By John William Howard, NWAACC.org
These previews are the opinion of just one man, and do not reflect the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges or any of their sponsors. If you have a question or comment on this or any story for John Howard, send him an email, contact him via twitter , or leave a comment below.
Both Walla Walla and Clark can wrap up a region title with one more win, as they lead their regions by seven and five points respectively. Then begins the debate: do you rest your players to get back to full strength and stave off injury, or do you keep your regular rotation on the field to keep up momentum going into the post season? Keeping in mind that region champions get a first round bi with the current playoff format, how would you as coach handle that situation? Answer on twitter or below in the comments!
Men's Matches of the Week:
Oct. 24th - No. 5 Edmonds at Everett
This match up is critical for both teams, and the stakes are high, while different, for each squad. Edmonds, who leads the NWAACC North by four points over Everett, looks to further pull away in the race for the division title and cement their claim to the crown. For Everett, things could go either way. They lead Whatcom by just one point, and if they lose or draw and Whatcom wins on Wednesday, Everett could find themselves in third place. However, a win for Everett would make them a legitimate title contender as well as clinch a berth in post season play with just two games remaining.
Final result: Edmonds 2, Everett 0.
For the last few weeks, Spokane seemed as though they suddenly woke up. They were on fire, winning four matches in a row and allowing only two goals. Then they ran in to No. 6 Treasure Valley and allowed two scores in that match alone, which ended in a draw. The Sasquatch will look to get back on track, as well as move out of a tie for third place with the aforementioned Treasure Valley Chuckars. An interesting note about the East: should TVCC and Spokane both win on Wednesday, there will be a three way tie for second place in the division. Spokane will place both Columbia Basin (2nd) and Treasure Valley once more before the season concludes.
Final result: 4-0 victory for Walla Walla. Read the full game recap.
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By the end of the day on October 24th, the North could either be shaken out or even more of a mess. Four teams are within five points, and all four teams are playing one another on the same day. No. 7 Everett (1st) and Edmonds (3rd) face off, and No. 5 Whatcom and No. 8 Shoreline will play. If Everett and Whatcom win, there will be a clear 1-2 race and a clear 3-4 race. However, if things go the other way, all four teams will be within three points leading into the final week of the season. Hold your breath.
Women's Matches of the Week:
Oct. 24th - No. 2 Spokane at No. 4 Walla Walla
Final result: 0-0 draw. Read the full game recap.
Oct. 27th - Highline at No. 6 Bellevue
After suffering through a rocky early mid-season patch, Highline has come back with a vengeance looking to unseat Bellevue from their 2nd place position in the NWAACC West. Bellevue hasn't done much to hold their own, losing their last three games to No. 2 Spokane, No. 1 Peninsula and unranked Olympic, and now find themselves leading Highline by just one point in the Western Region standings. A win definitely wouldn't guarantee Bellevue the spot, but it would give them some ground, as they have No. 1 Peninsula looming ominously to end the season while Highline plays a relatively soft schedule.
The next set of JOWARD Power Rankings will be out on the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 17. Look for them on twitter or facebook.