Late-season dramatics aren't solely reserved for the postseason.
The Sehome, Squalicum, Anacortes and Burlington-Edison's boys' soccer teams all enter the final game of the regular season Monday, May 5, with something to play for.
The Seahawks and Storm have already earned their spots into the Class 2A Bi-District Tournament with strong regular seasons, and Squalicum owns the conference crown outright, but they remain the top two teams in the league that haven't yet faced.
What this matchup offers is a chance for the Storm to run the table against Northwest Conference competition, building momentum for what is believed to be a long postseason run. Anacortes, on the other hand, hasn't lost in NWC play, either, and a win for the Seahawks against a talented Squalicum club could give them the confidence they need to also move deep in the playoffs.
The Seahawks, despite having an attack that produced a league-leading 58 goals, are going to have trouble penetrating a Storm backline that may be the best in the state. Squalicum has allowed only five goals all season, with just two coming over the past 11 conference games. Avery Wolfe, Hans Kogan, B.J. James and Trenton Langer make for a formidable bunch for Storm coach Joe McAuliffe - one he hopes will continue to frustrate its opponents with its physicality at the point of attack.
The other key game Monday is between Sehome and Burlington-Edison at 7:30 p.m. at Civic Stadium. Unlike the Squalicum-Anacortes match, this game has serious postseason implications for both.
As it stands, whoever takes this game receives the final 2A Bi-District playoff spot, making this a must-win for both. The Mariners, after defeating Meridian 2-1 on Thursday, May 1, don't have to win this game - they just can't lose it.
Sehome holds a two-point advantage over the Tigers, who are coming off a big 2-1 win over Bellingham on Tuesday, April 29, to keep their season alive.
The Mariners struggled to find a consistent attack against a physical Trojans club, but they weathered their nerves to get the much-needed win.
"They guys were under a lot of pressure," Sehome coach John Sylvester said following the win over Meridian. "They got done what they needed to get done."
Sehome is coming off a disappointing 2012-13 campaign in which it finished eighth in the conference overall, and sixth amongst 2A competition. That's a lingering feeling for seniors like Sam Diehl, Jesse Haggen and Sam Willis, who entered this season with the sole goal of making the postseason.
"We'll be good. Just go with Burlington," Diehl said following the win over Meridian. "That will be a challenge for our defense, and our offense should start scoring."
Scoring has been a bit of a problem for the Mariners this season, but Willis' performance up front to go along with Gabe Weight, Mason Rathkamp and Charlie Lahud has proven just enough for this team to earn wins.
With that being said, Sylvester would like his team to be more efficient with its tries, since Sehome can't expect too many against the Tigers.
FERNDALE GOES PINK
On Tuesday, May 6, the Ferndale softball team will wear specially-designed pink jerseys bringing light to breast cancer awareness.
The Golden Eagles host Squalicum at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Reach Alex Bigelow at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-715-2238. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for other Whatcom County sports updates.