Glacier Peak wins district title, state tourney opener | Boys soccer

Grizzlies advance to state quarterfinals for 3rd straight year
By David Pan | May 19, 2017
Photo by: David Pan Glacier Peak’s Miles Johnston eyes the ball during a first round 4A state tournament game against Decatur Wednesday, May 17, at Glacier Peak HIgh School.

Glacier Peak is headed to the state boys soccer quarterfinals for the third straight year.

Junior Owen Padilla scored in the 18th minute and junior Brayden Corwin added an insurance goal with less than two minutes remaining in the second half to lead the Grizzlies to a 2-0 victory over Decatur in a first-round 4A state tournament game Wednesday, May 17, at Glacier Peak High School.

Glacier Peak now will attempt to advance to the semifinals for the first time in school history. The Grizzlies face Skyline in a quarterfinal matchup at 5 p.m., Saturday, May 20 at Skyline High School.

Glacier Peak coach Kyle Veach saw an air of confidence in his players as they prepared for Wednesday’s contest.

“We walked out of training yesterday and we were very confident coming into today,” he said. “The boys are clicking. They’re moving the ball around well. We’re happy with how the guys are playing and the chemistry of the team and just the focus.”

Most of the team were around when Glacier Peak lost to Auburn-Riverside in the quarterfinals in 2015 and they were there when the Grizzlies fell to Lakeside in the quarterfinal in 2016.

Now the task at hand is to push through the quarterfinals. The focus for the Grizzlies this year was the state tournament, Veach said.

“All of our emphasis was on state,” he said. “We’re in a four-game season and we’re 1-0 so far. Now it’s time to keep going.”

Veach said that he felt Glacier Peak dominated play against the Decatur, though the Gators nearly took the lead when a shot bounced off the crossbar four minutes into the game. The shot ended up being Decatur’s best scoring opportunity of the night.

The Grizzlies (14-4-1) have allowed only one goal in three playoff games.

“It’s exactly what you want – a lot of shutouts,” Veach said of his defense. “A lot of really good results and very well organized. We can’t ask for more from them.”

The Grizzlies forced the Decatur goalkeeper to make a diving save on a header in the 10th minute and then Danny Guerrero nearly scored on a shot from 18 yards out in the 16th minute.

Padilla’s goal was the result of a corner kick by Guerrero. Padilla nearly scored his second goal of the game on a breakaway three minutes into the second half, but the Decatur goalkeeper came out and made the save.

“Our boys were prepared and created the right opportunities and put them away,” Veach said. “We felt like we dominated the game pretty much from start to finish. We were able to put two away. I think we would have been happier to get more in. We created enough chances to put more away, but we’ll walk away with the 2-0 result happy.”

Glacier Peak shuts out Mariner in 4A    District 1 title game

All season long, Glacier Peak relied on Keegan Rubio and Danny Guerrero for much of its offense.

The two juniors didn’t disappoint in one of the toughest games of the season.

Rubio scored off an assist by Guerrero in the 59th minute to lead Glacier Peak to a 1-0 victory over Mariner in the 4A District 1 boys soccer championship game Thursday, May 11, at Lake Stevens High School.

“Keegan and Danny, a lot of our offense flows through them,” Glacier Peak coach Kyle Veach said. “Keegan …  is lethal at all times. He’s leading our team in goals and Danny ... he’s leading our team in assists. They combine all of the time.”

The two connect almost every day at practice.

“I’ve seen them do it all throughout the regular season and preseason,” Veach said. “It’s beautiful. It’s exactly what they do.”

The Marauders, who advanced to the state quarterfinals last season, kept battling to the end to try to tie the score. The Grizzlies brought bodies back to thwart Mariner.

“You pack it in and we packed in it,” Veach said. “They created some chances. We knew that was going to happen.”

The Grizzly defense, not only shut out Mariner this time, but limited the high-powered Marauder offense to only two goals in two games this season, a 2-1 Glacier Peak victory and a 1-1 tie.  Thursday’s shutout was only the second time Mariner has not scored this season.

“Our defense is playing great,” Veach said. “They’re really jelling together.”

Senior Camron Miller leads the backline and Veach also been impressed with the play of freshman goalkeeper Marco Guerrero, who keeps coming up with big saves.

“Ultimately to be able to come out here and keep Bakary (Dibba) scoreless through three games, I think that’s another trophy,” Veach said. “We know these kids. They play club together. It’s more than just districts. It’s their friend that they play against and play with.”

This is the third straight year Glacier Peak (13-4-1 overall) has advanced to the state tournament, though this is the first season at the 4A level. The Grizzlies  have played in the quarterfinals the last two years.

Glacier Peak lost to Edmonds-Woodway in last year’s 3A District 1 finals.

“We returned a lot of those players. They remember it and they remember the intensity and the battles and what you need to come up with in that game,” Veach said. “We knew that it was going to be a battle and that’s exactly what it was, a 1-0 result. I think it reflects accurately the game. They had chances. We had chances and we got ours and put it away.”

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