EDMONDS — The Edmonds-Woodway High School boys soccer team needed just 20 seconds to signal its intent Saturday afternoon.
While the Warriors didn’t convert on the prime scoring chance they created during the game’s first foray, the moment was emblematic of Edmonds-Woodway’s desire to grab the game by the scruff of the neck right from the start. And now the Warriors have a shot at creating history.
Edmonds-Woodway rode its opening wave to score three first-half goals, and the Warriors strolled to a 3-0 victory over the Southridge Suns in their Class 3A state quarterfinal at Edmonds District Stadium.
Ben Hanson, Victor Ibarra and Richard Duncan scored the goals as fourth-seeded Edmonds-Woodway (18-1-2) advanced to the state semifinals for just the second time since Edmonds and Woodway merged in 1990. The Warriors’ only other trip to the final four was in 2016, when they finished fourth.
“This feels amazing, I can’t believe we got here,” said Hanson, a senior forward who was at the heart of everything the Warriors did. “I knew we had a good team, but I didn’t know we could stay together and get this far.”
Edmonds-Woodway faces top-seeded Lincoln of Seattle in the semifinals at 2:15 p.m. Friday at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.
“The first day I took this job I talked to the team about leaving something tangible for them to be remembered by,” first-year coach Jason Hanson said. “We accomplished that with the Wesco championship, and we really want to get the next one. Now we have the big prize ahead of us, so we’re excited. We have the mentality of, ‘Why not us?’ Maybe we can do it.”
The 12th-seeded Suns finished their season 13-8-0.
The idea of the Warriors coming out on fire seemed unlikely, considering Edmonds-Woodway had just 16 hours between it’s round-of-16 2-0 victory over Mead late Friday night and Saturday afternoon’s game against Southridge. The Warriors also used just one player off the bench in dispatching the Panthers, meaning the starters played heavy minutes the night before.
But Edmonds-Woodway was all over the Suns from the opening kick Saturday. Anthony Pellegrini had a shot saved just 20 seconds into the contest, and the Warriors had three prime scoring chances — including Isaac Parreno’s header off the underside of the crossbar — inside two minutes.
“I feel like we were always just ready,” Ibarra said. “We knew if we set the tone right away that we would catch them off guard. That’s what we did, and it happened.
“I feel like everyone was hyped up,” Ibarra added about where the Warriors found their energy. “This was our last home game, so we knew we had to get that last win, at least for the seniors.”
The early pressure led to a goal just seven minutes into the game. The Warriors had the ball in an unthreatening position in the penalty box when Southridge was whistled for a foul and Edmonds-Woodway was awarded a penalty kick. Southridge goalkeeper Tristan Hale guessed the right way, but Ben Hanson placed the PK perfectly into the right corner to give the Warriors a deserved 1-0 lead.
While the Warriors didn’t dominate possession, they were the far sharper team in front of goal, and Edmonds-Woodway doubled its lead in the 24th minute. Ben Hanson played the ball into the path of an open Alex Plumis on the right. Plumis’ low shot to the far post was parried by Hale, but Ibarra was there to put home the rebound to make it 2-0.
Then in the 32nd minute it was 3-0. Duncan, positioned farther forward than his usual left-back position, won a 50-50 ball in the open field and raced away on a breakaway. He finished emphatically to give the Warriors all kinds of breathing space.
“I think we just came out with a lot more intensity, we were ready to go,” Ben Hanson said. “We wanted to make a statement early, we wanted to pounce on them and show we were the better team right off the bat.
“Knowing you’re so close to a state semifinal, knowing this will be all the seniors’ last game at this stadium, the energy just came from that need to win the game.”
Southridge continued to have its share of the ball, and the Suns twice had open goals to shoot at in the final moments of the half, only to shoot wide. Edmonds-Woodway then saw the game out comfortably in the second half to book its spot in the semifinals.
Talk to us
- You can tell us about news and ask us about our journalism by emailing email@example.com or by calling 425-339-3428.
- If you have an opinion you wish to share for publication, send a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular mail to The Daily Herald, Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206.
- More contact information is here.