Preseason games often can be a good gauge of just how good or bad a team can be.
Based on the results of Friday’s non-conference contest against Mount Si of Snoqualmie, the Meadowdale boys soccer team definitely has the potential to be a strong contender in the new Western Conference 3A.
The Mavericks and Wildcats battled to a 1-1 tie at Edmonds Stadium. Meadowdale took a 1-0 lead in the second half on a goal by Stuart Smith. But a few minutes later when the Mavericks were attempting to clear a ball near the goal, a defender inadvertently kicked the ball into the Meadowdale goal to tie the score. Neither team really threatened the other the rest of the half and the game ended in a tie. No overtime periods are played in non-conference games.
New Meadowdale coach Brian Monroe-Jones was pleased with his team’s effort against a strong Mount Si team. The Wildcats, who advanced to the 3A state playoffs last season, are a senior-dominated squad with about 85 percent of their core back, according to Mount Si coach Darren Brown.
“We were playing on our heels against them in the first half,” said Monroe-Jones, who previously was Meadowdale’s junior varsity coach. “In the second half, we settled down.”
The Mavericks (1-0-2) had some good scoring opportunities early in the second half before Smith finally put it past the Mount Si goalkeeper.
Aside from the one mishap, Meadowdale’s defense, led by senior Griffin Over played well against the Wildcats. New starting goalkeeper Luke Lindgren had a solid game, Monroe-Jones said.
Earlier in the month, Meadowdale beat Sedro-Woolley 2-1 to open the season and then tied Woodinville 1-1.
The Mavericks appear to be a veteran team with nine seniors on the roster. But sometimes appearances can be a little deceiving.
“Some of the seniors may not have had a lot of playing time,” Monroe Jones said.
What’s not in dispute is that Meadowdale might have one of the more athletically gifted teams in the league. The team includes basketball players (Over, Aidan O’Neill), football players (Julio Abad, O’Neill) and a wrestler, Colton Davis, who placed third at the state tournament.
“We have some great student-athletes,” said Monroe-Jones, a teacher at Meadowdale Elementary.
This is his fourth year with the program and having coached the junior varsity team means that Monroe-Jones knows the players well, so the transition has been smooth.
“It’s not a big change,” he said.
The new Wesco 3A has combined the North and South teams into one league. That means the games against district Edmonds-Woodway, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace are going to be even more spirited.
“The big games will be against any of the Edmonds District teams,” Monroe-Jones said.
– By David Pan