The Sunday Stroll: No Fooling
HUGE week for purple and gold fans as Issaquah pulled out two benchmark wins over Mercer Island and Bellevue to stake their claim to the top spot in the Northeast Conference. Issaquah’s week started with a grind and hold on victory over Mercer Island. Ben Director’s three goals, including the final tally to ice it and Kole Lindor’s 9 groundballs led the way. The win marked the first time a WHSBLA team had beaten Mercer Island in regular season league play since Skyline pulled the trick back in 2008, a streak of 43 games.
Issaquah then turned around and survived a back and forth, double-overtime thriller over Bellevue, handing the Wolverines their first loss of the season. Issaquah was led by Matt O’Neill’s hat trick and sophomore, Julian Ritchie’s first goal of the season to win it in sudden death!
The Division I Stroll…
Biggest stories from the week that was:
- After losing two of their first three games, Eastside Catholic has now won four in a row. Further, in beating Eastlake, the Crusaders now hold the tie-break with them in battling for the 2-5 positions.
- Big wins for Mukilteo in beating Sammamish and Lake Washington this week. Knight put themselves in a great spot to capture the 6th playoff spot in the Northeast come season’s end if they can take care of business against the other two teams below them in the standings (Woodinville and Northshore) as Lakeside and Lake Tapps are the only two left on the schedule from the Southwest’s current top 6.
- Quick….Could you name the only other Division I team unbeaten in league play? Well, that would be King’s Way! Yep, the group from Vancouver continued to roll with a win over Bellarmine Prep. They now head into their spring break and will remain unbeaten for at least two more weeks until they take on Mercer Island in their next league game on April 14th.
Standout Stat Lines:
- Alex Okemah, SR, Mukilteo – The faceoff midfielder led the Knights to two big wins this week starting with a 5g,2a, 14gb performance against Sammamish. He followed with another hat-trick and 6 more groundballs in a big upset win over Lake Washington.
- Colin MacIlvennie, SO, Eastside Catholic – The Crusader’s top player continued his streak as he has recorded at least a hat-trick in every game this season. This week he dropped 6 goals and 5 assists in leading EC to big wins over Eastlake and Sammamish.
Best match-ups of the upcoming week:
- 4/2 Mercer Island @ Ward Melville – Great opportunity for Islanders facing a legendary New York powerhouse.
- 4/3 Lakeside @ Bellarmine Prep – Big one for the Southwest standings. Which Lion will roar the loudest?
- 4/3 Bellevue @ Eastside Catholic – Crusaders could be in the way of angry Wolverines looking to rebound from first loss.
- 4/3 Issaquah @ Skyline – Can Issaquah keep focus after big win? Remember the Spartans won in overtime last year!
The D2 Stroll…
· Plenty of movers and shakers in Division II as there are a few squads that really took to heart the fact that we may have ignored them. Great to see motivated squads battling with something to prove:
- Skagit Conference– Now three teams at the .500 mark after Stanwood and Whatcom each won two games this week to pull to 3-3.
- Cascade Conference – The most excitement, surprises and statements took place in the Cascade this week. Snohomish made a clear statement that they are top dog with a 16-4 beat down of Everett followed by a win over Edmonds. Panthers have yet to play Providence but already hold win over Wenatchee. Wenatchee and Everett each surprised and stated, “What about us?” in response to our leaving them out of the playoff predictions. Wenatchee pulled out a thrilling 13-12 overtime decision over Providence. Even more impressive considering they had to drive over Stevens Pass on a weeknight to do so! Despite the loss to Snohomish, Everett also took a turn handing Providence a one-goal loss. Stringfellow, Hawkins and Strong led the Seawolves. This is clearly the strongest conference as Monroe appears the only non-factor. Wenatchee and Providence are each below .500 and yet both have shown to be playoff caliber teams. Going to be a great battle between Edmonds, Everett, Wenatchee and Providence for two playoff spots and going to be rough for two of these teams to stay home.
- Metro North – Well, just when we thought Nathan Hale may have stepped to the front of the conference, the Raiders dropped a tough one to Kennedy. Though they rebounded nicely with a 7-1 win over Roosevelt to keep hold of the top spot. Hale, Ballard, Roosevelt and Blanchet are really all so close. The Roughrider’s week is a perfect snapshot of how it has been for these four teams. They dropped a tough one to Seattle Prep by one, beat Blanchet in overtime and then lost to Nathan Hale. Much like the Cascade it is going to be a tough fight and one will have to stay home come playoff time. Blanchet has played four 1-goal games already including two overtimes. Roosevelt isn’t far behind having played in two overtimes as well and three 1-goal games.
- Metro South – The big Prep vs Garfield match-up was postponed to later in the season due to a school conflict, but Seattle Prep remained one of three, Division II unbeatens pulling out a 1-goal win over Roosevelt. Sam Kopf continues to gobble groundballs as he tallied 17 more. Attackman, George Anderson recorded his second straight double hat-trick with another 6 goal performance. Three Rivers took apart Kennedy and Vashon showing there might not be any race for the playoff berths. Kennedy and Vashon have much work to do if they are to crack the top 3 in the conference. Crazy week for Kennedy in beating the current #1 team in the Metro North but showing they might not have the depth to crack top 3 in their own conference. Further, the current bottom team, Highline, beat Metro North playoff contender, Ballard. This certainly is a vote for Metro-South as the next best conference in Division II.
- Evergreen –Appears Overlake may not be challenged until playoff time and they seem the easiest pick to remain unbeaten until then. The real excitement looks like it will be in the race for Evergreen #2. Mt. Si took round one over Redmond and at 4-1 sit in great position to make a run at their first playoff berth in just their 2nd season of play! Matt Mahrer and Seamus Ober led the Wildcats with 2g,3a and 3g,1a respectively.
- Olympic – Conference with the least amount of games played and no shake-ups this week.
Standout Stat Lines:
- Charles Bergseth, FR, Kennedy – Just a freshman, the netminder is a big reason why the Lancers upset Nathan Hale as he made a season high 22 saves! Bergseth is averaging over 15 saves a game having stopped 77 shots in just 5 games.
- Frank Medlicott, JR, Stanwood – The converted long-pole is now running midfield to help the Spartans in the scoring department but he still has a knack for groundballs even if with the short stick. After dropping their first two games, Medlicott now has Stanwood on a three game win streak. In two wins this week he scored 4 times, dished 3 assists and scooped up 25 groundballs, including an incredible 18 of them against North County.
Best match-ups of the upcoming week:
- 4/3 Blanchet @ Ballard – In an o-so-close conference games between any of the top 4 are big!
- 4/3 Roosevelt @ Kennedy – Roughriders vs Lancers…hmm… Old West meats Medieval Times?
- 4/7 Edmonds @ Wenatchee – Based on the latest results we’d say the scale has tipped to Wenatchee in this one.
Lacrosse The Country…
Continued coverage of WHSBLA alumns in the NCAA ranks:
- Greg Mahony (Mercer Island) scored twice to help Yale hold off the Penn Quakers in a tough Ivy League contest.
- Jake Bernstein (Lake Washington) recorded his first collegiate hat-trick in Dominican’s win over Lindenwood.
- Kevin Nguyen (Bainbridge) is the second leading scorer for Notre Dame de Namur.
- Two more WHSBLA alumns on the same field this week when Kenyon defeated Wittenberg. Max Olson (Bainbridge) scored a goal for Kenyon while Martin Park (Stadium) took the field for Wittenberg in NCAA Division III play.
Lacrosse Four Thought…
Which picture did you vote for in Photo of the Week Contest (Sponsored by Sound Lacrosse)?
What do you think of LaxPower’s West Region Computer Rankings compared to other voted polls?
Why no Washington teams in the Under Armour High School West Region rankings?
· “Despite the fact that there are three Everett players in the DII top scorers, the team doesn’t rank a spot in your bracket predictions? Sure it is the early in the season, but if you don’t go by stats, what are you going by? I don’t see a Snohomish or Providence player ranked here. Drop the bias, Stroll. Give these kids the recognition they deserve.” - Angela Krisinger
We admit, we clearly underestimated the Everett squad! Great win this week over Providence! However, also fair to note that we certainly don’t purely look at stats. We try and incorporate knowledge of rosters, strength of programs, other scores, etc. Snohomish demonstrated that despite not showing anyone in the top scorers they are clearly the stronger team and deserved to be ranked ahead of Everett.
We’ll give a shot to the best emails of the week and include your comments/quotes/etc in next week’s Sunday Stroll.
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