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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Liberty High School netters whip Interlake

April 13, 2011

NEW — 6 p.m. April 13, 2011

The Liberty High School girls tennis team took the No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles matches Tuesday as the Patriots defeated Interlake 5-2 in a 3A/2A KingCo Conference match.

Amber Eastham won the No. 1 singles with a 6-4, 6-3 victory against Interlake’s Isabelle Long. Veronica Granger and Audrey LaFraugh defeated Interlake’s Iryna Strinyska and Miyati Raghavan 6-3, 7-5 in the No. 1 doubles match.

In the 4A KingCo Conference, Skyline swept all three doubles matches en route to a 6-2 victory against Inglemoor. Alison Opitz and Molly Knutson, of Skyline, won the No. 1 doubles with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory against Leanna Thim and Mckayla Dear.

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Juanita makes quick work of shorthanded Patriots

April 12, 2011

The Liberty High School boys soccer team was missing some key players April 5 when the Patriots met host Juanita in a 3A/2A KingCo Conference game.

Some Patriots took the week because it was spring vacation. Whether their absence made a difference or not would be debatable. The big issue for the Patriots against Juanita was putting the ball in the net.

Liberty failed to connect and Juanita took advantage of a second-half penalty kick to post a 1-0 upset victory.

“We were missing some key players but I’m not sure that would have made a difference. Juanita really played well,” Liberty coach Darren Tremblay said. “Our problem was that we just couldn’t get the ball into the net.”

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Spartans notch another shutout

April 5, 2011

The fog and pouring rain didn’t stop the Skyline High School Spartans boys soccer team from pouring it on April 1 against Inglemoor.

Kyle Olmstead, a Skyline senior, races down the sideline toward the goal as Inglemoor defenders bring pressure. By Eric Olmstead

Tromping over a soaked turf field and kicking up a trail of mist on every slide tackle, the Skyline boys pressed hard on offense and held a tight defensive line to notch another 4A KingCo Conference win at Spartan Stadium.

Skyline improved to 6-0-2 and earned its third shutout victory of the season after beating the visiting Vikings 3-0. Inglemoor went to 2-4-1 this spring.

Standout senior forward Braxton Griffin started things off with a goal in the 17th minute. Evan Kamber, a senior defender, had the assist. It was Griffin’s fifth goal of the season.

“He held off the defense and turned and finished,” Skyline coach Don Braman said. “It was a top-quality finish from Braxton.”

Both teams held strong on defense for much of the rest of the match. Inglemoor started taking more risks on offense, which ended up creating opportunities for the Skyline defense, Braman said. In the 63rd minute, Skyline sophomore forward James Molyneaux-Elliott took a pass from teammate Michael Stoddard (senior defender) and put the Spartans up 2-0.

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Skyline High School downs Garfield in soccer battle

March 30, 2011

NEW — 1 p.m. March 30, 2011

The Skyline High School boys soccer team won an early showdown with host Garfield on Tuesday when the Spartans posted a 4-2 victory in Memorial Stadium.

Last year the two teams tied for first place in the 4A KingCo Conference and later met in league tournament championship game, which was won by Garfield.

Kyle Olmstead and Travis Strawn each had a goal and an assist for Skyline, which handed Garfield its first loss of the season.

Braxton Griffin and Jason Twaddle scored Skyline’s other goals.

With the victory, Skyline went to 2-0-1 in league play and moved into first place in the league standings. The Spartans are 5-0-2 overall. Garfield went to 1-1-0 in league and 5-1-0 for the season.

In other action, Issaquah suffered its first loss of the season when the Eagles lost to host Inglemoor 3-1.

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Issaquah Eagles battle Skyline Spartans to 1-1 draw

March 29, 2011

Zach Lawless, Issaquah High School sophomore midfielder (left), gets an elbow on the neck of Woodinville junior defender Nick Norton during the first period of their March 24 soccer match. By Greg Farrar

When the Issaquah and Skyline boys high school soccer teams get together, it is usually a battle down to the final second.

On March 26, the two Issaquah district teams had another spirited battle that ended in a 1-1 draw in Gary Moore Stadium.

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Issaquah High School baseball team drops opener

March 23, 2011

NEW — 2 p.m. March 23, 2011

The Issaquah and Newport high school baseball teams have had some classic battles of the years and their Tuesday 4A KingCo Conference opener was no exception. Newport, the host team, prevailed 1-0.

Newport scored its run in the bottom of the seventh to end a pitchers’ duel.

Ethan Kalin started for Issaquah and threw hitless innings before being relieved by Scott Boydston, who blanked Newport until the seventh.

Cole Wiper, Newport’s starting pitcher, worked the first five innings and allowed just two hits. He struck out eight. Jared Fisher, the winning pitcher, worked the final two innings for Newport.

Daniel Altchech singled in pinch runner Ioannis Kritsonis with the winning run.

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Issaquah uses balanced attack to sweep three matches

March 22, 2011

The Issaquah High School boys soccer team showed scoring balance and plenty of heart last week when it swept three nonleague games at home.

Issaquah had a different play lead the offense in each game, which was pleasing to coach Jason Lichtenberger.

“It was great to see that kind of balanced scoring,” Lichtenberger said after the Eagles’ boosted their record to 3-0-1.

Issaquah opened the week March 14 by shellacking Chief Sealth, 7-0, in Gary Moore Stadium.

Alex Shane, a sophomore forward, scored four goals to highlight the Issaquah attack. Lichtenberger wasn’t sure if it was a school single-game record.

“But it’s the most I’ve seen by an Issaquah player since I’ve been here,” he said. “I don’t recall anyone putting up four goals in a game.”

Shane scored two of his goals in the first half as Issaquah took a 3-0 lead.

Nick Smith, Drew Tacher and Cooper Fry scored the other Issaquah goals. Michael Roberts had a pair of assists for the Eagles, too. Evan King and David Degginger shared the goalkeeping duties.

The Eagles followed up that triumph by blanking Auburn Mountainview, 3-0, March 16.

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4A KingCo soccer teams ready for another jam

March 15, 2011

Issaquah, Skyline hope to challenge for first place

The 4A KingCo Conference boys season could be headed for another traffic jam. Last year, the league was bumper to bumper, just like Issaquah’s Front Street on a Friday afternoon.

When the regular season ended, just two points separated the first-place team from the sixth-place team. Three teams tied for first place and two were just one point behind the leaders.

Issaquah High School coach Jason Lichtenberger said he believes it could be another close race.

“From top to bottom, I believe KingCo is the toughest league in the state. I fully expect another close race,” Lichtenberger said. “I think there are some quality teams in the league again. There are two or three teams that could be a bit stronger than the rest, but almost every team has a player who can change a game.”

Lichtenberger said he believes Skyline, one of last year’s tri-champions, and Eastlake and Newport, both with experienced teams, could be the frontrunners. Garfield, one of the tri-champions last spring, might be another contender.

Issaquah has aspirations of continuing its success from the past two seasons. However, the Eagles lost eight starters from last season’s team that finished just one point out of first place. Lichtenberger pointed out that the Eagles have talent and the potential to be among the top teams.

In 3A KingCo, Liberty had a disappointing season in 2010, but has some outstanding players returning who have hopes of moving the Patriots in the standings.

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Patriots humble Hazen

March 15, 2011

Senior forward scores hat trick

Aaron Potoshnik (right), Liberty senior forward, is congratulated by teammate Josh Muttart after scoring the first of his three goals March 12 against Hazen. By Greg Farrar

The Liberty High School boys soccer team started its season March 12 with a 3-0 win against neighboring Hazen High School.

Liberty senior forward Aaron Potoshnik led the way, recording a hat trick, and senior midfielder Blake Kessler fed Potoshnik with two assists.

“It just feels like a pretty good way to start out the season,” said Potoshnik, who played defense last year. “Me and Blake were working great together, and the whole team was working great, having great chemistry.”

The Liberty midfield was also on its game, stopping Hazen’s drives and holding the Highlanders to just three shots on goal.

Potoshnik scored his first goal in the 14th minute with help from Kessler, marking the only score of the first half. In the second half, he found the back of the net in the 66th and 69th minutes, scoring his second with another Kessler assist and his third with a header.

“Aaron did awesome,” Liberty coach Darren Tremblay said.

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