Jackson boys claim 1st state soccer berth since 2011

The Timberwolves roll past Eastlake 4-0 and into the Wes-King bi-district title game.

EVERETT — Jackson has checked off one accomplishment after another during its remarkable season.

The Timberwolves earned an outright Wesco 4A title, they’re over the 50-goals scored mark and have posted more than 10 shutouts. Jackson added another achievement Tuesday night in a Wes-King 4A District Tournament game against Eastlake.

In a game dominated from beginning to end, the Timberwolves claimed their first state tournament berth since 2011 and their fourth in program history with a 4-0 win at Everett Memorial Stadium.

And while Jackson (15-1-1), a team seemingly destined to capture a state berth, briefly celebrated the win, its using the district tournament as a measuring stick against top KingCo competition.

“I think it just feels good to beat a team from KingCo that is known as one of the best leagues in the state,” said senior forward Kevin Giessler, who alluded to Wesco’s historically poor record against KingCo teams. “Beating a KingCo team is very important, and now we know we will have more respect from all the teams.”

Jackson will get another big test against a KingCo power when it travels to face Mount Si next for the district title at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

“I’m never satisfied, and now I want to host both (state tournament) games,” said first year Jackson boys coach Sarah Smart. “We were probably going to make it to state, because there are five spots (in districts), but are we good enough to win state? Mount Si on the road will be a huge test. If we beat Mount Si, I don’t know what else we can’t do.”

Jackson has leaned on an array of scorers and its stingy defense all year. On Tuesday, Giessler took over on offense, and the Timberwolves’ defense posted its 11th shutout of the year.

Giessler finished with two goals and an assist, while Jake Williams and Michael Hatcher added second-half goals.

“I’m a senior on the team, and I am the captain so I’m supposed to lead,” Giessler said, “and that gives me more confidence in myself to put in an example for the rest of the team and lead them from the beginning.”

Giessler wasted no time giving the T-wolves a quick 1-0 advantage.

On a change of possession, an Eastlake defender made a critical turnover without help behind him, and Giessler capitalized. The senior captain broke free with the ball and only Eastlake keeper Josh Dion to beat. Giessler, from 15 yards out, beat Dion with a low shot that found the bottom-right corner of the net.

Giessler extend Jackson’s lead with a brilliant strike in the 28th minute.

After drawing a foul with some nifty footwork deep in Eastlake’s end, Giessler lined up 25 yards out for a free kick near the stadium turf’s left hash. The Jackson senior curled a shot around the left side of the Wolves’ wall, tucking the ball just inside the near post past the outstretched arms of Dion.

“Wow, that was a beautiful goal,” Smart said. “(Giessler) is such a great player and is so competitive and driven. You see him with the ball, and it’s just glued to his foot, and he’s so smart with it.”

Jackson added to its lead in the second half, but not before goalkeeper Justin Huttinger made a crucial save on a penalty kick to prevent Eastlake from tightening the score.

Hatcher, in the 45th minute, was called for a foul in the 18-yard box as he tried cutting off an Eastlake forward’s angle on goal. But Huttinger picked his teammate up, diving to his left to block the PK attempt off the foot of Eastlake’s Cole Langston.

Six minutes later, Hatcher extended the T-wolves’ lead to 3-0 with a header from close range off a corner kick from Giessler.

Williams capped the night with a goal off an assist from Minhyok Kim, sealing the 4-0 victory and Jackson’s place in the district tournament title game.

“We can’t get too high-headed,” Giessler said. “Even though we have been on a run, we still need to be humble. There are other good teams from other districts.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

Lake Stevens’ Cole Becker celebrates a touchdown with teammates after putting his team up against Kennedy Catholic in the WIAA 4A State Football Championship game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
State champs!: Lake Stevens wins first-ever 4A football title

The Vikings edge Kennedy Catholic 24-22 in the state title game to reach the mountaintop after years of being on the brink.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith throws during the first half against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Grading the Seahawks in their 27-23 victory over the Rams

Quarterback Geno Smith leads the way as Seattle stays in the hunt in the NFC West

A gang of Lake Stevens defenders stop Xe'Ree Alexander against Kennedy Catholic in the WIAA 4A State Football Championship game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Notebook: Defense shines in Lake Stevens’ championship game victory

The Vikings set the tone with an early interception and seal the game with key defensive stands.

Haji Wright of the United States is comforted after losing the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between the Netherlands and the United States, at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
U.S. falls to Netherlands, knocked out of World Cup

The Americans’ run ends with a disappointing 3-1 loss to the Dutch in the round of 16.

Prep roundup for Saturday, Dec. 3

Prep roundup for Saturday, Dec. 3: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Los Angeles Rams linebacker Bobby Wagner (45) against the San Francisco 49ers in an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. The 49ers won 31-14. (AP Photo/Jeff Lewis)
NFL preview: Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams

Seahawks icon Bobby Wagner faces his old team for the first time with the Rams.

Kevin Clark / The Herald

***Silvertips Special Sections*****
Yan Khomenko signals for substitution Sunday night at Xfinity Arena in Everett, Wa on September 6th, 2015

Sports:  Silvertips Special Section
Shot on: 09/06/15
Berezowski nets winner as Silvertips top Winterhawks in OT

Everett scores late to force the extra frame and comes away with a 4-3 win over its division rival.

Seattle Sounders sporting director Chris Henderson greets a player after a soccer training session Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, in Seattle. The Sounders play Club America in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal round on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Cascade alum Henderson feels ‘incredible pride’ for U.S. men

The former national team member and current Inter Miami sporting director competed in the 1990 World Cup.

The Lake Stevens players run out onto the field before the start of the game against Eastlake on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022 in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Championship central: Lake Stevens’ run to the title game

Get ready for Saturday night’s 4A state championship game with stories from the Vikings’ success-filled season.

Most Read