The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
by David Falk
The South Sound Shock and the Kitsap Pumas will be very interested in the results of PASL matches around Washington this weekend. The two clubs have finished first and second respectively and await the final scores to see whom they will face in the first round of the Northwest Division playoffs on Friday, February 15th.
It’s nerves and adrenaline for four of the clubs. They will battle for the third and fourth spots and a chance to face the Shock or Pumas.
For all of the talk and disappointment about the unbalanced, short PASL NW season schedule, the final week ends up with the four playoff-race clubs playing against each other. Nice.
On Saturday February 9th the Snohomish Skyhawks will host the WSA Rapids at 7 PM at the Snohomish Soccer Dome. It’s a head-to-head battle that might as well be considered the first “playoff” match for both clubs. Same goes for the kickoff the same night at the Sportsplex in Wenatchee where the first-year Arlington Aviators face the Wenatchee Fire at 7 PM.
The Fire might live to see another day as they will also host the Tumwater Pioneers on Sunday February 10th at 1 PM in a match that could decide things for the Apple City club depending on Saturday’s results.
The top four clubs qualify for the post-season. Tiebreakers may be needed when the dust clears this weekend.
Here are the league tiebreaker rules:
a) Head to head results (if applicable)
b) Head to head goal differential (if applicable)
c) Head to head goals for (if applicable)
d) Best winning percentage in division (if applicable)
e) Division goal differential (if applicable)
f) Division goals for (if applicable)
g) Best winning percentage in conference (if applicable)
h) Conference goal differential (if applicable)
i) Conference goals for (if applicable)
j) Coin Flip
Who owns tiebreakers?
The Rapids own the tiebreaker over the Aviators and Fire. They split during the season but WSA won the goal differential. The Rapids beat the Skyhawks 7:4 in their first match, so a win or tie on Feb.9 at the SoccerDome against Snohomish would clinch a berth for WSA. The Skyhawks own the tiebreaker over the Aviators, but Wenatchee owns the tiebreaker over the Skyhawks. Arlington’s only way in is to tie or beat the Fire. Snohomish can get in if they beat the Rapids by more than three goals and Wenatchee finishes with less than 12 points. Wenatchee is in for sure if they get a win and draw, or a win and a Rapids loss.
The Rapids beat the Skyhawks 7:4 in Bellingham. The Aviators beat the Fire 6:5 in Arlington. Wenatchee and Tumwater have not yet played each other.
The possible outcomes can be simplified a bit by who does and doesn’t need “help” to make the playoffs. The Fire, Aviators and Rapids all hold their destiny in their own hands: win and you’re in (Wenatchee might need two positive results.) The Skyhawks need some help from Wenatchee’s foes.
Of course since these clubs are playing each other, not everyone can win.