State soccer: A look at the Class 2A semifinalists

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMay 30, 2014 

Here's a look at the final four teams in the boys' Class 2A state soccer tournament.

SQUALICUM VS. TOPPENISH

6 p.m. Friday, May 30, at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner, Washington

ABOUT SQUALICUM

Nickname: Storm

Enrollment: 1,007

League: Northwest Conference (First; 19-0-2 overall, NWC 12-0-0)

District: 1

State appearances: 5

State titles: 1 (2009)

Coach: Joe McAuliffe

Scouting for the Storm: Squalicum is the lone undefeated team left in the 2A classification. It has gotten to this point unblemished thanks to a defense that hasn't allowed a goal in 14 straight games, and an offense that is meticulous and highly intelligent with the ball. Coach Joe McAuliffe has talent in every single position, especially the midfield, where he relies on a group led by senior captain Arne Peterson and junior Quinn Carpenter. Squalicum enters the game with a goal differential of 70-5.

Player to watch: David Abbott-Smith (Sr., forward/midfield). Abbott-Smith doesn't start, but he's as talented a player as there is on Squalicum. He can score at any given moment while on the field, and he plays with a tenacity the Storm desperately need.

Key number: 9. The number of players that have combined to score Squalicum's 10 state goals. Only Quinn Carpenter has more than one goal in the first two rounds.

ABOUT TOPPENISH

Nickname: Wildcats

Enrollment: 603.0

League: Central Washington Athletic Conference (Second; 15-5-1 overall, CWAC 7-2-0)

District: 5

State appearances: 6

State titles: 0

Coach: Uriel Gonzalez

Scouting for the Wildcats: Toppenish got to the state semifinals after defeating Pullman 2-1 in the first round and Othello 3-0 in the second round. The Wildcats enter winners of five consecutive games dating back to their regular-season finale, and their goal differential stands as 54-15. Defense has led Toppenish through its run to the semifinals, only surrendering two goals in four playoff games.

Player to watch: Jose Chavez (Jr., forward). Chavez got the Wildcats' scoring effort started against Othello in the state quarterfinals, and he also scored in Toppenish's district title game against Grandview. He has a knack for finishing, although he will likely draw the eye of Storm all-league center back Hans Kogan.

Key number: 5. The number of games Toppenish has scored double-digit goals. Squalicum has the toughest defense left in the state tournament to score on, so that number will likely be put to the test against a group that has only allowed five goals all season.

CAPITAL VS. SEDRO-WOOLLEY

8 p.m. Friday, May 30, at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner, Washington

ABOUT CAPITAL

Nickname: Cougars

Enrollment: 990.9

League: Evergreen 2A (First; 20-2-0 overall, Evergreen 2A 12-0-0)

District: 4

State appearances: 11

State titles: 0

Coach: Andrew Lopez

Scouting for the Cougars: Capital has reeled off 11 wins over its past 12 contests, losing only to Hockinson in districts over that span. The Cougars have scraped their way through the first two rounds of state, defeating Anacortes 1-0 in the first round and Kingston 1-0 in the quarterfinals. Capital cruised through its conference in the regular season, losing only to non-league opponent Olympia while running the table and taking the league crown.

Player to watch: Jakob Racimo (Sr., goalkeeper). Capital's senior keeper has only allowed 10 goals on the year, recording 16 shutouts in the process. He helped hold Kingston scoreless for the first time this season in the state quarterfinals.

Key number: 18. That's the number of times this season that Capital has scored double-digit goals in a game. Only four times has the Cougars' offense been held to a goal or less, and on 10 different occasions it's produced four or more goals.

ABOUT SEDRO-WOOLLEY

Nickname: Cubs

Enrollment: 894

League: Northwest Conference (Fourth; 15-4-3 overall, NWC 7-2-3)

District: 1

State appearances: 1

State titles: 0

Coach: Gary Warman

Scouting for the Cubs: Sedro-Woolley is in the state semifinals for the second consecutive year, riding wins over Ridgefield (2-1) and Archbishop Murphy (3-2) in the first two rounds. The Cubs have battled to get to this point, losing twice in districts before ousting Sehome in a loser-out game. The win over Archbishop Murphy also came as a bit of surprise given the Wildcats had defeated Sedro-Woolley 5-1 in a district-seeding game for state. The Cubs have a strong attack, though, scoring 66 goals on the season versus allowing just 21.

Player to watch: Kyle Witzel (Sr., midfielder). Witzel secured the game-winning goal against Archbishop Murphy in overtime to secure the Cubs' second state semifinals in as many years.

Key number: 1. All four of Sedro-Woolley's playoff wins (two in districts and two in state) have come by one goal. The Cubs seem more than willing to keep things close and pull a win out late.

Reach Alex Bigelow at 360-715-2238 or alex.bigelow@bellinghamherald.com or call 360-715-2238. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for other Whatcom County sports updates.

Bellingham Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service