Walax Rundown Week Eight
May is here and in just two the playoffs will be here beginning on May 13 for Division II and on May 17 for Division I. The week there were some interesting upsets in DI as the Big Four was shaken up with Issaquah's upset over Bainbridge Island, while Northshore pulled a one goal win over Curtis. There were also some noteworthy games in DII that had playoff implications, like Woodinville's defeat of Providence.
1) Mercer Island 1) Sammamish
2) Issaquah 2) Woodinville
3) Bainbridge Island 3) Wenatchee
4) Bellevue 4) Garfield
5) King's Way 5) Providence
6) Skyline 6) Three Rivers
7) Tacoma 7) Snohomish
8) Curtis 8) Blanchet
9) Eastside Catholic 9) Highline
10) Northshore 10) Klahowya
No. 2 Issaquah's win over No. 3 Bainbridge showcased two important things. First, the Eagles are playing on fire heading into May, earning that no. 1 preseason ranking behind a dynamic offense and an improved aggressive defense. Much of the strength comes in transition like causing turnovers on the ride. All-American candidate Kevin Powers scored two goals and one assist. Second, the top teams in the state are closer to each other in talent. Bainbridge will need to rework their defensive schemes and team focus. This week they face arch rival Mercer Island in the state's biggest and nationally recognized rivalry- the "Battle of the Islands", part of the "Island War" where both program's youth, middle and high school teams face each other on the same day.
Also, Issaquah will host Bellevue this week and attempt to continue their hot streak against the young energy of the Wolverines. Bellevue ground out a win against no. 5 King's Way 8-2 last week. They will have their hands full trying to penetrate a much improved Issaquah defense that held Bainbridge to one goal for the entire first half. No. 10 Northshore made a strong statement against no. 8 Curtis, after falling off the radar of many teams, eventually beating them 10-9 last week. Midfielder Alex Bus stepped up scoring four goals while Kyle Barrett tallied three goals and one assist. All-American candidate Foster Wisman scored one goal. It was a solid victory for a team needing a morale boost. Curtis midfielder Colby Carr was held to one goal for the first time this season. DI will need to play out the next few weeks to fill in the 12-team brackets especially for the Northeast conference playoff spots.
Providence made some big waves last week in DI action. They defeated a Lake Washington team without the Bernstein brothers 5-3. Not to take away from the victory it was well deserved. More or less, for Kangaroos it illustrated the importance of bench depth and meeting challenges head on. On the next day the Highlanders fell in a close game to Cascade titan Woodinville 9-8. Providence showed some hard nosed talent in the two games and are playing well heading into the May playoffs. Ryan Morris is a proven team leader by example and in the huddle. Woodinville's freshman star Daniel McKee once again stepped up netting three goals and two assists. No. 2 Woodinville is in contention for the no. 1 seed overall in the playoffs against Sammamish, pending games against Snohomish and Stanwood. A big east match between undefeated no. 3 Wenatchee and no. 6 Three Rivers comes up this week. The no. 8 Blanchet Braves meanwhile have taken two weeks off from playing, falling to the Mercer Island and Bellevue JV squads in exhibitions. They resume play this week against fellow Metro opponent no. 4 Garfield who is moving closer to lock up the conference after downing Ballard and Nathan Hale last week. No. 9 Highline extending their win streak to five after beating Liberty, Mt. Si, and North Kitsap last week.
Baller of the Week- Daniel McKee, Fr. Midfield, Woodinville
In two games last week McKee tallied four goals against Everett and three goals and two assists in a comeback win over Providence. He is showing promise every week and since stepping up as point leader against conference rival Providence. The Falcons were without usual point getter Colter Clinch. He will draw the eyes of teams for the rest of his career and thus far this season, he has amassed 40 points total in league and non-league games.
Game of the Week- Issaquah 8 Bainbridge 6