After East Mountain’s final regular season match—a 4-0 loss at home on Oct. 20 to Sandia Prep—Timberwolves head coach John Larson said he was hopeful about his team’s playoff chances.

“I think we could get a four or a five [seed],” Larson said.

He was close. The NMAA gave East Mountain the No. 6 seed in the Class 1A-3A state championships. It will be East Mountain’s first playoff berth since 2019.

The T’Wolves play at third-seeded Santa Fe Prep on Oct. 29 in the first round of the state playoffs, which will be the quarterfinals because only eight teams participate in the 1A-3A championships. East Mountain and Santa Fe Prep faced each other last month and played to a 1-1 draw.

Before the seeding, Larson speculated that East Mountain would likely play either Santa Fe Prep or No. 4 St. Michael’s, adding: “I’m very comfortable playing either of the two Santa Fe teams.”

East Mountain (11-5-3, 5-2-1) went into the Oct. 20 matchup with Sandia Prep missing two of its starters. Ten minutes into the match, the T’Wolves lost another starter, Trevor Head.

Sandia Prep scored two goals in the first half and added two more in the second.

“The kids played good, we made a couple of mistakes, we were just down some people today,” Larson said after the loss.

Sandia Prep (16-4, 8-0) got the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

If the T’Wolves can get past Santa Fe Prep in the state opener, they would advance to the semifinals to face either No. 7 NMMI or No. 2 Hatch Valley.

“We’ve got some work to do, but we’ll get our starters back and get ready for state,” Larson said.