Ridgefield soccer reaches 1A semifinals

Spudders in control for 3-1 win over Seattle Academy

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter




Ridgefield 3, Seattle Academy 0

In control: Ridgefield dominated possession for long stretches and improved to 17-0 on the season.

Semifinal bound: The Spudders will play at 2 p.m. on May 25 in Sumner against Overlake or Vashon Island.

CAMAS — That the Ridgefield boys soccer team breezed through the Trico League was no surprise.

But the ease with which the Spudders have dispatched their first two state tournament opponents is another matter.

"We're playing all right," junior midfielder Tanner Konkright said. "We could do things better. We could possess the ball better. But I think our defense is pretty good."

On Friday, Ridgefield locked up a spot in the Class 1A semifinals by shutting down the Seattle Academy Cardinals for a 3-1 victory at Doc Harris Stadium. It was the second time in three days that the Spudders used their assertiveness to win possession battles, allowing them to control a state-tournament contest.

Sophomore Dalton Ries had a goal and two assists for Ridgefield (17-0). His goal 13 minutes after halftime was the blow that sapped the visiting Cardinals of any real hope for a comeback.

The Class 1A semifinals and finals are next Friday and Saturday at Sunset Chevrolet Stadium in Sumner. Ridgefield will play its semifinal at 2 p.m. on May 25 against the winner of Saturday's quarterfinal match between Vashon Island and Overlake. On May 26, Ridgefield will either play for a state title or for third place.

The quarterfinal win on Friday was another step forward for a Spudders' program that lost in the first round of the state tournament in 2010 and in this round last season.

"Each year we're getting farther in state, so I'm hoping this year we'll actually win it," Tanner Konkright said.

All three goals were well-struck and came at the end of good combination play.

The first came in the 17th minute of play as senior Taylor Konkright scored with a shot from 15 yards in front of goal. He struck a pass from Ries, whose pass at a 45-degree angle found Taylor Konkright with space and time.

"That was really key today. When we got a good chance in the first half — where we only really had one or two good chances — we put one away," Ridgefield's third-year coach Jason Staley said.

Though the Spudders were winning more of the battles and had more quality possession, they didn't have a safety net until Ries finished off a pass from Charlie Hauser with less than 27 minutes remaining to make it 2-0.

The third Ridgefield goal was scored by Tanner Konkright, who scored a tap-in chance at the end of a counter attack with 12:55 remaining.

Jordan Sloan scored for Seattle Academy with less than 10 minutes on the clock, but the visitors' inability to sustain possession ensured that the Spudders would avoid any real challenge.

"I think we're playing pretty well," Staley said. "We got a good draw, I think. We'll have a really big test next match, for sure."

This is the fifth time a Ridgefield boys soccer team has reached the state semifinals, the other four coming as a Class 2A school. In 2004 and in 2005, the Spudders lost in the Class 2A finals, both times by 1-0 scores to Waluke.