Coach says fast start, assertive play will be key for tonight’s E-W, Gig Harbor matchup

By Ian Waldron

After a regular season filled with adversity and obstacles, the Edmonds-Woodway girls soccer team is scheduled to play Gig Harbor in the first round of the WIAA state playoffs Tuesday evening.

The Warriors (12-5-2) started out the 2011 season 0-4-2, which likely had head coach Bill Le Compte scratching his head after high hopes for the season. But Le Compte’s squad has since rebounded, winning 11 of their past 12 matchups including a 1-0 victory over WesCo rival Jackson High School that gave them the 4A District Title.

“One of our biggest strengths this year has been our team discipline,” said Coach Le Compte.  “We have really grown into this as the season has progressed.”

Considering the start Edmonds-Woodway had in 2011, Le Compte’s analysis is right on. But the Warrior head coach likely was not aware of his psychic abilities when he predicted that this season, like the rest usually do, would come down to matchups against Kamiak and Jackson.

“I think the biggest surprise this season is how well our new players have stepped up and filled a couple of big spots for us,” Le Compte added.

Now that the Warriors have put the competitiveness of the WesCo district behind them, it is time to focus on a talented Gig Harbor team (13-3-1) that Le Compte’s squad is a bit unfamiliar with. However, winning 11 of their last 12 matchups at least puts some positive momentum on Edmonds-Woodway’s side.

“I think a big key tonight is starting fast and being assertive with our style of game,” Le Compte said. “In the process, we can’t get caught up in our opponents’ way of playing.”

With a younger, less-experienced team, Le Compte’s squad would typically be at risk of succumbing to the pressures of playoff soccer. But the Warrior head coach is optimistic about how his team has handled this challenging season.

And if a team’s consistent success and momentum is any indication of how they will perform in the playoffs, the Warriors should be feeling comfortable as they enter Tuesday’s match. Le Compte just hopes his team can stay on the path they’ve been on for the last 12 matches.

“My biggest focus for our team is to not get caught up in the stress that a game like this can provide,” he added. “We need to stay loose and have a good time playing our brand of soccer. I believe that if we go out and play to our fullest potential, the team will succeed. We are very balanced as a team and when we maintain that, we do very well.”

Tuesday’s match kicks off at 7 p.m. at Edmonds Stadium.

Ian Waldron is a 2006 graduate of Edmonds-Woodway High School.

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