The Spartans went toe-to-toe with Snohomish for the league title, but fell in a super tiebreaker to secure a second place finish in the Wesco 3A North.
“It was stinging for the team because we were right there,” head coach Sean Cunningham said. “I’m not disappointed, though, because for the first time in a long time we’re right there with perennial power Snohomish, and then we turned around and showed it to Arlington and Oak Harbor. We played lights out two days in a row.”
After the 4-3 home defeat to the Panthers, the Spartans topped the rival Eagles 5-2 and blanked the Wildcats 7-0.
Stanwood was led by senior Preston Pierce, who remained undefeated this year and boasts an 8-0 record.
“That’s a difficult thing to do in our league,” Cunningham said of the unbeaten mark. “Preston is easily the most competitive player I’ve ever coached. He doesn’t get discouraged. He turned around and took over his match (against Snohomish).”
Now, the Spartans are gearing up for the postseason and will likely tinker with moving singles players Pierce, Shintario Wilcox, Morgan Zill and Cody Vail to doubles.
“We’ve really come together as a team,” Cunningham said. “Now we have to see what comes together to put us in the best position to make a run during postseason.”
- Oct. 1: Snohomish 4, Stanwood 3: Singles: Macen Strickland (Sno) def. Shintaro Wilcox 6-1, 6-0; Will Macdonald (Sno) def. Morgan Zill 6-4, 6-1; Preston Pierce (Stan) def. Nathan Ross 5-7, 6-3, 6-2; Cody Vail (Stan) def. Max Minugh 6-1, 7-6(4). Doubles: Colin MacDonald/Danny Pike (Sno) def. Kenshin Humphrey/Jonah Grierson 6-3, 6-3; Gunnar Sturlaugson/Ethan Ellis (Sno) def. Chase Larkin/Kade Getzinger 6-7(7), 7-6(2), 10-3; Dylan Link/Huston Rawls (Stan) def. Cade Frediani/Powell Davis 6-3, 6-4.
- Oct. 2: Stanwood 5, Arlington 2: Singles: Taras McCurdie (Arl) def. Shintaro Wilcox 6-1, 3-6, 6-2; Morgan Zill (Stan) def. Ben Nichols 3-6, 6-0, 6-2; Preston Pierce (Stan) def. Keaton McBride 6-2, 6-3; Ty Rusko (Arl) def. Cody Vail 6-4, 7-5. Doubles: Kenshin Humphrey/Jonah Grierson (Stan) def. Cooper McBride/Aiden Green 6-0, 6-2; Kade Getzinger/Chase Larkin (Stan) def. Colby King/Zack Martian 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(5); Huston Rawls/Dylan Link (Stan) def. Cameron Janousek/Jacob Bolopue 6-1, 7-6(3).
- Oct. 3: Stanwood 7, Oak Harbor 0: Singles: Morgan Zill (Stan) def. Ezra Franklin 6-1, 4-6, 6-2; Preston Pierce (Stan) def. Ridgely Briddel 6-2, 6-3; Cody Vail (Stan) def. Yuji Caballero 6-0, 6-2; Jonah Grierson (Stan) def. Ben Servatius 6-3, 6-1. Doubles: Shintaro Wilcox/Henshin Humphrey (Stan) def. Nick Krantz/Micah Franklin 1-6, 6-3, 6-3; Kade Getzinger/Chase Larkin (Stan) def. Samuel Peel/Ethan Snell 6-1, 6-1; Dylan Link/Huston Rawls (Stan) def. John Blankman/Javelo Lawrence 6-1, 6-1.
Stanwood went 1-1 last week, setting up a big home showdown Tuesday night with Edmonds-Woodway — one of three teams tied atop the league standings.
After dropping a 2-0 decision Oct. 1 at Shorecrest, the Spartans took down Lynnwood 2-1 on Oct. 3 to improve to 5-3 in league play.
“I’m proud of the girls, they played quality soccer,” head coach Lori Stunz said of the Lynnwood victory. “(The Royals) strategy was to just blast the ball upfield, so we had to collect and rebuild, collect and rebuild, collect and rebuild all night long. It was one of the better possession games we’ve had — using everybody and using the whole field.”
Rachel Russel placed a Paige Almanza assist into the back of the net to put the Spartans up 1-0 at halftime. After Lynnwood found an equalizer, Lucy Soriano-Sanchez lofted a corner kick to the front of the net where Hailey Ovenell blasted home the one-touch game-winner.
“It was nice to see the set piece play out how we practice it,” Stunz said of the corner kick goal.
However, it was a set piece goal that Stanwood allowed earlier in the week to Shorecrest.
“That game was a battle,” Stunz said of the 2-0 loss to the Scots. “It was scoreless going into the second half before they got the first goal on the corner kick. We’re just not composed when it comes to set pieces. … They’re fast and extremely physical. It took our kids out of their game.”
Stanwood dropped a pair of home matches last week, falling to 4-3 on the season.
"It was a tough week for us, but there are some things that I see these girls improving on that will be important for this season and for seasons to come," head coach Megan Amundson said. "They are learning how to work together as a team and not just a group of skilled players. A loss is always tough to take, but if there is a lesson that comes out of it, we can learn and move on."
Stanwood lost 3-0 (21-25, 15-25, 21-25) to Shorecrest on Oct. 1. The Spartans were led by Olivia Rueckert (three kills), Lili Jones (four kills), Karli Neigemann (eight digs), Baylor Hezel (one ace, 18 digs), Grace Henken (20 assists, eight digs), Madison Morgan (12 kills, 15 digs) and Greta Hendrickson (10 digs).
On Oct. 3, the Spartans dropped a 3-1 (25-22, 25-20, 22-25, 25-17) decision to Lynnwood. Stanwood was led by Rueckert (six kills), Jones (three kills, three digs), Neigemann (three aces, nine digs), Hezel (three aces, 18 digs), India Lee (five kills, two digs), Morgan (20 kills, 12 digs), Hendrickson (one kill, 15 digs) and Leila Barmore (one ace, two kills).
The Spartans travel to Edmonds-Woodway on Tuesday and host Oak Harbor on Thursday.
The Spartan girls claimed second place at a four-team meet Oct. 3 in Oak Harbor. The boys finished fourth.
The girls were led by Charlotte Bentz, who finished in fifth place in 17:08.1. She was followed by Aubree Carr (8th, 18:05.6), Lael Ten Hoopen (9th, 18:11.3), Rylee Masonholder (14th, 19:25.4), Nadia Rubio (19th, 19:46.0) and Mary Wilson (20th, 19:52.7).
The boys were paced by Jason Khoury, who claimed ninth place in 14:33. He was followed by Wouter Van Veen (17th, 15:04.7), Owen Palmer (18th, 15:07.1), Malcolm Childs (23rd, 15:32.9), Alex Shepler (25th, 16:02) and Nelson Goosman (34th, 16:03.3).
“Great race by Nelson Goosman and Alex Shepler,” head coach Jordan Sneva said. “Lael Ten Hoopen also improving.”
The Spartans next event is the 36th annual Hole in the Wall Invite on Saturday at Lakewood High, featuring about 150 teams, a collection of food trucks, prizes, music and a handful of different races.