The formula for both Sehome and Burlington-Edison to get to the playoffs is simple: win.
Thing is, only one will have the opportunity to advance to the postseason as they face each other for the final 2A district spot coming out of the Northwest Conference.
The Mariners have several things working in their favor, but none may be more important than the emotional high they will be riding playing at Civic Stadium on senior night. The game is set to start at 7:30 p.m., Monday, May 5, and it could very be the final game Sam Diehl, Sam Willis, Shea Wirth, Tristan Clem, Jesse Haggen and Ethan Hassi play.
Here’s a scouting report for both teams entering this must-win:
Sehome (9-2-4, NWC 7-2-2)Last five games: 2-1 win over Meridian; 3-1 win over Nooksack Valley; 1-1 tie to Lynden; 4-0 win over Blaine; 1-0 win over Bellingham.Key Players: Sam Diehl (Sr., defender); Gabe Weight (So., forward/midfielder); Charlie Lahud (So., forward/midfielder); Zach Wanne (Jr., forward/midfielder/defender).Sehome scouting report: The Mariners play defense really, really well. Sam Diehl captains their backline as well as anyone in the league, and it’s shown to the tune of only allowing 12 goals in 15 games. Devin Trueb and Max Diehl, Sam’s younger brother, have combined to make a strong 1-2 combo for John Sylvester in net, but it’s anyone’s guess of who he will go with in tonight’s game. What Sylvester can rely on, though, is that his defense is going to make life tough on Burlington-Edison. The true test in this game is going to be whether or not Sehome can score, which it has struggled doing for much of this season. Sylvester has tried several lineup changes up front, but he’s still searching for that perfect mixture of players to create, and finish, on that end. Gabe Weight and Charlie Lahud are talented up front, and Zach Wanne could have had two goals against Meridian on Thursday, May 1, but regardless someone is going to have to make something happen. Burlington-Edison’s defense is no slouch, so the game will be either won or lost for the Mariners on that end.
Burlington-Edison (8-7-0, NWC 7-4-0)Last five games: 2-1 win over Bellingham; 2-1 loss to Meridian; 3-2 win over Nooksack Valley; 2-1 win over Mount Baker; 4-0 loss to Anacortes.Key players: Jose Barajas (Sr., forward); Alex Woodard (So., forward); Blake Dimock (Sr., midfielder), Tanner Gates (Sr., forward/midfielder). Burlington-Edison scouting report: The Tigers have had, well, an odd season. Or better yet, an unpredictable season. When posed with a must-win against Bellingham on April 29, Burlington-Edison responded with a gritty, tough, 2-1 win with goals from Jose Barajas and Alex Woodard. Just four days prior to that game, though, they fell to Meridian 2-1 against a team that ended the regular season 4-12 overall. Puzzling. To know what team Sehome will face is anyone’s guess, but if playing up to their potential, this is a straight 50-50 coin flip. Tanner Gates and Blake Dimock provide experience in the middle of the Tigers’ attack, so one of them could very well break through and win this game for Burlington-Edison. At the same time, the Tigers’ defense has allowed a staggering 20 goals in 11 conference games this year, a facet they will most certainly have to tighten up given their opportunities will be few and far between.
Prediction: Sehome wins 2-1.Burlington-Edison will struggle to score a single goal, and I think the Mariners’ offense will finally find what it has been looking for all season. They may very well bust out for more than two goals, and it could be because Sam Willis gets a few along with Gabe Weight.