Mount Si’s boys soccer team advances to first-ever finals appearance, but it’s on the road. Yes. On the road. Preview and pick for Darren Brown’s last as coach right here, right now.

This final season for Mount Si High School boys’ soccer coach Darren Brown has been something special, and he’ll get a chance to celebrate the end of his career the right way tonight – competing for the thing he’s worked hard for nearly 20 years since being hired way back when as the soccer coach at this high school to bring to our community, a state title.

That is because the Wildcats got the right to compete for that 4A boys’ soccer crown tonight by scoring a 2-1 comeback win over Ferris last night in the WIAA 4A state semifinals in Puyallup. And it was largely due to the heroics of one Reed Paradissis.

Paradissis, who has become pretty revered around the Valley after his stunning goal last Saturday that helped Mount Si advance to last night’s semifinals, demonstrated that his impact is more than just clutch goals – it’s also on defense. Early in the first half, he dove to keep a Ferris shot from going into a wide open net after it became empty following a stop of a previous shot by Mount Si goalie Colby Ramsey. The Saxons, from Spokane, complained to no avail that it crossed the goal line, but oh, well, they ended up getting a goal a bit later in the half. Midway through, in the 24th minute LaQuann Crump found the ball and chipped it in past Ramsey to put Ferris on the board.

Mount Si, though, responded right away. About 90 seconds or so after Crump opened the scoring for the boys from eastern Washington, the Wildcats equalized it. Joey Salem fired a nice pass toward several Mount Si teammates, and Drew Harris was there to finish it off and ram it home past Ferris’ keeper to even things at 1-1. Then, just before halftime, Harris took a corner kick and sent it over to the back side of the Ferris goal where Paradissis was there to close the deal and put Mount Si up 2-1. The Wildcats did a nice job outplaying Ferris with their speed and quickness, and despite a number of chances late, the Saxons could not notch the tie and Mount Si moved on to the finals tonight, where they’ll be meeting the Puyallup Vikings, who beat Jackson last night to win their 4A semi.

With that all said, time now for a preview and pick.

KINGCO 4A BOYS SOCCER
WIAA 4A TITLE GAME – MOUNT SI WILDCATS AT PUYALLUP VIKINGS
SPARKS STADIUM, PUYALLUP, 5:00 PM – WIAA NETWORK AND MOUNT SI YOUTUBE FEED

We note the “at” in the heading of this because it is frankly a road game tonight for the state title for Mount Si. Sparks Stadium in Puyallup, where the semifinals and finals are being held, is the regular home field for the Vikings, and they have had a solid season. 18-2 with a 3-0 mark against Kingco teams. They beat Eastlake and Skyline in the regular season and beat Inglemoor in the state quarterfinals last weekend.

Like Ferris, the Puyallup side is loaded with seniors. Dane Helle leads the Vikings; he had two goals last night for Puyallup in their 4-0 win over Jackson, who we think Mount Si would have greatly preferred to play tonight, that’s for sure. Fellow senior Spencer Williams also had a goal as did junior Craig Johnson. Paradissis and Co. will have their hands full that’s for sure, and considering this Viking team has seen plenty of Kingco opposition this year and beaten it soundly we might add, outscoring the Kingco squads 10-3 in the three games combined, on paper this looks to us to not be the way we’d like to see Brown go out – with a loss in his last game.

But, there is something to be said for this team, and the success they’ve had this season. That goal last Saturday by Paradissis, that goal-saving play by the senior defender last night that probably ended up being real key in the end to helping secure the win over Ferris, and in general a strong defensive performance in last night’s game, this team seems destined for high places. A lot of people were down there last night, and considering everything about tonight – the game being for the title, it being the last one as coach for Brown, who has become a mainstay at this high school helping educate local kids as a physical education and sports marketing teacher and now goes to bat for them as their athletic director, and perhaps the culmination for a year that has been special on so many levels both athletically and academically for Mount Si – we would not be surprised to see a strong community turnout for this one.

And with that, we’re going to let singer Vanessa Williams take us home. Here’s her 1990’s hit song, “Save the Best for Last.” Video from YouTube and the singer’s official “VEVO” video page.

This group had a special regular season, successfully has fought through tremendous adversity in these playoffs – including having to win their state opener last week without Brown coaching them, as he served a suspension after being kicked out of the Wes-King title game following that controversial goal by the Timberwolves which helped them beat the Wildcats for that crown – and now is the talk of the town after Paradissis’ heroics last week, and perhaps moreso after his defensive heroics last night.

There’s just something about tonight, and we’re not sure what the hell it is, but tonight’s game pick is exactly like it was for us when Mount Si’s boys’ hoops team competed for the state title back in March against Gonzaga Prep. The head tells us to pick differently, but the heart tells us to do one thing and only one thing: to bleed scarlet and gray. Brown’s going to go off into the sunset as a state champ, and these boys are going to go off into the sunset as the team that helps spark tremendous growth in local youth soccer. Cascade FC and the Snoqualmie Valley Youth Soccer Association, are you ready?

MOUNT SI 2, PUYALLUP 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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