It’s a first round state playoff rematch from last year. Sumner. Mount Si. The Spartans did the Wildcats in last year, so what do we think about this year? Preview and pick right here, right now.

Mount Si High School’s boys’ soccer team faces a familiar foe in their first round state playoff opener. Will the result be different than last year?

KINGCO 4A SOCCER
WIAA 4A STATE PLAYOFFS – FIRST ROUND (LOSER OUT)
MOUNT SI WILDCATS VS. SUMNER SPARTANS
MOUNT SI HIGH SCHOOL, 7:00 P.M. KICK – YOUTUBE (SEARCH PHOTOMATTO)

The Wildcats come into tonight’s game off a heartbreaking penalty kick shootout loss in the Wes-King district title game last Thursday night to Jackson. Mount Si was within seconds perhaps of locking up the district title when they fouled the Timberwolves inside the penalty area allowing Jackson a penalty kick attempt to tie, which they converted to force extra time and the resulting shootout, which they took 6-5. The Wildcats will look to bounce back tonight, and do to Sumner what the Spartans did to Mount Si last year – end their season with a first-round state playoff loss.

Sumner is 12-2-4 on the season and finished second in the South Puget Sound League with a strong 6-1-1 record. They advanced into tonight’s game off a 5-3 win on Saturday over Mountain View from Vancouver in the West Central/Southwest bi-district tournament down in Puyallup. In that game, senior Alec LaBarge did most of the damage, tallying up a hat trick of three goals; he leads the team with 13 goals and eight assists this season. LaBarge was a factor last year, too, in that playoff game with the Wildcats, scoring a goal and adding an assist as Sumner eliminated Mount Si with a 2-1 result on their home turf at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner. But the tables are turned tonight with the Wildcats hosting, so will that be any difference?

Who knows, but this senior group from Mount Si knows well two things: one, they must play a more disciplined game than they did last Thursday, and two, this Sumner team is pretty potent, what with other players aside from LaBarge also being big presences offensively as well. John Gugilemetti had a goal on Saturday and also had an assist in last year’s playoff game with the Wildcats. He has six goals and five assists this season. Mitch Hutter has three goals and 10 assists this year and was one of five with assists this past Saturday. He had the other goal for Sumner in last year’s playoff win.

About that discipline – it was a card-filled affair last Thursday night, with several yellow cards assessed to players and coaches from Mount Si, a pair of which in rapid succession late went against Wildcat coach Darren Brown, who was ejected as a result. Physical and mental discpline from both players and coaches will need to be a key in this one, and we expect that that will be the case tonight. Especially since the officials tonight will be assigned by the WIAA and likely not be Kingco officials. The team learned some very valuable lessons out of that game, and we expect they’ll be better for it tonight.

There is one big difference of course for Mount Si this year compared to last, and he’s going to be a big factor tonight – senior Drew Harris was not on the Wildcats last year for that playoff game, and he is this year. Add him into the mix and Sumner’s defense could have their hands full.

But aside from that, this roster is largely the same from last year, so Sumner should not find too much different about this year’s Mount Si package compared to last year’s one.

So with that all said, what are the keys for the Wildcats? Well, same as last week. Score early, build a nice lead, then play smart. With the defense and with their heads as well. Again, mental focus will need to be on their game tonight, especially since they have spent the past couple of days going over film and notes likely about Sumner from this past Saturday’s game. Brown and a number of Mount Si folks were at that Sumner game doing scouting so everyone is well aware of what to expect tonight.

Our final analysis is this: The boys have a goal in mind, and that is to send their soon-to-be retired coach off in style having won a state title. But that road will be a challenging one. This senior group, led by Harris, Reed Paradissis, Cal State East Bay-bound Mateo DiDomenico and PLU-bound Jared Davies, really does not want their season to end tonight. Especially after what happened last Thursday. We’d look for this senior group to lead and lead by example tonight. Winner here meets Issy in their barn, probably on Friday. Issy ripped Tahoma 4-1 last night to advance. We expect a Kingco quarterfinal rematch on Friday. Mount Si gets this done and does to Sumner what they did to the Wildcats last year.

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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