Wednesday’s Civil War game showcased just how much talent there is for Longview soccer.
“I think we’re right there with Ridgefield,” RAL coach Max Anderson said, fresh off a 2-0 win over Mark Morris and a 1-0 loss to Ridgefield on Monday. “Both (R.A. Long and Mark Morris) are poised to make a push in the playoffs.”
There’s a bottleneck for third place in the league standings currently, with the two programs and Ridgefield right there. The rankings are consistent with what coaches see on the field.
Woodland and Columbia River were considered the two top programs in the Greater St. Helens League 2A prior to the season, and so far, both squads have reinforced the reputations.
Ridgefield also beat Mark Morris 1-0 in the last week of March. R.A. Long plays the Spudders on April 19, and the Monarchs host Ridgefield just four days later.
So it’s no surprise that MM coach Harold West was exceptionally frustrated following Wednesday’s loss.
“We took one hand off the wheel,” West said.
The Jacks graduated two-thirds of their starting lineup from last season but production has remained steady. The lineup has been bolstered by improvements made by veterans, as well as freshman Manny Alvarez, one of the few ‘select’ players in the county. The Monarchs have overcome a similar challenge and the final regular season match of the year, April 30, is likely to be as pivotal as it is competitive.
“I’m not blowing smoke, these guys are doing really well,” Anderson said of MM. “They’re right behind us, so absolutely, this is a big one.”