Glacier Peak looking to defend its Wesco 4A title | Boys soccer
Last updated 4/6/2018 at Noon
The arrival of a new coach often means a period of transition for players as both parties get to know each other.
The Glacier Peak boys soccer team, however, has picked up right from where it left off under new coach Terry Mitalas.
The defending district and Wesco 4A champions are off to a solid start with a 4-1-1 league record that includes victories over Mount Vernon, Monroe, Mariner and Cascade. The lone loss to Lake Stevens came with a depleted lineup that was missing four players due to illnesses.
Glacier Peak battled to a scoreless tie with an improved veteran Jackson team in an early test Monday, April 2, at Everett Memorial Stadium.
That the Grizzlies are playing so well should come as no surprise with the return of 10 seniors and five juniors. Mitalas, the longtime coach at Shorecrest, is one of the most well-known figures in the region and he came in familiar with the Glacier Peak roster.
Mitalas, who coached a number of the Grizzlies on his select team, watched as Glacier Peak finished third at the 4A state tournament last year.
“I know a lot of the players on JV and varsity,” Mitalas said. “It made it pretty easy coming here.”
Top returning players include seniors Keegan Rubio and Danny Guerrero, both of whom were first-team, all-league selections. The two scored goals off of crosses in the Grizzlies’ 2-1 victory over Mount Vernon Friday, March 23, at Glacier Peak High School.
“I was very happy with the way they played,” Mitalas said. “They moved the ball around and attacked on the wings.”
Mitalas expects Rubio to draw a lot of attention from the opposition.
“Everybody knows Keegan. Everybody is going to mark him,” Mitalas said. “He has a free role to play in the midfield and move around. He creates a lot of space.”
The Glacier Peak defense should be as strong as the offense with senior Favi Zenteno, a second-team defender, returning junior defender Bryce Crowder and returning sophomore goalkeeper Marco Guerrero. Also back is senior midfielder Owen Padilla, who earned honorable mention recognition.
Glacier Peak faces a particularly tough stretch of games as it wraps up the first half of the regular season.
The Grizzlies host Kamiak, who advanced to the state quarterfinals, at 7 p.m., Monday, April 9, at Glacier Peak High School, and then they have rematches with the Vikings (7 p.m., Friday, April 13 at Glacier Peak) and the Bulldogs (7 p.m., Tuesday, April 17 at Mount Vernon).
“The Wesco 4A is a very tough division. These games are 2-1, 3-1,” Mitalas said. “It’s just who is at the top of their game.”