Spartan Kaleb Strawn’s soccer career is starting to soar

June 18, 2013

Kaleb Strawn has never been able to physically dominate opponents on the soccer pitch. Instead, he uses intelligence and speed to make the other team miserable.

This spring, the 5-foot-7 Strawn led the Skyline Spartans to their first undefeated KingCo Conference season. The central midfielder supplied a single-season school record for points with his 11 goals and 13 assists, and it helped him lock up an NCAA Division II collegiate scholarship offer from Saint Martin’s University in Lacey.

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Skyline blanked in KingCo title match to Inglemoor, 4-0

May 14, 2013

By Greg Farrar Kaleb Strawn (left), Skyline High School senior midfielder, and Inglemoor senior midfielder Christian Nesselquist jockey for position for a potential header during the first period of their May 7 KingCo 4A championship match.

By Greg Farrar
Kaleb Strawn (left), Skyline High School senior midfielder, and Inglemoor senior midfielder Christian Nesselquist jockey for position for a potential header during the first period of their May 7 KingCo 4A championship match.

Skyline High School’s 11-game soccer winning streak came to an end May 7 at the KingCo 4A Championship game, where Inglemoor went 4-0 for the title.

“They have some really talented players over there,” said David Kim, a sophomore midfielder for the Skyline Spartans. “They challenged, and they beat us. It’s hard, but I feel like we’ve just got to compete more, and if we compete more, we’ll do really well in state, with that passion and heart.”

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Skyline Spartan Pedro Miola brought ‘Latin spirit’ to soccer field

June 26, 2012

Pedro Miola (2), Skyline High School midfielder, battles an Eastlake High School player for the ball in a match during his junior year in April 2011. By Greg Farrar

Dubbed one of the Kardiac Kids by The Seattle Times, Pedro Miola made his mark on school history last year when he scored the game-winning sudden-death goal, advancing the Skyline High School Spartans to the state semifinals for the first time.

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Skyline soccer team loses championship title in overtime 4-2 shootout

May 15, 2012

The 4A KingCo championship game between Skyline and Roosevelt high school soccer teams was not decided in regulation play. It also was not decided in the two, five-minute overtime periods.

It all came down to one-on-one penalty kicks.

With no clock, no defenders to contend with and no teammates to help them, it was between shooter and goalie. In the end, Roosevelt won the penalty-kick round, 4-2, and ultimately the KingCo tournament trophy.

Kicking for the Skyline Spartans were Ryan Shim, Sean McDonald, Kaleb Strawn, Pedro Miola and Jason Twaddle. Together, they made 28 of Skyline’s 37 goals this season. McDonald and Strawn each netted a shot for Skyline.

Taking turns with them in the spotlight was Ben Morgan, goalie for the Spartans. Morgan stopped the ball fired by Willie Spurr, a senior forward for Roosevelt. However, the Roughriders’ other four shooters scored, securing the win.

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Skyline wins first soccer championship since 2001

May 8, 2012

Daniel Richardson (left), Skyline High School’s midfielder, tussles with a Woodinville High School player during the May 1 shutout. Richardson scored his first goal of the season in the 30th minute, bringing the half-time score to 2-0. By Lillian Tucker

The Skyline High School boys soccer team made school history last week by becoming the 4A KingCo regular season champs, for the first time.

In a shutout against the Woodinville High School Falcons on May 1, the Skyline Spartans won 3-0. That victory, along with the team’s two-week winning steak brought its conference record to 8-2.

“It feels good to win finally,” said mid-fielder Pedro Miola, a Skyline senior.

Both in 2010 and 2011 the Spartans came in second in the regular season. They then lost the KingCo tournament title to Garfield in 2010 and to Eastlake in 2011. Skyline finished first in 2001, but the school was in the 3A division then.

But there is another reason why the win means so much to the Spartans.

“You guys are going to the state tournament because you won here,” coach Don Braman told the boys after the match.

A crescendo erupted from the post-game huddle that surrounded Braman.

“What I want you to recognize,” said the coach, “is that it took a lot of work to win tonight.”

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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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Braxton Griffin leaves legacy as one of Skyline’s top performers

June 7, 2011

With eight seconds left in the first half of the opening round of the Class 4A state soccer tournament, Braxton Griffin, a Skyline High School forward, flicked an inbound pass off his head to teammate Travis Strawn.

Braxton Griffin, Skyline senior forward, maneuvers the ball against Eastlake junior defender Michael Gallagher May 28 during the state 4A soccer championship. By Greg Farrar

In a split second, Strawn tapped the ball into the back of the net for the go-ahead goal. Griffin put Skyline up 2-0 with a goal of his own in the second half to beat Central Kitsap on its way to the state championship game against Eastlake.

“It was one of the craziest goals I’ve seen, because of the work and focus needed,” Skyline coach Don Braman said. “It was just really intense.”

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Too much Wolves for Spartans

May 31, 2011

Skyline’s third loss to Eastlake is in state championship

LAKEWOOD — Brandon McComb came to understand that he wasn’t going to get big minutes on the talented Eastlake High School boys soccer team.

So, he realized he’d better come up big when he plays.

Sean Klauer, Eastlake senior forward, keeps the ball from brothers Travis and Kaleb Strawn, of Skyline, during the first period of the 4A state soccer championship match May 28 in Tacoma. By Greg Farrar

McComb, a reserve senior forward, got the winning goal as Eastlake turned back Skyline, 2-0, in the May 28 Class 4A state championship match at Harry Lang Stadium.

The Wolves beat fifth-ranked Skyline for the third time this season on two second-half goals, including a rare McComb tally in the 46th minute.

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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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Skyline converts 3-2 win over Mariner for trip to state semis

May 24, 2011

The Kardiac Kids from Skyline High School are headed to the Class 4A boys soccer state semifinals for the first time in school history.

Pedro Miola (2), seen here battling against Eastlake April 26, put in the overtime game winner May 21 against Mariner at the state 4A quarterfinals. By Greg Farrar

After Austin Dodd’s last-gasp, match-tying goal in stoppage time, Pedro Miola punched in the game-winner two minutes into overtime to lift the Spartans to a 3-2 quarterfinal win over Mariner High School on May 21 on the Marauders’ home pitch at Goddard Stadium.

Fifth-ranked Skyline (14-2-2) will meet defending state champ Stadium High School, of Tacoma, in the semifinals at 8 p.m. May 27 at Harry Lang Stadium in Lakewood. Eastlake, Skyline’s Sammamish rival, also qualified for the semifinals. The Wolves (12-3-2) meet Kentwood at 6 p.m.

Skyline has had a flair for dramatic goals. On May 20, the Spartans scored in the final minute of each half for a 2-0 first-round playoff win against Central Kitsap.

“I’m just glad to still be living,” Skyline coach Don Braman said. “This team has a way of making things extremely interesting.

“But what I love about this group,” he added, “is when they face adversity they are extremely resilient and keep plugging until the end. These boys really know what to do when the game is on the line.”

Miola, a junior, was in the middle of a mad scramble in front of the Mariner goal two minutes into overtime. Dodd was the first to get a foot on a loose ball, repelled by goalkeeper Ulises Hernandez, and Miola powered the rebound into the top of the net.

How did that last goal take shape?

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