Issaquah Eagles fight Mount Si Wildcats to scrappy draw

March 20, 2012

Alex Shane (left), Issaquah High School junior, and Mount Si High School senior defender Chace Carlson battle early in the first period March 15, shortly after Shane’s goal for the Eagles and just before Carlson’s tying score for the Wildcats in the 1-1 contest. By Greg Farrar

Whatever notion the Mount Si High School Wildcats had that this season would be easy lasted 15 seconds.

In the 16th second of their match against visiting Issaquah, the Eagles stunned the Wildcats with a score.

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Local soccer squads hope to expand upon last year’s successes

March 20, 2012

If there is one consistent element to KingCo soccer year in and year out, it is the pure strength of the league.

“The league’s always tough,” Issaquah head coach Jason Lichtenberger said. “It’s the toughest league in the state, hands down.”

Last season, three teams from the conference qualified for the state tournament and they only lost to other KingCo teams. Garfield lost to Eastlake, who met with Skyline in the finals.

“A lot of leagues you’ll see some pretty strong teams, but there’s also some teams at the bottom that are a little bit weaker,” Lichtenberger said. “But in KingCo, every game’s a battle. The last-place teams beat the first-place teams, if they were to play 10 times, maybe a couple times that last-place team would beat the first-place team, and I don’t think there’s any other league where you’d see that. You just can’t take a game off.”

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Eagles’ Jason Lichtenberger named coach of the year

May 31, 2011

Jason Lichtenberger

Some of his 4A KingCo Conference peers thought this would be a rebuilding year for Issaquah High School boys soccer coach Jason Lichtenberger. After all, eight starters graduated from the 2010 team.

But Lichtenberger believed the Eagles had enough talent to challenge the upper echelon this season. By the end of the season, his peers realized Lichtenberger was right in his assessment of the Issaquah team.

Issaquah, for the third straight year, reached the league tournament. The Eagles posted a 12-3-3 overall record and were 7-2-1 in conference play. Issaquah took third place and finished just three points behind co-leaders Eastlake and Skyline.

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Spartans fall to Wolves’ third-time charm, 2-0

May 17, 2011

Controlling a defense is what Eastlake High School’s Michael Gallagher does. And creating scoring opportunities is what Sean Klauer and James Gee do.

Gerard Galvin, Eastlake High School senior defender, and Skyline senior midfielder Travis Strawn battle near the Wolves’ goal during their May 10 season finale. By Christopher Huber

Together, the three Wolves’ soccer standouts shut down the Skyline Spartans on May 10. For the second matchup in a row, Eastlake shut out the third-ranked Spartans, this time 2-0 to take the 4A KingCo Conference championship.

Eastlake hosts the opening round of the state tournament May 17. Skyline heads to state as the No. 2 seed from KingCo.

“I hate losing to Eastlake,” Skyline coach Don Braman said. “We knew we’d be in for a fight tonight.”

Senior forward Klauer scored both goals for Eastlake (10-3-2), with help both times from Gee. And defensively, Gallagher, a junior, took away most opportunities for Skyline (12-2-2), including the majority of advances from burly forward Braxton Griffin.

“Klauer got his goals, that’s what he does. Gee gave him the ball, that’s what he does,” Eastlake coach Adam Gervis said. “Gallagher is the best defender I’ve ever seen. He’s a control freak.”

Skyline’s defense took a lot of pressure early in the first half. Klauer and Gee led the Wolves’ attack and took advantage of a split-second opportunity in the 13th minute. The ball came into the box from about 20 yards out. Under pressure, Gee tapped it right, and from four yards, Klauer nudged it inside the right post, past Skyline goalkeeper Steven Pankiewicz. It happened quickly and Klauer said there wasn’t much to it.

“It was just perfect,” he said. “It’s just adrenaline right there.”

Pankiewicz pulled his weight for the Spartans. He saved two shots early on — first from Eastlake’s Mark Matula in the fourth minute and again in the eighth minute on a close call from Gee. The Skyline defense had trouble beating Eastlake to the ball and moving it up field.

“They took advantage of opportunities when they were presented to them,” Braman said about Eastlake’s pressure throughout the first half. “We lacked decision-making at times.”

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Eastlake blanks Skyline in soccer title game

May 11, 2011

NEW — 5 p.m. May 11, 2011

The Skyline High School boys soccer team lost to rival Eastlake 2-0 Tuesday in the 4A KingCo Conference championship game at Eastlake.

Sean Klauer scored both Eastlake goals.

Skyline and Eastlake both advance to next week’s state regionals.

In other action, Issaquah’s season came to an end when the Eagles lost to Garfield 5-2. Alex Shane and Michael Roberts scored Issaquah’s goals in the game for KingCo’s No. 3 berth.

Garfield advances to a sub-district game May 14 and hosts the Western Conference’s No. 3 team.

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Issaquah ends regular season short of title goal

May 10, 2011

The Issaquah High School boys soccer team planned to shoot for the 4A KingCo Conference title this season. However, just like the previous year, the Eagles finished a bit short of hitting the target.

Michael Roberts, Issaquah senior midfielder (right), battles Garfield’s Ben Feldman (6) and Preston Hale (10) in the last moments of their soccer match May 3. Roberts scored both goals for the Eagles in their 2-1 victory. By Greg Farrar

After beating Garfield 2-1 May 3, Issaquah ended the season with a 7-2-1 record and third in the league standings. The Eagles finished just three points behind co-leaders Eastlake and Skyline, who ended in a tie at 8-1-1. A year ago, the Eagles finished just one point behind the leaders.

But on the plus side for Issaquah, the Eagles attained another goal and that was to reach the league tournament. The Eagles qualified for the league tournament for the third straight year.

“Getting to the league tournament was a big goal of ours,” Issaquah coach Jason Lichtenberger said.

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Issaquah High School soccer nips Garfield

May 4, 2011

NEW — 4 p.m. May 4, 2011

Michael Roberts scored two goals Tuesday as he led the Issaquah High School boys soccer team to a 2-1 4A KingCo Conference victory against visiting Garfield in Gary Moore Stadium.

Issaquah and Garfield finished with 7-2-1 records and in a tie for third place in the league standings. Both teams will host a first-round tournament game May 7. The winners of the Saturday games meet May 10 to determine KingCo’s No. 3 berth. KingCo No. 3 will host Wesco No. 3 in a sub-district game to determine a state playoff tournament berth.

Garfield scored in the seventh minute but Roberts, assisted by Nick Smith and Drew Tacher, scored just seconds before the end of the first half to tie the game. Roberts, assisted by Zach Lawless, scored the game-winning goal at the 70th minute.

The Eagles went into the game with a chance at possibly tying for first place pending the outcomes of games for Eastlake and Skyline. However, both Eastlake and Skyline won to finish the regular-season tied for first place. Eastlake and Skyline will play May 10 in the KingCo tournament championship game.

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Issaquah soccer blitzes Bothell and Ballard

May 3, 2011

The Issaquah High School boys soccer team stayed in the running for the regular-season 4A KingCo Conference title last week by posting two victories.

Michael Roberts and Alex Shane each scored two goals April 26 as Issaquah blitzed host Bothell, 5-1, in Pop Keeney Stadium.

Shane put the Eagles ahead with an unassisted goal at the third minute. Roberts, assisted by Shane, scored 10 minutes later as the Eagles went ahead for good.

On April 30, Issaquah downed host Ballard, 4-1. Shane had a goal and two assists to lead the Eagles, who trailed 1-0 at halftime. Roberts had a goal and an assist.

Shane tied the game in the 66th minute. Akash Ramachandran, assisted by Cooper Fry, put Issaquah ahead to stay at the 69th minute.

Issaquah improved its league record to 6-2-1. The Eagles trail Skyline, Garfield and Eastlake, all tied for the top spot, by just three points entering this week’s final round.

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Skyline High School baseball stuns Redmond

April 27, 2011

NEW — 11:45 a.m. April 27, 2011

The Skyline High School baseball team posted one of the biggest upsets of the season in the 4A KingCo Conference on Tuesday when the Spartans stunned Redmond 4-3.

Redmond entered the contest as the first place team in the Crest Division.

With the game tied 3-3, Skyline scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Winning pitcher Travis Snider went the distance and held Redmond, a strong hitting team, to just four hits. Snider also struck out four batters.

Jimmy Sinatro and Snider each had two hits to lead the Spartans. Brandon Fisher, Jimmy Sinatro and Matt Sinatro each drove in runs for Skyline, which went to 6-5 in league play.

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Issaquah jostles for first in boys 4A soccer logjam

April 19, 2011

Jason Lichtenberger might be the Nostradamus of 4A KingCo Conference boys soccer. Entering the season the Issaquah High School boys coach predicted it would be another close race for the top spot in the standings.

Lichtenberger’s crystal ball is as clear as ever. Entering this week four teams, including Issaquah, were tied for first place. Two other teams were just three points out of first place.

These traffic jams are getting common in 4A KingCo soccer. When last season’s league play ended, three teams tied for first place and two were just one point behind the leaders.

“I knew it was going to be tight this season,” Lichtenberger said. “I knew Skyline was going to be real strong, and that Newport, Eastlake and Garfield would be real good. So it’s not surprising that it’s close at the top.”

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