The Lake Washington soccer team sealed a dramatic turnaround to its season April 30 with a 3-0 win over Bothell. The win secured a playoff spot and a winning record on the season for the Kangs, two team goals set before the season.
Things didn’t start well for the Kangs (7-5-1 overall, 5-4-1 KingCo), with the team sputtering to a 1-4 start.
“I never doubted them,” said Lake Washington coach Shaun Warner, in his first season at the helm. “I knew once we started the second half we had a really good shot to make the playoffs. We played all of the top teams in the first two weeks, and we were still trying to figure ourselves out.”
In its first five games, LW was handled easily by Eastside rivals Eastlake, Juanita and Redmond, among others. Those three teams are a combined 23-7 and in either first or second place in their respective divisions. After the slow start, Warner moved some players around to improve the teams offense. In the first five games, the team scored four combined goals. In the last six games, the team scored 15.
“The biggest difference was putting the ball in the net,” Warner said. “We became a little more offensive instead of defensive. The guys really started believing in themselves.”
Lake Washington started the KingCo playoffs with a 2-1 win over Garfield on May 3. Garfield scored first, but the Kangs came back. The team took the lead with an Ian Nova goal at the 80-minute mark.
“It means a whole bunch to get into the playoffs,” Warner said. “I know all of the players are really excited and I’m definitely excited… I hope we can do some damage.”
The Kangs played in the next round of the KingCo playoffs Tuesday night against Bothell after the Reporter’s deadline.
Juanita beat Franklin 1-0 in the regular season finale April 30.
The Rebels (10-5, 8-2) clinched first place in the Mountain Division and a trip to the KingCo championship game against Eastlake (10-5, 7-3) yesterday, with the winner automatically advancing to state.