Three Plateau teams qualified for state soccer tournaments and all were unceremoniously ousted during the first round of play.
Simply getting to state play is a huge deal, of course, and that was where Sumner, Bonney Lake and White River found themselves. Each had spent the better part of three months enjoying a successful regular season and advancing through postseason tournaments.
Once the elite trio of local squads reached the Sweet 16 in their respective tournaments, however, the tide turned.
The Panthers are perhaps the most celebrated of the local teams, racing through the regular season with an impressive 14-1-1 record and capturing a Pierce County League championship along the way.
Tournament play is another matter and Bonney Lake finished the season on the losing end of its final three games. The finale was a 2-0 loss at the hands of Mercer Island on the opening night of the Class 3A state tourney.
The Nov. 6 contest was played on the Islanders’ home turf.
The Panthers had entered the 3A tournament as the No. 4 seed out of West Central/Southwest District play. That tourney saw Bonney Lake open with a 5-1 victory over North Thurston before falling 2-1 to Prairie and 4-0 to Stadium.
The state tourney brought mixed success for the five squads advancing out of district play. Moving on to the second round were No. 1 seed Gig Harbor, a 3-1 winner over West Seattle, and No. 2 Prairie High, a 3-0 winner over Shorecrest. Aside from the Panthers, taking first-round losses were Stadium (4-0 to Seattle Prep) and Peninsula (5-0 to Kamiakin).
A Nov. 6 trek to Renton proved to be White River’s undoing, as the Hornets fell 4-1 to the Liberty Patriots.
The season-ending loss, in the opening round of the Class 2A state tourney, gave White River a final season record of 16-3-4.
The season’s journey included a South Puget Sound League 2A championship, three consecutive victories in the league tournament and a 2-1 mark in district play. That pushed the Hornets into the 16-team 2A state field as the No. 5 seed out of districts.
In the state opener, White River ran into a Liberty squad that had finished second in the KingCo, a combined 3A/2A league. The win over White River was the Patriots’ fourth in a row during postseason and improved the team’s overall record of 14-2-2.
Of the seven teams from White River’s district, only two survived the opening round. North Kitsap, seeded No. 2, earned the nod after tying Mark Morris 2-2 and No. 3 Fife defeated Archbishop Murphy 2-1. Eliminated were top-seeded Sequim, which fell 4-3 to Ellensburg, No. 4 Olympic (1-0 to Olympic) and No. 7 Lindbergh (7-0 to Selah).
The Spartans made a long trip to Spokane for the opening round of the Class 4A state tournament. The trip home might have seemed even longer for the Sumner crew, which fell 1-0 on the home turf of the Gonzaga Prep Bullpups.
The Sumner High girls found themselves in the 16-team Class 4A tournament after splitting a pair of games in the West Central/Southwest District tournament, entering state as the No. 7 district seed. G-Prep had placed second in the Greater Spokane League and won all three of its district contests.
Among the other six teams advancing from Sumner’s district, half advanced. First-round winners were No. 2 Camas (1-0 over Jackson), No. 4 Puyallup (2-0 over Richland) and No. 5 Bellarmine Prep (1-0 over Redmond). Ousted were No. 1 Olympia (3-0 to Skyline), No. 3 Tahoma (1-0 to Lake Stevens) and No. 6 Kentridge (3-1 to Issaquah).
With the loss in Spokane, the Spartans ended the 2018 campaign with an overall record of 10-3-6. That included a second-place finish in the South Puget Sound League 4A.