 4-4 and in sudden death, fired a ball past his Eagle goalie counterpart into the side of the net giving the Wildcats the shootout win, the game win and its historic trip to state, the second time that longtime head coach Darren Brown has done this with the Mount Si team.

Sumner finished 16-2-0 this season and we mentioned yesterday their players to watch. To review, junior midfielder Alec Labarge leads SHS offensively, having racked up over 20 goals and 10 assists this season. Fellow junior Mitch Hutter’s numbers have been more modest, but it looks as if he provides a more supporting role to their offense. 11 goals and 10 assists according to the latest MaxPreps numbers, so he’s a guy Mount Si’s defense will have to also watch. A third player that could attract some interest is senior Ryan Griffith. While he’s only had a couple of goals, he’s also assisted around 10 others this season, so he, too, could be a figure to keep an eye on in this one for the home side.

“Big Al” Alec Bothwell leads Mount Si; he scored the goal on Saturday and now has 14 goals and six assists. Should mention as well that it was the connection of “Sully” Sullivan Smith and Bothwell that delivered that Wildcat tally on Saturday; initially it was reported that Banner Hovinga had that assist. Even so, Hovinga’s going to be a big piece tonight, especially as Sumner’s defense will probably be paying attention again to Smith and Bothwell, who have connected on Mount Si’s last three goals – the one on Saturday and the two last Thursday in the Wildcat Kingco playoff win over Inglemoor.

Also, keep an eye on defender Jaxen Maw, forward Kyle Hunter and defender Jake Jimenez. All three of these guys will need to provide strong supporting roles to help the Wildcats this evening.

We haven’t seen any film on Sumner, but we suspect Mount Si’s players have. So we would expect the Wildcats to be ready for this game, and based on our paper assessment of Sumner, we think this could be doable tonight.

Sumner, granted, has had a strong record this season, and they certainly earned their top district seed into the state tournament, having won that this past weekend. But, as we noted yesterday, one thing that may work in Mount Si’s favor is league strength. It has been said and argued that the Kingco 4A conference perhaps may be among the best in the state. The South Puget Sound League, of which Sumner is part of, had its bottom half this year at .500 or well under it. Sumner, like Mount Si, did not play a single game outside of its conference until its first round district game last week against Heritage from Vancouver in Clark County, a member of a Greater St. Helens League which is also considered to be fairly decent.

That said, Kingco might be a little tougher animal for Sumner to crack. Look, and we’ll talk about this perhaps later, had Issy beaten Mount Si and made it, people would have viewed them as a state title contender, and looking at Skyline, they’re probably favored in their game tonight with Auburn Riverside, so if they can beat we think Puyallup on Saturday at Sparks, all that would perhaps separate them from a title is maybe having to beat the Wildcats in the semis. So the stage is set, it seems, for Kingco to have a strong run in this tournament.

With that all said, here’s what we think. Again, as we discussed last weekend, first 10 minutes of this one should tell the tale. Whichever team can score first and perhaps end up dictating the flow and pace of things for the other should be in good shape to win this. And with this in mind, we suspect that if Mount Si can play the way they have shown the past two weeks with everyone back in the fold, they get this done. Will be a close one and Sumner will certainly put up a fight, but we like the Wildcats in this one. Look for a win, and a trip north on Saturday (Glacier Peak of Snohomish plays Olympia tonight for the right to meet the Mount Si-Sumner winner on Saturday in the quarters. We like Peak in a walk there).

MOUNT SI 2, SUMNER 1

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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