Central Valley and Gonzaga Prep were projected to take the top two spots in Greater Spokane League girls soccer play.
They fulfilled that prophecy. Now, 12 days after the regular season ended, the two will battle for the top two spots in the district.
The second-seeded CV Bears (15-0-1) and fourth-seeded Bullpups (12-5-1) will clash at Spokane Falls Community College Thursday night at 7 to determine the District 8 4A title and state seeding.
CV and G-Prep played each other two weeks ago to the tune of a 2-1 Bears win, so there are some familiarities between the GSL foes.
“Gonzaga is going to come after us and we have to be ready for that,” CV head coach Rob Rowe said. “Our first game was a battle and I fully expect it to play out the same way.”
It has been two years to the day since the Bullpups last beat CV, in the semifinals of the District 8 tournament. That loss knocked the Bears out of the postseason, but this time both teams will advance, no matter the result.
That doesn’t change CV’s preseason goals, which include a win over G-Prep. Rowe gathered the players on Wednesday to recap those one more.
“We just talked about our goals that we set before the beginning of the year, and that we have checked a couple of those off, and we still have a couple of more that we need to check off. But we need to take care of business,” Rowe said.
The Bears will not change much from their 2-1 victory two weeks ago, but there is always room for improvement.
“The reality is, we are just wanting to get better each game, so there are some little things here and there that we want to work on, but no big scheme change or anything like that,” Rowe said. “It is not necessarily just Prep, there are some things that we want to be working on as we move into the playoffs.”
A long, grueling season can produce unexpected injuries. The Bears have had to cope with a few injuries, most notably to Sailor Watson, Megan Robertson and Alyssa Molina. Molina, the GSL’s defensive MVP last season, was hit by a car toward the end of the regular season. She is working her way back, but has been unable to play.
“We are battling a couple injuries, but these girls have a heart of a warrior,” Rowe said. “It is kind of just the next lady up and we will get after it.
“I am sure Gonzaga is battling their injuries as well, but we know that both of these teams are pretty evenly matched.”
Rowe said the Bears won’t focus on any individual Bullpups player.
“Well, they are similar to us in that you can’t focus on one player,” Rowe said. “Obviously, the Les (Chelsea and Kyah), you have to be aware of them, and Olivia Lauffer, out of the back, is huge as well.”
Sixth-seeded Mead hosts eighth-seeded University in a loser-out at 6. The winner plays in the district third-place game on Saturday.
“I think Mead and University are very strong teams, and I think we match up well with the Mid-Columbia Conference,” Rowe said. “We still have that opportunity for a third GSL team to move on (to state).”