With a strong push from both their head coach and Mother Nature, the Edmonds-Woodway Warriors put together a convincing second half effort against Eastside Catholic Tuesday night at Edmonds Stadium and defeated the Crusaders 3-0 in a first round match of the 2015 WIAA 3A State Girls Soccer Tournament.
E-W, the defending 3A girls soccer state champions, will next face Central Kitsap in a quarterfinal state tourney match to be played Saturday, Nov. 14, at Edmonds Stadium. The Cougars earned a trip to the round of eight with a 2-1 victory over Marysville-Pilchuck.
The Warriors scored all three of their goals Tuesday night in the second 40 minutes following a halftime speech by Coach Bill LeCompte and being able to play the second half with the wind at their backs.
The match was scoreless at halftime despite E-W having a number of quality chances in the first half to get on the scoreboard. In the halftime locker room, LeCompte encouraged his squad to keep pressing forward.
“We talked about trying to finish at halftime because we weren’t taking (advantage of) opportunities we had,” LeCompte said. “And we did a much better job in the second half obviously.”
A strong wind from the south goal to the north goal persisted throughout the match; the Crusaders had that wind to their backs in the first half and used it to get off six shots. But after the break E-W picked up the wind advantage, and it didn’t take long for that change to pay off as Warrior junior Kia Mackey scored five minutes into the second half on a 45-yard free kick.
“I was just trying to cross it,” Mackey said of her strike from near the left sidelines. “I didn’t even know it was (my) goal when it went it. I thought I assisted it.”
Mackey’s shot, helped by the strong wind at her back, traveled some 40 yards in the air, bounced in the six-yard box and got past Eastside Catholic goalkeeper Leah Day for the score.
Mackey had to turn to her teammates for confirmation of the goal. “I asked them, ‘Did that go in? Was that a goal?’ And they were (answering) ‘Yes.’ I was like ‘Cool!’”
E-W’s Gabby Clark added two goals of her own later in the second half. In the 66th minute the senior co-captain – with her back to the goal – flicked in a score off her head from a throw-in by teammate Chiara Serafini. Nine minutes later Clark slipped a 20-yard shot into the lower right corner off an assist by Ellie Shull.
LeCompte was especially proud of Clark’s performance in the first-round state tournament game. “I can’t say enough about that girl. She’s pretty special to me,” he said with a smile. “She’s been working hard for the last four years and just to see her go out and score two tonight, that’s huge. She’s really kind of taken charge of trying to figure out how to score goals for us.”
With the wind in their faces, the Crusaders could muster only two shots in the second half. The first led to the best save of the night by Warrior keeper Hannah Hicks, who had to dive to her right to corral a skidding shot off the foot of Crusader Mia Beck.
In all Hicks made seven saves to preserve the shutout for the Warriors.
While scoring the first of her team’s three goals, Mackey gave credit for the win to her all her teammates. “I just think we played really well tonight, really together as a team. We definitely stepped it up,” she said.
Prep Girls Soccer: Eastside Catholic at Edmonds-Woodway, 3A State Tournament first round, Nov. 10
Eastside Catholic 0 0 — 0
Edmonds-Woodway 0 3 — 3
Kia Mackey (E-W), unassisted, in the 45th minute
Gabby Clark (E-W), assisted by Chiara Serafini, in the 66th minute
Gabby Clark (E-W), assisted by Ellie Shull, in the 75th minute
Shots: Edmonds-Woodway 19; Eastside Catholic 8
Corner Kicks: Edmonds-Woodway 3 – Eastside Catholic 0
Fouls: Edmonds-Woodway 5; Eastside Catholic 8
Records: Edmonds-Woodway 17-1-2 overall; Eastside Catholic 12-7-1 overall
Edmonds-Woodway next match: versus Central Kitsap, Saturday, Nov. 14, 4 p.m. at Edmonds Stadium (WIAA 3A State Girls Soccer Tournament quarterfinal match)
— By Doug Petrowski