EDMONDS — On Sunday the Edmonds-Woodway High School boys soccer team was deemed not to be among the top 12 of the 20 teams that qualified for the 3A state playoffs, requiring the Warriors to compete in a play-in game to officially reach the state tournament.
On Tuesday the Warriors looked anything but a team that should have been in a play-in contest.
Edmonds-Woodway put on a clinic Tuesday night at Edmonds District Stadium as the Warriors dominated the Bonney Lake Panthers 3-1 to reach the round of 16.
Andrew Montero, Edgar Cabrera and Ryan Hanby scored the goals as 15th-seeded Edmonds-Woodway (14-4-2) used its combination of speed, skill and vision to play itself around, over and through the 18th-seeded Panthers. The Warriors advanced to face No. 2 Lakeside in the round of 16 at 5 p.m. Friday at Ingraham High School in Seattle.
“It feels great,” Edmonds-Woodway central defender and captain Deacon Fuentes said about reaching the last 16. “Our coach said Edmonds-Woodway hasn’t been in the state tournament in about 10 years (the last state appearance was in 2016), so to be the first team to do it in a while is a great feeling.
“I thought we played great,” added Fuentes, who was an imperious figure at the back. “I think in the first half we could have had more goals, and in the second half our team really figured things out.”
Connor Goff scored a penalty kick with the last kick of the game the give the final score a little gloss for Bonney Lake (11-5-3), which saw its string of upsets — the Panthers were the No. 10 seed in District 3/4 — come to an end.
Edmonds-Woodway put on a display of what possession and passing is all about. The Warriors, despite playing without captains Eddy Olson and Jack Carden because of injury, used pinpoint passing to work the ball out of their own end. Once it arrived at to front four of Montero, Cabrera, Ben Hanson and Victor Ibarra, that quartet gave the Panthers fits with their speed, ball control, movement and interplay.
“I think we understand each other well,” Cabrera said about the front four’s main strength. “So we can play off each other and just execute.
“We practice every day, and once you practice it every day it comes natural.”
Edmonds-Woodway wasted little time taking control of the game. In the seventh minute Ibarra got the better of his defender as two raced down the left — the Panthers howled for a foul. He then got to the goal line, and fired a perfect cross to the far post, where it was headed in by Montero to give the Warriors an early advantage.
That lead was rarely threatened during the rest of the first half as Edmonds-Woodway did a good job of possessing the ball and using the whole field. Bonney Lake had half-chances from Goff and Cooper Wilson, but neither posed a large threat. Meanwhile, late in the half Panthers goalkeeper Seth Sundahl had to reach high to make a one-handed save on Raghavendra Raghu’s header to keep it a one-goal game.
After Hanson thundered a shot off the crossbar early in the second half, Bonney Lake produced a couple threatening moments. However, Edmonds-Woodway goalkeeper Gabe Wilhelm came out bravely to absorb contact with Wilson to stop an attack on the break, and Wilson powered a header wide from a corner moments later.
The Warriors then consolidated their lead in the 60th minute. Kincaid Sund slipped a pass to Cabrera at the edge of the penalty box. Cabrera deftly turned past his marker to free himself on goal, then powered a shot into the far corner to make it 2-0.
After that it was all Warriors as they constantly threatened the Panther goal, and the inevitable third tally came in the 70th minute. Cabrera was shoved down in the penalty box while driving toward goal, and a penalty kick was awarded. Hanby coolly placed his low shot into the right corner to make it 3-0.
Bonney Lake got a consolation in extra time when Andres Peres was taken down in the penalty box. Goff dispatched the penalty kick, but it had no effect on the outcome as the final whistle blew before the ensuing kickoff could be taken, sending the Warriors into a matchup with powerhouse Lakeside.
“I know some of the players on that team,” Fuentes said about the Lions. “I know they have a strong offense, but we have a strong defense. I think if we play the way we did today we can definitely beat them.”