The Seton Catholic boys soccer was really hoping to get the chance to host a state tournament match this week.
Not only would be a thrilling moment to play in front their home fans in a signature moment for a relatively young program, but the Cougars had another reason.
“We also have prom,” senior David Moore said.
OK, a little bit of background for context.
For years, every state tournament bracket (or like 98 percent of them) in Washington were 16-team brackets.
And in those brackets, the eight top teams would host a first-round soccer match on Tuesday or Wednesday.
That’s the case for 2A boys soccer, where top-seeded Columbia River will host W.F. West at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Kiggins Bowl. It’s also the case in 4A boys soccer, where No. 2 seed Union will host Kamiak of Mukilteo at 5 p.m. Wednesday at McKenzie Stadium.
But starting this year, not all soccer brackets are comprised of 16 teams.
That’s because in 2020, the WIAA approved a plan to make each of the classifications unbalanced in size to promote competitive balance. And that means some of this spring’s soccer brackets consist of 20 teams.
The 1A boys soccer bracket is one of those 20-team brackets. And in the 20-team soccer bracket, Tuesday and Wednesday are reserved for four play-in games for teams seeded 13th to 20th.
In 1A boys soccer, No. 18 seed Columbia-White Salmon will play at No. 15 seed Bridgeport at 5 p.m. Tuesday in a play-in game.
In order to get the Round-of-16 games and quarterfinals played by the end of the week, the remaining 16 teams after the play-in games were sent to one of four regional sites, much like baseball work it.
The regional sites are hosted by the top 4 seeded teams. Seton Catholic drew the No. 5 seed, just missing the chance to host a regional in Clark County.
Instead, the Cougars will play at the regional in Wenatchee, seeking the first state-tournament win in school history. Seton plays University Prep of Seattle on Friday at the Apple Bowl in Wenatchee.
If the Cougars win, they will play a quarterfinal match on Saturday, also at the Apple Bowl. And the Cougars likely will be lobbying for a noon kickoff. That would give the players a chance to play the match, then race back to Vancouver for the prom, which is scheduled to start at 8 p.m.
So it looks like it will be an exciting and hectic weekend for the Cougars. And hopefully, it will be a happy one.
But either way, the Cougars will still be dancing on Saturday night.
Other state soccer playoffs
4A soccer: No. 9 plays No. 8 Lewis & Clark at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Gonzaga Prep in Spokane.
2A soccer: No. 14 Fort Vancouver plays No. 3 East Valley of Yakima at 5 p.m. Wednesday in Yakima.
4A regional: No. 9 Camas plays No. 8 Issaquah at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Lacey Regional at the Regional Athletic Complex. If the Papermakers win, they’ll face the Olympia-Chiawana winner at 4 p.m.
3A play-in: No. 16 Kelso hosts No. 17 Stanwood on Tuesday at Rister Stadium in Kelso. The winner advances to the Bellevue Regional and face No. 1 West Seattle at 10 a.m. Saturday at Bannerwood Park.
2A regional: Propstra Stadium is the site of the Vancouver Regional. No. 2 seed Columbia River kicks thing off against No. 15 Steilacoom at 10 a.m. Saturday. No. 7 West Valley-Spokane plays No. 10 Archbishop Murphy at 1 p.m. The winners will face off in a quarterfinal at 4 p.m.
1A regionals: No. 7 La Center will play in the Anacortes Regional at 10 a.m. Saturday. The winner faces the Bellevue Christian-Elma winner at 4 p.m. In the nearby Mount Vernon regional, No. 9 King’s Way Christian plays No. 8 Naches Valley at 1 p.m. The winner faces Cedar Park Christian or Quincy at 4 p.m. at Skagit Community College.
2B regional: No. 7 Kalama plays No. 10 Friday Harbor at 1 p.m. at the Brewster Regional. The winner gets Brewster or Warden at 4 p.m.