FAIRBANKS-The West Valley boys soccer team will be the other Interior team in the state soccer tournament. The Wolfpack will face defending champion South in their opening game.
The South Anchorage Wolverines were second in the CIC this year and the Wolverines shutout West Valley 3-0 but that was back in late April. Since then West Valley finished 9-3-2 and 7-0-1 in the MAC conference winning their seventh region title in eight years.
West Valley will count on their defense and timely offense led by Brayden Deweese and Connor Smith. They allowed 12 goals all year and goalie Chris Wheat has six shutouts in conference play.
If West Valley wins they'll face Dimond or Juneau. Dimond won the CIC this year and Juneau is the SEC champions. Dimond and Juneau also won the 2012 and 2011 state titles.
So the Wolfpack seem to be in the group of death but they're optimistic they can make some noise since they've played South before and they scrimmaged against a men's team last night to simulate South's play.
"I got all the confidence in the world in these guys and you know we kind of play the underdog role and we kind of put that forward and say hey nobody thinks we can do anything and maybe we can go down there and get an upset," West Valley head coach Howard Maxwell said.
Olav Tchegeownta, a junior left defenseman, believes the team has gotten better since that match against the Wolverines.
"Because we're sort of a younger team we've had time throughout the season to advance and build up our style of play to meet what Howard wants and I think that will help us in our rematch against South." Techegeownta said.
"We're pretty confident," junior center-mid Tanner Kuhl said. "We've managed to hold these last couple teams without letting them score. So I think if we can go down there and pretty much perform the same we might come out with a win."