Glacier Peak blanks Olympia in state soccer opener

The Grizzlies win 2-0 to advance to the state quarterfinals for the 4th consecutive season.

SNOHOMISH — The Glacier Peak boys soccer team admittedly got off to a slow start offensively, but that didn’t stop the Grizzlies from reaching the state quarterfinals for the fourth straight season.

Keegan Rubio and Brandon Seed each scored a goal, Hayden Rubio dished out two assists and Marco Guerrero recorded a shutout in goal as Glacier Peak knocked off Olympia 2-0 in a first-round game of the 4A state soccer tournament.

“It wasn’t our best game, but these guys for some reason in the last six games know how to pull them out,” Grizzlies coach Teddy Mitalas said. “… We’re going to have to be a lot stronger and a lot faster. But we did our job, got another shutout, so I have to commend the defense.”

The Grizzlies opened the scoring in the 52nd minute when Hayden Rubio found older brother Keegan, who sent a header above Bears goalkeeper Sawyer Price’s outstretched hands.

“I love it,” Keegan Rubio said of being assisted by his younger brother. “He assists me a lot. I credit all my scoring to him.”

After taking the lead, Glacier Peak wasn’t ready to play conservative on offense. The Grizzlies kept the pressure on and had a number of good looks at the goal late.

“I want to score goals. I’m not the kind of coach that wants to sit back,” Mitalas said. “Do you want to defend smartly? Yes, especially when you’re up 1-0, but I want to score goals.”

Just seven minutes later, Keegan Rubio nearly added a second header when defender Parker Terry sent a perfectly-placed pass over the defense, but this time Price was able stop the shot.

“I felt I just didn’t lift the ball over enough,” Keegan Rubio said. “I thought the goalie was going to come closer. I should’ve just got it higher.”

Danny Guerrero sent another good look for the Grizzlies wide right just a few moments later.

Glacier Peak finally capitalized on a scoring chance in 76th minute when Hayden Rubio found Brandon Seed in front of the goal. Seed snuck a shot through a crowd of players and past the goalie.

“Hayden did a great job drawing the keeper out and making him dive,” Seed said. “… It was a great goal and a great team effort.”

The Grizzlies had their chances to get on the board early. Danny Guerrero’s shot in the 4th minute ricocheted off Price’s hands and rebounded right to Keegan Rubio. The Grizzlies’ senior fired a missile towards the back of the net, but Price made a quick recovery and made a leaping save above his head to thwart the scoring chance.

Mitalas credited Price’s effort defensively coming up to stop shots and said his length caused problems for Glacier Peak’s offense at times.

Olympia got its first good look at a goal early in the second half when Oliver Dickson had a near point-blank shot. Grizzlies goalkeeper Marco Guerrero nearly took the shot off his face but got his hands up in time to make a great save. It was one of the few times the Bears applied much pressure on the Glacier Peak keeper.

Olympia (10-7-3) fell to a Wesco 4A team in the state tournament’s first round for the second straight season.

“Unfortunately we were missing a couple of key starters tonight and just didn’t play to our potential,” Bears coach Ty Johnson said.

The Grizzlies (13-3-1) will face Sumner (17-2-0), which beat Mount Si 2-1 Tuesday, in a state quarterfinal matchup. The time and the location of the match were still to be determined as of Tuesday night.

“It always feels great to come out with a win,” Seed said. “I thought we played a little sluggish at the beginning, but we fought hard. They fought hard, too, but at the end of the game we came out with the win.”

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