With five wins in a row, the Meadowdale Mavericks are riding high heading into the WIAA State 3A Boys Soccer Tournament this week — and Coach Mike Nelson is hoping the ride doesn’t change a bit.
The Mavs, in the state tournament for the first time since 2005, will take on the Interlake Saints on Wednesday, May 15, in a round-of-16 loser-out state tourney match to be played at Edmonds Stadium. First kick is slated for 7 p.m.
After closing out the regular season with victories over Archbishop Murphy and Lynnwood in late April, Meadowdale rode through the competition in the District 1 3A tourney earlier this month, defeating Snohomish, Edmonds-Woodway and then Marysville-Pilchuck in the district tournament championship game.
Nelson has liked the way his team has performed lately and is counting of more of the same on Wednesday.
“I just need to see the same thing that I’ve been seeing from them,” Nelson said. “They have continued to make gains, to make improvements; we’re rising (especially) in the sense of playing together.”
“I just want them to be them, to continue doing what they’re doing,” Nelson added.
The Meadowdale roster includes eight seniors and seven juniors, many of whom played on the Mavs’ squad two years ago that went 1-13-2. Nelson was in his first year as Meadowdale head coach in 2017; this year’s team has a record of 14-5-0 and is looking for four more wins — what would be needed for the 3A state championship.
Nelson gives the credit for the three-year turnaround in Meadowdale boys soccer to his players. “It’s a great group of guys to coach; you couldn’t ask for a better group,” he said.
The Mavs will be welcoming to Edmonds Stadium on Wednesday a hot Interlake squad that boosts a record of 5-1-2 in their last eight matches. The Saints also have a history of doing well at state with eight appearances in the past 11 years, winning the state title in 2015 and 2016.
If Meadowdale can get past Interlake, the Mavs will face the winner of the Wilson – Roosevelt round-of-16 match on either May 17 or 18 in a 3A state quarterfinal contest.
The 3A state semifinals and championship match will be played May 24 and 25 in Puyallup.
To view the entire WIAA State 3A Boys Soccer Tournament bracket, click wiaa.com/ardisplay.aspx?ID=1828.
— By Doug Petrowski