Monroe boys soccer is playing in the state semifinals for the first time since 2001 and the second time in program history. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Monroe boys soccer is playing in the state semifinals for the first time since 2001 and the second time in program history. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

State boys soccer preview: A look at the 3A state final four

Monroe will make its second state semifinal appearance in program history on Friday afternoon.

The Monroe High School boys soccer team is set to make its second state final four appearance in program history Friday afternoon, when it faces Mercer Island in a Class 3A state semifinal.

The winner advances to face either Lakeside or O’Dea in Saturday afternoon’s state championship match.

Here’s a look at the 3A state final four:

Where: Sparks Stadium (Puyallup)

Semifinal 1: No. 2 Lakeside vs. No. 14 O’Dea, noon Friday

Semifinal 2: No. 8 Monroe vs. No. 12 Mercer Island, 2 p.m. Friday

Third-place match: semifinal 1 loser vs. semifinal 2 loser, 10 a.m. Saturday

Championship match: semifinal 1 winner vs. semifinal 2 winner, 3 p.m. Saturday

No. 2 Lakeside: This is the ninth state semifinal appearance for the reigning 3A state champion Lions (17-2-1), who won the classification’s most recent state title back in 2019. That was Lakeside’s second state championship, with its other coming in 2014. After finishing second in the 16-team Metro League behind Lincoln-Seattle, the Lions claimed the Metro League Tournament title with a 2-1 win over Lincoln in the championship match. Lakeside then routed 15th-seeded Edmonds-Woodway 4-0 and 10th-seeded Peninsula 4-1 in its first two state matches. The Lions average 2.9 goals per match and allow 1.3.

No. 14 O’Dea: The Fighting Irish (13-6-2) are making their eighth state semifinal appearance, but their first since 1996. Their lone state title came at the 3A level in 1990. O’Dea’s final four run began in the 3A state play-in round, where it earned a 3-2 overtime win over 19th-seeded Auburn Riverside. The Fighting Irish then upset third-seeded Shorecrest 2-1 in the first round and beat 11th-seeded Hazen 2-0 in the quarterfinals. O’Dea averages 2.3 goals per match and allows 1.4. The Fighting Irish have lost to Metro League rival Lakeside in both of their meetings this spring, falling 2-1 in an early-season conference match and 3-0 in the league tournament semifinals.

No. 8 Monroe: The Bearcats (17-3-1) are making just their second state semifinal appearance in program history. Their only other final four trip came in 2001, when they won the 3A state title. It’s been a massive turnaround for Monroe, which averaged just three wins per season from 2012 through 2019. The Bearcats flipped the script with a breakthrough 8-1-1 abbreviated season last year, which served as a stepping stone for this spring. Monroe finished second in the 16-team Wesco 3A/2A and won two of three matches in the 3A District 1 Tournament to earn its first state berth in 20 years. The Bearcats then beat ninth-seeded Bainbridge 3-0 and 16th-seeded Seattle Prep 2-1 in their first two state matches. Monroe averages 3.3 goals per match and allows just 1.0.

No. 12 Mercer Island: The Islanders (13-3-2) are making their eighth state semifinal appearance and their first since 2016. They’ve reached the state championship match four times, but have yet to win a state title. Mercer Island claimed the KingCo 3A crown and pulled a pair of upsets in the state tournament, beating fifth-seeded Stadium 3-1 in the first round and fourth-seeded Lincoln-Seattle 2-1 in the quarterfinals. The Islanders average 2.4 goals per match and allow just 1.1. They haven’t yielded more than two goals in a match since their season opener.

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