Don’t look now, but Clark County has become a boys soccer hotbed.
Last week, eight county teams clinched berths into this week’s state tournaments. Well, technically, seven did it last week. Ridgefield locked up its berth to state the week before.
On Saturday, six county teams won winner-to-state/loser-out matches to clinch state berths.
And none of those teams may be hotter than the Mountain View Thunder.
But back on April 13, it didn’t look that way for the Thunder.
Mountain View had been expected to contend with Camas for the Class 3A Greater St. Helens League.
But the Thunder opened league play with a 5-0 loss to the Papermakers. Then they tied Fort Vancouver, lost 2-0 to Hudson’s Bay and 1-0 to Columbia River.
Before they knew it, the Thunder were 2-3-1 in league and uncertain of their future.
But things turned around on April 17, when the Thunder knocked off then-unbeaten and top-ranked — even nationally-ranked — Camas, 3-1.
That started Mountain View on a stretch of seven consecutive victories, which included a 6-4 victory over Decatur of Federal Way to put Mountain View into the 3A state tournament.
Over their six wins in league, Mountain View outscored its opponents 28-2. Yet the Thunder’s early-season struggles prevented them from competing for the league title.
Now the Thunder have bigger goals in mind.
But, as is usually the case when you get to state, the road doesn’t get any easier for Mountain View. The Thunder will travel to play Lakeside of Seattle in a first-round state playoff game on Tuesday.
Lakeside, which has reached the 3A state quarterfinals five of the past seven season, knocked off No. 2 Bainbridge to earn District 2’s No. 1 seed.
In many ways, Lakeside is a lot like Mountain View, catching fire at the right time with six consecutive victories.
History and state rankings are on the side of Seattle-area schools. But they had better not overlook Southwest Washington.
If Mountain View can get by Lakeside and Camas can win its first-round game, the Thunder and Papermakers will meet in the rubber match of their season series on Saturday at Doc Harris Stadium.
Camas, ranked third in the state, will face Bishop Blanchet of Seattle at 7 p.m. Tuesday in one of the few state soccer matches that we know game times and dates. First-round games will be played on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Prairie travels to play at No. 9 Mercer Island in another 3A first-round game.
The Class 4A GSHL sent two boys soccer teams to state for the first time since 2007. Union will host Issaquah, somewhere in Clark County. The Titans qualified for state for the first time with a bi-district win at Kiggins Bowl. But they might play the final high school event on McKenzie Stadium’s soon-to-be replaced playing surface. The facility is set to get a new FieldTurf surface this summer.
Skyview will travel to play unranked Roosevelt of Seattle on Wednesday in Puyallup.
In the 2A state tournament, Washougal will travel to play Fife on Wednesday.
In the 1A state tournament, Seton Catholic will travel to play Overlake of Redmond, while Cedar Park Christian of Bothell will travel to Ridgefield.
Official game times, days and sites will be announced Monday. Check back at The Columbian’s prep sports blog at www.360preps.com for bracket updates.
Four Clark County baseball teams are still playing.
Skyview will face Lake Stevens at 1 p.m. Saturday in the 4A Everett Regional at Everett Stadium.
Mountain View and Columbia River both will play in the Mount Vernon Regional of the 3A state tournament.
Mountain View will play Bishop Blanchet of Seattle in the 10 a.m. game Saturday at Dream Field. Columbia River will meet Mountlake Terrace in 1 p.m. game.
And Ridgefield will meet Chimacum in the 10 a.m. game at the Anacortes Regional of the 1A state tournament.
Congratulations to league champions and co-champion for girls tennis.
Columbia River and Camas played a league match after the district tournament had been played. River came away with a win on a tiebreaker to capture the 3A GSHL title.
Hockinson won the 2A GSHL title, while Ridgefield and Tenino shared the 1A Southwest Washington League title.
Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at (360) 735-4538 or e-mail at email@example.com