W-P heads to state final four

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PRESCOTT — After narrowly defeating Northwest Christian Academy last weekend, the Waitsburg-Prescott soccer team enters the final four of the Washington state Class 2B championships this weekend.

W-P plays Grace Academy at Sunset Chevrolet Stadium in Sumner at 8 p.m. on Friday for a chance to play in the state championship match on Saturday.

“We’re playing the best soccer that we’ve played all year, which is what our intent was,” W-P assistant coach Jay Potts said. “Our defense is getting nothing but better. We’re feeling pretty good about our defense.”

Grace Academy enters the final four after a 2-0 victory against Providence Classical Christian last weekend.

The Waitsburg-Prescott defense is looking to put together back-to-back stellar performances, following the 1-0 shutout victory against the defending state champions, Northwest Christian, last Saturday in Spokane.

Waitsburg-Prescott restricted the Crusaders to only four shots in the win.

But Potts said Grace Academy’s defense is also highly regarded.

“I think we’re going to see a defensive struggle,” Potts said. “Anytime they’ve played teams we know are good, their scores have been low.”

The Eagles boast some gaudy statistics this season, as they have connected on 98 goals while allowing only 12.

Potts said W-P looks to score first and then rely on its defense for the remainder of the match.

“Defensively, our mindset is restricting shots and we hopefully will get more offensive movement,” Potts said. “The game plan isn’t going to change for us, mainly because we don’t know (much about) who we’re playing.”

Ivan Figuero connected on W-P’s only score against Northwest Christian. Potts said both Figuero and Ernesto Valdovinos will carry a majority of the offensive burden for the remainder of the tournament.

Luckily, Potts said the team is in peak physical condition, which is crucial, considering W-P will have to play back-to-back games this weekend.

A victory Friday night puts W-P into the state title match at 4 p.m. Saturday in Sumner, with the game for third and fourth slated for noon.

Bear Creek and St. George’s square off in the other state semifinal at 6 p.m. in Sumner.

“Right now we’re focused on shooting drills to improve under-pressure shots,” Potts said. “We’d like to have two goals at least, but we’re not changing too much at all.”

Potts said W-P is approaching the semifinal game in the same fashion it has approached every other game this year.

“All season long we’ve been trying to make it so they don’t get too high or too low,” Potts said. “We’re just going to continue that same strategy.”

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