Hazen, Liberty soccer teams get to state

May 18, 2015

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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NEW — 2:30 p.m. May 18, 2015

The Hazen High School boys soccer team is back in the state tournament, and boy, did they earn it.

The Highlanders endured three loser-out games in just five days to qualify for the 3A state playoffs, defeating Prairie, Capital and Shelton in the District 3/4 tournament.

“There is a lot of pressure playing one loser out game,” Hazen head coach Ken Matthews said in a news release. “Imagine what the guys have been going through playing three in five days. It wasn’t easy but they got to The Dance.”

Hazen earned a matchup against KingCo Conference foe Interlake in the first round of the state playoffs. They play the Saints 7:30 p.m. May 19 at Interlake High School.

It’s not the first time the teams will see each other, the Saints bested the Highlanders 5-0 in a nonleague game at the very beginning of the season. Matthews said that isn’t likely to happen again.

“And then there’s that game back at the beginning of the season between us and Interlake,” he said. “It seems like that was last year. This could be a fun rematch — one I know will not end in a 0-5 loss for us.”

View the full 3A state bracket here: WIAA 3A state soccer tournament.

Liberty

The Liberty High School soccer team is also headed to state, though the road there was a bit less treacherous.

After an opening-round win in the District 2/3 2A tournament, the Patriots immediately guaranteed themselves a spot in the district title game and a state berth.

The team was a bit short-handed for its May 16 district championship game.

That’s because a handful of players traded their kits for tuxes, as the school celebrated its senior prom that night.

“We were missing like five guys,” Liberty coach Darren Tremblay said. “So, we thought, ‘Oh boy, it could be a long night.’”

It was a long night, but not for the Patriots. Liberty defeated Tyee, 3-0, to win the Class 2A District 2/3 title and secure a No. 1 seed into the state playoffs.

Liberty will now go straight into state tournament play. The Patriots host Anacortes in the first round 6 p.m. May 19 at Liberty High School.

View the full 2A state bracket here: WIAA 2A state soccer tournament.

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