As Chris Stokesbary proved last weekend, the Central Valley boys soccer team is peaking at the right time – and they’re doing it with style.
First was the quarterfinal shootout victory over Emerald Ridge. Then, last Saturday, after the Bears overcame a 2-0 deficit in the second half, Stokesbary scored a minute into overtime – a header off a corner kick – to help the Bears beat Davis 3-2.
The win put CV into the State 4A semifinals for the first time in school history.
The Bears (13-3) play Skyview on Friday night in Tacoma in an effort to reach Saturday’s state championship game against either Bellarmine Prep or Central Kitsap.
“It is very, very difficult to get to the final four in soccer,” CV coach Andres Monrroy said. “We are very proud of what we have accomplished, but we aren’t done yet. We’re pretty hungry.”
So are Mark Kiver’s Cheney Blackhawks (19-0), who are back in familiar territory.
Cheney faces 20-0 Archbishop Murphy, which has allowed a total of two goals all season, in the state 2A semifinals on Friday night in Sumner. The Blackhawks, who were state finalists in 2008, 2009 and 2010, beat Toppenish 2-1 last weekend in their quarterfinal matchup.
“We have a good core of kids that were on that 2010 team that lost in the championship, so they have a taste for it and know what it takes to get there,” Kiver said. “We’re looking forward to it – you always want to play the best teams when you get this far. That’s how it should be.”
Both the Bears and Blackhawks will be playing on turf, a surface the Bears are familiar with but not accustomed to. Monrroy knows the game will be much faster than their previous two games, which they hosted, so he’s pleased to get some practice time in on Gonzaga Prep’s turf field this week before heading across the state.
“We were successful on it, we won districts on turf,” Monrroy said. “I know our opponents have played most of their season on turf, so we’re at a little bit of a disadvantage there.”
Even though that’s true, Monrroy isn’t concerned about that fact, and he doesn’t seem to be particularly concerned with the Bears’ opponent, either.
“We were inconsistent during the regular season but we’ve always had the talent,” he said. “We had some good wins, and some tough losses, and our seniors have done a fantastic job of getting our team through the postseason.
“We aren’t happy just with making it to the final four – we want the whole thing … the big trophy.”