Sports

‘State-ment’ time for KW

King’s West senior captain Andy Lee, who leads the team with 13 goals, races past a defender earlier this season. The Warriors play the school’s first boys soccer state tournament game today at 6 p.m.  against Tacoma Baptist. - Photo courtesy of Emil Heinze, King’s West
King’s West senior captain Andy Lee, who leads the team with 13 goals, races past a defender earlier this season. The Warriors play the school’s first boys soccer state tournament game today at 6 p.m. against Tacoma Baptist.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Emil Heinze, King’s West

Warrior boys soccer team reaches state for first time, faces Tacoma Baptist.

The more the merrier — school history, that is.

King’s West boys soccer is in the Class 1B/2B state soccer tournament for the first time in school history, securing a berth with a wild 2-1 shootout victory against The Bear Creek School in the Tri-District tournament Nov. 8.

But the Warriors (11-7) want more.

“We wanted to make state for the first time in school history, we wanted to make it so bad,” said senior captain Andy Lee. “Our goal is not to be just a state qualifier, but to go beyond to the final four.”

With a first-round match tonight against Tacoma Baptist (13-3), which outscored the Warriors 8-0 in two regular season games, KW has a steep hill to climb. Tacoma Baptist outscored opponents 63-12 during the regular season, including a 6-0 thumping of KW Sept. 18.

“Their players are very good,” Lee said. “They are fast, they can pass (well).”

But KW entered the Nov. 8 game against The Bear Creek School in the same predicament, having been beaten twice during the regular season — 2-1 Oct. 3 and 3-0 Oct. 28.

“There’s no reason why they can’t beat Tacoma Baptist,” said assistant coach Sharon Meeder, who filled in Nov. 8 for coach Jason Meeder, her son.

Jason, who is in his eighth year at the helm, missed the Bear Creek win because of shoulder surgery. He also missed practice Wednesday, but will be back on the sidelines today.

“I don’t know if we could even keep him away,” Sharon said.

Sharon has coached at King’s West for about 10 years, this being her second year as an assistant to her son.

“We’re always pretty much on the same page,” she said.

And while today marks the first state appearance for KW boys soccer, Sharon said nothing in particular stands out about this team compared to teams of the past.

Certain intangibles, however, made a difference. The players entered the season physically fit, maintained steady grades and played their best soccer during the latter part of the year.

“They just really wanted it from the beginning, they have worked really, really hard this year,” Sharon said. “These guys have come ready to go from day one.”

So with Jason returning and the team playing confidently and well, the ingredients for a KW state victory are there.

“We’re not really working hard on any particular thing because they’ve pretty much tweaked everything this year. The offense and defense are both playing really well,” Sharon said. “We’re just proud of each and every one of them, they’ve stepped up and did what they needed to do.”

Lee and sophomore Josh Kreifels lead the team in goals scored with 13 and 10, respectively, and one — if not both — will need to ignite the offense against Tacoma Baptist.

A 2-0 win in a loser-out match against Providence Classical Christian Nov. 6 set up KW for the run to state. In that game, juniors Eric Jeong and Ken Seo scored goals, while goalkeeper Nick Olson posted a shutout, his fourth of the season.

With a win today, KW would face either Northsound Christian or Shoreline Christian, which played Thursday. Results from that game were unavailable at press time.

Today’s game begins at 6 p.m. at Sammammish High School.

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