The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
Another KingCo 3A Girls Soccer season is in the books. 2012 was a hard-fought season that ended with second through fourth in the standings within one point. In a remarkable campaign, Liberty High School ran away with the title.
Nevertheless, Mercer Island coach Terry Ryan calls KingCo a “highly competitive conference which brings out the best in every player and team.” Very humble coming from a coach whose team finished second in the standings and third in our coaches poll. Mercer Island also showed that they can compete in the state playoffs, falling just short by a score of 1-0 at the hands of Kamiakin.
goalWA.net year-end coaches poll
Also telling of the competitiveness of KingCo was Bellevue High coach Scott Smith. Although Bellevue finished in the bottom half of the table, they “competed very well with every team (they) faced.” Smith continued, “We only gave up more than 1 goal in a game twice during the season. Against the top teams in the league we maintained higher possession stats and had more shots on goal then our opponents. They did have a couple weaknesses, though. “With only 3 Seniors on the team we had some amount of inexperience at times”. The other weakness being finishing. “We consistently missed shots that should have been easy to put in the back of the net and that was the difference between us winning 2-1 and losing 1-0.” To be fair, there definitely was a bright side to Bellevue’s season. “That being said our performances on the ball were excellent and we played an attractive style of soccer never sacrificing our philosophy. I am pleased with the progress we made over the season and am looking forward to continuing to advance our brand of soccer next year.”
Seattle Times final league standings
Statistics and match reports back Smith, showing that, no matter the attractiveness of Bellevue’s play, they had trouble putting the ball in the back of the net, thus pulling them towards the bottom of the standings and lower in the coaches poll. The KingCo 3A coaches’ poll which I have refered to earlier, was conducted by goalWA.net after the conclusion of conference play. From top to bottom, Liberty, Mount Si, Mercer Island, Interlake, Bellevue, Juanita, Lake Washington, and rounded out by Sammamish. Interestingly, the coaches placed the teams quite differently than the final standings would suggest.
Only one team was placed exactly the same by all coaches, Liberty High School. Liberty ran away with the conference championship and just ended their season tonight with a loss in the state semifinals. Liberty are coached by the experienced Tami Nguyen, a former player (where she won the Pac-10 Championship) and assistant coach at UW and Portland State.
Liberty started with two non-conference losses against 4A teams Skyline and Issaquah, which Coach Nguyen said “humbled” the team. “We responded very well from these two games and have continued to improve from one game to the next. We have great leadership on our team from our senior class and our team chemistry is very good, which always helps and makes the year so enjoyable.” Nguyen says that the first goal was to win KingCo, which they accomplished. Even if they didn’t quite reach the second, winning the state title, this season could be looked at as nothing but successful.
With another rewarding season of conference play behind us, we can only ponder who will ascend, decline, and shake up the KingCo 3A Girls Soccer landscape next.
Fan Video: Mt. Si goals against Liberty