Nice try, they told Adam Talley after his pursuit of the Great Northern League scoring record apparently came up short.
“They were telling me there was no way I could get five goals (in the final game Saturday) against West Valley,” the East Valley forward said.
They were wrong. Talley put five balls into the West Valley net in a 6-1 win that not only gave him the GNL regular-season record, according to Clarkston’s Randy Semanko on gnlsoccer.wordpress.com, but also helped the Knights grab a first-round bye in the District 7 2A playoffs.
The last one came on a bicycle kick, a rarity at the high school level. “I didn’t think I could get it either,” Talley added. “Now I can’t get it out of my mind.”
Talley, also a star in football, has received college interest in both sports. That decision will come next year, when Talley is a senior.
“Obviously, it’s hugely important to have someone on your team who can put the ball in the net,” EV coach Jeff Paulus said. “But Adam can do that in a way that you just can’t coach.
“It’s not something that I can take credit for developing. He has a relentless work ethic and a desire to score.”
Talley’s 25 goals broke the record set by Austin Durfee of Clarkston in 2010. That same year, Victor Tardelli of Deer Park scored 23 regular-season goals, plus six in the playoffs.
The Knights will face either Pullman or Clarkston in a second-round District game at noon Saturday at East Valley. After that, the Knights may have a third shot at GNL regular-season champion Cheney.
“I can’t wait,” Talley said.
Before that comes a possible match with Pullman or Clarkston.
“Pullman is a great team, so we don’t see that as an easy win by any means,” Paulus said.
In an arrangement that should make most soccer fans happy, Albi Stadium will host a district tripleheader today that will keep money in their pockets and keep their teams alive – no matter the score.
The action begins and ends with 4A district matches. At 4 p.m., second-seeded Ferris faces third-seeded Central Valley. In the 8 p.m. nightcap, Greater Spokane League champion Mead faces fourth-seeded Lewis and Clark. The winners are guaranteed to advance to regionals, while the losers will face each other in a loser-out game next week.
At 6 p.m., Mt. Spokane will face University in a 3A district contest. Both will advance to regionals against Big Nine Conference opponents, but the loser will be one game from elimination.
Admission to all three games is $6 for adults and $2 for students with an ID card.
4A: “It’s past my bedtime, that’s for sure,” Mead coach Kevin Houston said of the 8 p.m. start at Albi. But Houston appreciates the format change, approved by coaches last winter, which makes the playoffs a true double-elimination.
Last year, the top two 4A teams were guaranteed regional berths, while the third and fourth seeds played a loser-out game.
“The objective is to put the best teams in the regional round,” said Houston. “We hope to be one of those teams.”
The Panthers certainly have a leg up, winning the GSL title by two games, with a sweep of the other 4A teams.
But the Panthers just got past LC 1-0 last month at Hart Field, in a game that Tigers coach Mica Lamb said was “fairly even, but they (the Panthers) hustled more than we did.
“We’re hoping to build that mentality.”
The early game matches preseason favorite CV and late-charging Ferris, which was 1-3 in the GSL and 1-7-1 overall when it knocked off the Bears 2-1 at CV. The Saxons haven’t lost a GSL match since, while the Bears “have a bit of a chip on our shoulders,” said CV coach Andres Monrroy.
“We feel like we have the talent to win the GSL,” said Monrroy, whose team lost one-goal decisions to all three 4A playoff rivals, including 3-2 against Mead and LC by 2-1 in overtime.
“We feel we didn’t play our best game (against Ferris), and hit the crossbar three times,” Monrroy said.
“But now we’re healthy, and I think playing at Albi makes things a little more equal for everyone.”
3A: The Mt. Spokane players haven’t forgotten.
The Wildcats have won six of their last seven, including a 2-0 win over Shadle Park on Monday in a loser-out game “It feels good to get our backs off from against the wall,” Mt. Spokane coach Ryan Campanella said.
It also put the Wildcats in position for some payback against University.
On March 23, U-Hi manhandled the Wildcats 5-0 in a game that ultimately decided who would get a first-round bye at district. Both teams finished in a four-way tie for second place in the GSL.
“We’d had a solid start in preseason,” recalls Campanella, whose team was coming off a 1-0 over defending GSL champ Ferris. But then, “U-Hi was playing very aggressive soccer and they came right at us.
“We’ve definitely grown since then, and the boys haven’t forgotten. It was a pretty intense game.”
Mt. Spokane also beat rival Mead 1-0 during its stretch run. “This has been a great group of boys to work with.”
That includes senior Logan Georgeadis, who scored against Mead, added two more against North Central in the regular-season finale, and had a hand in both goals against Shadle Park. Goalkeeper Robert Powles came up big with two big saves Monday night.
“We’re coming in with a lot of confidence,” Campanella said. “If our guys stick to the game plan, I think we’ll like the ending result.”
U-Hi coach Nick Funkhouser watched the Wildcats defeat Shadle. “They’re a completely different team,” Funkhouser said. “For our kids, it’s just another game, but the work is on me.”
2A: Action begins Thursday with two loser-out matches, both at 4 p.m. Fourth-seeded West Valley faces fifth-seeded Deer Park, with the winner going to No. 1 seed and GNL champ Cheney at noon Saturday. Also, third-seeded Pullman hosts sixth-seeded Clarkston, with the winner going to East Valley on Saturday at noon.
The winners of those games will meet for the District title on May 9 at Gonzaga Prep, but both are guaranteed berths in the regionals. The losers will meet that same night at G-Prep, with the winner advancing to regionals and the loser going home.
1A: Northeast A champion Lakeside hosts runner-up Colville today at 4 p.m., with both teams advancing to Tri-district loser-out matches on Saturday.
Hits and misses
Looking back, our predictions for both the GSL and GNL could have been better. In the GSL, we had CV edging Mead for first; instead, it was the Panthers who won the regular season by two games over CV and two other teams, including U-Hi (picked for fourth) and Ferris (picked for sixth). That choice looked pretty good at midseason, when the Saxons were 1-3 in the GSL, but they won their last five heading into district.
In the GNL, we had defending champ East Valley edging Cheney for the title; instead it was the Blackhawks running the table ahead of the Knights. The next three picks were spot-on: Pullman a strong third, West Valley fourth and Clarkston fifth.