By Quint Turner
Like last year, Meadowdale is appearing in the state playoffs, but unlike last year, they got past the first round by winning one of the most exciting games of soccer I’ve ever seen Wednesday night. The game looked to be headed to overtime until a throw-in by Rosalyn Stapleton with 30 seconds left bounced around the 30-yard line and was partially cleared. However, the clear went to the hustling Jasmine Parsley, and from 35 yards out, she took a one-timer shot that zipped over the outstretched hand of goalkeeper Madi Lowery and off the crossbar, with 19 seconds left. Bonney Lake had one last chance but they could not generate any offense and the Mavericks won, 4-3.
The game played more like hockey, as seven goals were scored in the 80 minutes of play, and goalkeepers Ashley Routh for Meadowdale and Lowery saw their goals against average and save percentage dip a few points.
The first 20 minutes of play was dominated by the Panthers. In the 5th minute, Ali Martinson got a through ball into the MHS box but Routh came out to get it just in time. Then, a wonderful header by Jessyka Seger got to Megan Riggs in the 6-yard box, but her shot went wide thanks to stingy defense. However, two minutes later, on a cross by Ashley Cade, the ball went past Routh and right to Madison Adams, who had the wide open net and made it 1-0 Panthers.
Bonney Lake’s next threat came off a corner in the 24th minute. Rather than a typical cross in front of the goal, Lindsey Hanbidge simply passed to Adams, who was right next to her. Adams somehow smashed the ball over everyone and straight into the goal to put the Pathers up 2-0.
The Mavericks responded right away. In the 26th minute, Erica Beaulieu got a low cross in from the side of the box right to Alisa Sagdahl, and Sagdahl smacked the ball right into the net easily to make it 2-1. The Mavericks almost tied the game up in the 36th minute when a corner kick by Rosalyn Stapleton was headed off the post and out by Sagdahl. In the 40th, Sagdahl got a through ball to Emily Crichlow down the side for a good chance. Unfortunately, Crichlow just ran out of room and her shot from a bad angle was easily saved by Lowery just as the half ended.
Three goals in a half is usually the half where more goals are scored, but in the second, the teams combined for four in a shootout. It started in the 42nd, when Stapleton had a corner kick weakly cleared to around the 30-yard line. There was a bit of a scrum, and the ball got to Crichlow at the top of the box, and her shot from there went low corner and went in to make it 2-2. The Mavs had a chance when Crichlow had another shot just outside the box but that just went wide. In the 55th minute, the Mavs took the lead when Hannah Shouse took a free kick from the 30-yard line, and lofted the ball to Sagdahl in the box. Sagdahl had managed to break free from the defense and headed the ball easily in to make it 3-2.
But Bonney Lake didn’t give up. Moments after, Seger had a breakaway down the middle of the field, but Routh challenged her and stole the ball. This wouldn’t stop the Panthers who continued to put on pressure. In the 61st minute, a corner by Kassandra Blakely was tipped toward the net by Lindsey Hanbidge. The ball bounced off the corner of the crossbar and the post, but the bounce hit a Meadowdale player and went in to tie the game at 3.
The Panthers had a chance to take the lead when Hanbidge got a through ball to Adams, but her shot just outside the box went high. Meadowdale had a great opportunity in the 70th when Sagdahl received a ball while just onsides near the top of the box, but she was unable to get the ball past the diving Lowery. Both teams traded chances from there, but neither got any shots on them until the 78th minute. Alyssa Navlet received a bouncing ball 30 yards from the goal, and she just hit a lofting ball into the box with no one but Lowery around. The ball bounced over Lowery as it landed on the 6-yard box but the ball bounced over the crossbar. Two minutes later, the stage was set for the dramatic game winner by Parsley and the Meadowdale Mavericks would move on to the quarterfinals with a 4-3 victory.
With the win, the Mavericks will play the winner of Bishop Blanchet and Kelso on Saturday, Nov. 12, at home, at 3 p.m.
Sports correspondent Quint Turner is a sophomore at Meadowdale High School.