It’s been quite the turnaround for the Lake Washington soccer team this season. With a 3-0 shutout win over Bothell on April 30, the team secured a playoff spot and a winning record — two team goals set before the season.
Things didn’t start so well as the Kangs (7-5-1 overall, 5-4-1 Kingco) scuffled to start the season, going 1-4.
“I never doubted them,” said Lake Washington coach Shaun Warner, in his first season at the helm. “I knew once we started the second half we had a really good shot to make the playoffs. We played all of the top teams in the first two weeks and we were still trying to figure ourselves out.”
In their first five games, the Kangs played Eastlake, Juanita and Redmond, among others. Those three teams are a combined 23-7 and in either first or second place in their division.
After the slow start, Warner moved some players around to improve the teams offense. In the first five games, the team scored four combined goals. In the last six games, the team scored 15.
“The biggest difference was putting the ball in the net,” Warner said. “We became a little more offensive instead of defensive. The guys really started believing in themselves.”
Lake Washington started the 4A Kingco playoffs with a 2-1 win over Garfield on May 3. Garfield scored first, but the Kangs came back. The team took the lead with an Ian Nova goal at the 80-minute mark.
“It means a whole bunch to get into the playoffs,” Warner said. “I know all of the players are really excited and I’m definitely excited. … I hope we can do some damage.”
Lake Washington played in the next round of the Kingco playoffs Tuesday night against Bothell, after the Reporter’s deadline.
Redmond’s high hopes dashed by Bothell
After ending a state drought of more than a decade last spring, and returning nearly the entire starting roster, the Redmond soccer team had aspirations of not only returning to state this season, but contending for a state trophy.
Turns out neither are going to happen.
Despite being considered by many — including Bothell head coach Alex Zahajko — to be the best team in 4A Kingco, the Redmond soccer team was ousted in the first round of the 4A Kingco tournament by Bothell 2-0 on Saturday.
Redmond was in a loser-out game despite having tied for the best record (8-2-0) in the league because Redmond lost a head-to-head match with Juanita on April 9, so Juanita was the Mountain Division champion. Eastlake, which went 7-3-0, got the second bye by virtue of winning the Lake division.
The Mustangs had won seven straight games heading into the tournament, but were stunned by the Cougars, who were playing in their first playoff game since 2002.
Michael Rogers scored from 25 yards out in the 16th minute and Victor Gonzalez scored in the 68th for the Cougars. Shane Lervold picked up the shutout, in addition to an assist in the contest for Bothell.
Below is the Kingco playoff schedule:
Saturday May 3
Game 1: Bothell 2, Redmond 0 (loser out)
Game 2: Lake Washington 2, Garfield 1 (loser out)
Tuesday May 6
Game 3: Bothell vs. Lake Washington, 5:30 p.m. (Juanita) (loser out)
Game 4: Eastlake at Juanita, 7 p.m. (Kingco championship, winner to state)
Thursday May 8
Game 5: Winner game 3 vs. Loser game 4 (winner to state)
Saturday May 10
Game 6: Loser game 5 at GSHL No. 2, 2 p.m. (Site TBD) (winner to state)