Heading into the final weekend before girls’ soccer and volleyball state tournaments, there are a few teams still searching for a playoff spot, while others have already clinched. Here’s a look at where every Whatcom County team stands:
Meridian (1A) - The Trojans face Bear Creek in a winner-in, loser-out game Saturday. Meridian’s last game was a week ago — a shootout loss. Meanwhile, Bear Creek is fresh off a 10-0 beating of Mount Baker in the bi-district tournament. The Grizzlies play in the Emerald City League and went 10-2-2. The Trojans, however, have one of the best trio of forwards in the Northwest Conference and I see them sneaking past Bear Creek.
Sehome (2A) - Earlier this week, I said it was looking like Sehome was on the outside looking in after opening districts with a 2-0 loss. They certainly proved me wrong with a 2-0 win over Bellingham, clinching a spot in the state tournament. The Red Raiders struggled with injuries to Hattie North and Mia Hodges in the playoffs, but the Mariners are just a good team. They have myriad players that can score and don’t be surprised if they make a run in the state tourney. They play Saturday in the consolation final but it’s merely for seeding.
Squalicum (2A) - The Storm stay undefeated. Squalicum was in control the entire time against Bellingham and the only team that’s stolen points from the Storm was Sehome on Oct. 23. Kim Hazlett is a threat at any time but it’s players such as Kim Dorr and Braeden Hilleary are threats on the outside too. Plus Payton Fowler can come in and score. None of that mentions a defense that’s only allowed eight goals this season. This team is as deep as it gets and maybe the third consecutive year in the state playoffs will pay off for the Storm. Squalicum plays in the district championship against Shorecrest Saturday.
Ferndale (3A) - The Golden Eagles sit just one win away from the first ever state berth in school history. This team showed it’s more than a “one-pony show” in the consolation semifinals when Katelyn Neher stepped up. Jordin Bartel’s 22 goals certainly grab the attention but this team is loaded with talent and coach Joe Gonzalez knows how to utilize that talent. Rachel Neher in goal is probably one of the better keepers in the NWC. They play Arlington Saturday in a winner-in, loser-out game. Arlington is off a 3-1 win over Mountlake Terrace, which Ferndale beat 2-0 in the first round of districts. It’s a toss-up between the two teams but if Ferndale puts together a second half like they did against Stanwood, expect the Golden Eagles to be moving on.
Lynden Christian (1A) - The Lyncs will play in a winner-in, loser-out game on Saturday against either Nooksack Valley or Overlake. The Lyncs are better than both teams and with Kara Bajema, Morgan Van Kooten and Madison Weg to go along with Carli Tjoelker and Hannah Rusnak this could be a team destined for a state title. They took fourth place last year.
Sehome (2A) - The Mariners are still undefeated after clinching a state spot by winning the first two rounds of the district tournament. Sehome faces Archbishop Murphy in the district championship, but only one thing is on the mind of the Mariners — winning a state title. The Mariners finished sixth last year at state but maybe the fourth consecutive trip will be the one.
Bellingham (2A) - The Red Raiders are still alive! Bellingham defeated Shorecrest 3-1 in the consolation round and now are one win away from the Red Raiders’ first state berth since 1991. Bellingham faces a very tough Lakewood team Saturday but the Red Raiders are scrappy and could get it done. It’s a tossup.
Ferndale (3A) - Ferndale only has one senior. The Golden Eagles are coming off a season where they went to the state tournament but then lost five seniors, who all played vital roles on the team. Somehow though, Ferndale is just win from another state berth. And well, it looks like they’ll be able to get it done. On Saturday, Ferndale faces Oak Harbor, a team it already beat 3-0 in the first round of the district tournament.