Skyline nips Issaquah in KingCo boys soccer clash

May 6, 2014

In a matchup of teams with very similar résumés, it was one of the most talented players on the pitch who came through with the game-changing play.

Skyline High School senior forward Jason Twaddle scored in the fourth minute, and the Spartans handed the rival Issaquah Eagles their first loss of the season, 1-0, on May 1 at Spartan Stadium.

The victory catapulted Skyline (9-0-1, 28 points) past Issaquah (9-1-0, 27 points) for first place in the Class 4A KingCo Conference boys soccer standings. The teams will play for the KingCo tournament title at 7:30 p.m. May 8, and Skyline will have the home-field advantage again.

By Greg Farrar Dyllon Nguyen (9), Issaquah High School senior forward, hits the ball away from Skyline High School senior defender Nick Christoforou in the final minutes as the Eagles mount a flurry of last-minute attacks to try to avert their 1-0 loss.

By Greg Farrar
Dyllon Nguyen (9), Issaquah High School senior forward, hits the ball away from Skyline High School senior defender Nick Christoforou in the final minutes as the Eagles mount a flurry of last-minute attacks to try to avert their 1-0 loss.

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Eagles blank mustangs, 2-0

April 29, 2014

Above, Josh Zhou, Issaquah High School senior forward (right) sprawls to the pitch as he puts a diving header from five yards out between the legs of Redmond senior goalkeeper Grayson Raffensperger for the Eagles’ insurance goal in the 63rd minute of their April 25 soccer match. The Eagles recorded their school-record seventh straight shutout in the match, and play at Skyline High School at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 1, in a battle of unbeaten teams for the regular season championship. They will again face off May 8 for the KingCo 4A Championship. At left, Ryan Higgins, Issaquah High School senior captain midfielder heads the ball away from Redmond sophomore defender Yoon Yoo during the second period of their April 25 soccer match at Issaquah Stadium. The Eagles beat the Mustangs, 2-0. Photos by Greg Farrar

Ryan Higgins, Issaquah High School senior captain midfielder heads the ball away from Redmond sophomore defender Yoon Yoo during the second period of their April 25 soccer match at Issaquah Stadium. The Eagles beat the Mustangs, 2-0.
Photos by Greg Farrar

Above, Josh Zhou, Issaquah High School senior forward (right) sprawls to the pitch as he puts a diving header from five yards out between the legs of Redmond senior goalkeeper Grayson Raffensperger for the Eagles’ insurance goal in the 63rd minute of their April 25 soccer match. The Eagles recorded their school-record seventh straight shutout in the match, and play at Skyline High School at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 1, in a battle of unbeaten teams for the regular season championship. They will again face off May 8 for the KingCo 4A Championship.

Josh Zhou, Issaquah High School senior forward (right) sprawls to the pitch as he puts a diving header from five yards out between the legs of Redmond senior goalkeeper Grayson Raffensperger for the Eagles’ insurance goal in the 63rd minute of their April 25 soccer match.
The Eagles recorded their school-record seventh straight shutout in the match, and play at Skyline High School at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 1, in a battle of unbeaten teams for the regular season championship. They will again face off May 8 for the KingCo 4A Championship.

Eagles make a move upward in boys soccer

April 22, 2014

They were muddled in the middle.

That was the story of the Issaquah High School boys soccer team a year ago.

Turn the page to 2014, and the Eagles are anything but a middling team, at least, so far.

Under the direction of first-year varsity coach Kyle Tatro, Issaquah is trending upward in the KingCo 4A Conference standings. The Eagles are leading the conference at 5-0-0 and are off to an unbeaten 7-0-1 start overall.

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Former Hazen star now roams Liberty sidelines

April 22, 2014

Sam Bunnell, Liberty High School’s new assistant soccer coach, is no stranger to the school’s turf field.

In fact, he’s played on it quite recently. He just wasn’t playing for the home team at the time.

Sam Bunnell

Sam Bunnell

Bunnell suited up for the rival Hazen Highlanders, where just last year he starred on a team that won the Seamount League championship and earned a state tournament berth.

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Skyline’s Alex Appel preserves shutout victory

April 15, 2014

By Neil Pierson Skyline High School’s Nate Hardwick boots the ball out of danger during the first half of the Spartans’ 1-0 win against the visiting Roosevelt Roughriders on April 7.

By Neil Pierson
Skyline High School’s Nate Hardwick boots the ball out of danger during the first half of the Spartans’ 1-0 win against the visiting Roosevelt Roughriders on April 7.

Don Braman has a conundrum most soccer coaches would love to have — three quality goalkeepers and only one starting spot.

Senior Jack O’Keefe and junior Brice Escobar are the most experienced players fighting for time, but sophomore Alex Appel has been just as good during the Skyline Spartans’ nine-game unbeaten streak to start the season.

Appel came in for the second half and made three crucial saves in the last 15 minutes, helping Skyline beat the visiting Roosevelt Roughriders, 1-0, in Class 4A KingCo Conference boys soccer action April 7.

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Liberty, Mount Si play to scoreless tie

April 15, 2014

The last time the Liberty High School boys soccer team set foot on Mount Si’s home turf, they left as KingCo champions with a direct berth into the state tournament.

The Patriots returned April 9, and while the league title wasn’t directly on the line, the two were still battling to top the conference standings at the season’s midpoint.

By Christina Corrales-Toy Colton Ronk (left), Liberty High School senior midfielder, looks on as Colton Oord, Mount Si junior defender, heads the ball away from the Wildcats’ goal during the second period of their April 9 soccer match.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Colton Ronk (left), Liberty High School senior midfielder, looks on as Colton Oord, Mount Si junior defender, heads the ball away from the Wildcats’ goal during the second period of their April 9 soccer match.

Liberty was able to maintain its place atop the conference, after the teams, both considered among the best in the state, played to a scoreless draw.

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Soccer club partners with Swedish/Issaquah

April 15, 2014

Swedish/Issaquah announced a new partnership with the Issaquah Soccer Club Gunners, making it the youth soccer organization’s title sponsor.

As part of the agreement, Swedish will provide team uniform kits, medical support for events and tournaments, and organize education programs for parents and coaches on important topics such as youth sports injury and prevention, and concussion awareness.

“We are impressed by the commitment of ISC Gunners to introduce young athletes to sports while instilling the virtues of teamwork, discipline and fitness,” Dr. Rayburn Lewis, Swedish/Issaquah’s chief executive, said in a news release.

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Caged Panthers

March 25, 2014

Matthew Richardson, Jason Twaddle score in Skyline soccer 2-1 win over Wenatchee

By Neil Pierson A Skyline High School wall of defenders successfully block a first-half free kick during a March 18 game against the Wenatchee Panthers. Skyline won, 2-1.

By Neil Pierson
A Skyline High School wall of defenders successfully block a first-half free kick during a March 18 game against the Wenatchee Panthers. Skyline won, 2-1.

Matthew Richardson isn’t tall, but he might have been the biggest player on the field for the Skyline High School last week.

Richardson scored the Spartans’ first goal, then assisted on Jason Twaddle’s tally midway through the second half as Skyline held off the Wenatchee Panthers, 2-1, in a March 18 nonleague boys soccer match at Spartan Stadium.

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Despite new pieces, hopes remain high

March 25, 2014

Boys soccer preview

It might not be realistic for the Skyline High School boys soccer team to repeat their success of 2013, when the Spartans, undefeated in conference, play for the first time.

After all, the Spartans will have to find replacements for several key seniors who graduated, including starting center backs Ryan Shim and Chris Sorenson, and all-state central midfielder Kaleb Strawn.

The Spartans finished 13-3 overall and reached the Class 4A state tournament last season, where they lost 1-0 to Camas in the first round. Head coach Don Braman acknowledges the challenge of finding new stars, but thinks the pieces are in place for similar levels of success.

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Liberty boys hope to recapture lighting in a bottle

March 18, 2014

The pressure is on for the Liberty High School boys soccer team.

After the school’s girls team brought home the state championship, the way junior captain Ryan Graham sees it, it’s the boys’ turn to collect some hardware.

“They have their trophy, now we want to have our trophy,” he said. “That would be fantastic for the school.”

By Greg Farrar Tyler Jensen, fighting for the ball against Mercer Island during a 2013 soccer match, returns as a junior to this year’s Liberty High School soccer team.

By Greg Farrar
Tyler Jensen, fighting for the ball against Mercer Island during a 2013 soccer match, returns as a junior to this year’s Liberty High School soccer team.

That’s the message behind this season’s team motto, “BTH,” which stands for “Bring This Home.”

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