After starting the year on the junior varsity team, Edmonds-Woodway sophomore Kyra Hicks soon found her way up to the varsity squad early in the season. The maturation of the young striker reached a new level on Tuesday as Hicks scored twice to lead the Warriors to a 3-2 win over the visiting Bonney Lake Panthers in a WIAA 3A State Girls soccer tournament match played at Edmonds Stadium.
Hicks’ second goal gave E-W a 3-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the second half of the match; the Warrior defense then held on during a Panthers’ onslaught in the final 12 minutes to preserve the victory.
The Warriors (13-2-2) will next face the Mercer Island Islanders in a state tourney quarterfinal match on Saturday, Nov. 11, at Edmonds Stadium. First kick is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Hicks’ pair of goals on Tuesday were signs of the sophomore’s ever-growing skill on the soccer pitch, noted E-W Coach Bill LeCompte.
“That first goal was just a moment of clarity and composure that was unmatched,” LeCompte said. “Same with that second goal that she scored where she just took a second and knew exactly where she wanted to put it and she did.”
Hicks scored in the 32nd minute after controlling a long pass just inside the 18-yard box from teammate Gaby Chappell. Under pressure, she fired a shot past Panthers’ goalkeeper Eliza Christensen for the goal.
Then in the 49th minute, Hicks found herself on a diagonal run through the box, looked up at the goal and blasted a shot just to the right of Christensen and into the netting.
LeCompte likes the soccer instincts he sees in Hicks. “She has a knack for being in the right spot and finding a way to get the ball on frame,” he said.
Hicks almost picked up a hat trick later but was denied on an attempted header when Christensen literally grabbed the ball off the top of Hicks’ head.
“I was just seeing the ball in the air and I was thinking if I could get to it I might have another one,” Hicks explained. “But the goalie stepped — and it was a great step. It was basically her hands on the ball and my head right at the same time.”
It was Michaela Danyo that got the Warriors on the scoreboard first on Tuesday; from 10 yards out and from a sharp angle, the junior bounced a low shot off the left goalpost and into the goal midway through the first half to put E-W up 1-0. Then after Hicks’ two scores pushed the lead to 3-0, the Panthers started an all-out late effort to make a game of it.
With less than 10 minutes to go in the match, Bonney Lake co-captain Olivia Kirby bounced a long shot off the crossbar and back into play, denying the senior a goal. But Panther Kaylee Coatney wouldn’t be denied three minutes later on a shot in the middle of the box from 10 yards out.
Then with less than two minutes to go in the match, Coatney took control of the ball on the Panthers’ side of midfield, dribbled 30 yards through the Warrior midfield, then rocketed a shot from 35 yards out over the outstretched arms of E-W goalkeeper Hannah Hicks to cut the Warriors’ lead to 3-2.
From her goalkeeper position, Hicks admitted the team was a little tense during the match’s final hectic stage. “Definitely a little bit of panic, but I really do have a lot of faith in these girls,” Hicks said. “But I knew they were there for me and they knew I was there for them.”
Hicks and her defense held on in the final minutes of regulation and extra time to defeat the Panthers, eliminating them from the state tournament and ending their season at 14-3-0.
E-W’s next opponent, Mercer Island, will be bringing an impressive 13-1-3 to Edmonds Stadium on Saturday. The winner of the Warriors-Islanders clash will move on to the 3A state championship semi-finals on Nov. 17.
To view the entire WIAA 3A State Girls Soccer Tournament bracket, click http://www.wescoathletics.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=2391&sport=11.
Prep Girls Soccer: Bonney Lake at Edmonds-Woodway, Nov. 7 (WIAA 3A State Girls Soccer Tournament first round match)
Bonney Lake 0 2 — 2
Edmonds-Woodway 2 1 — 3
Michaela Danyo (Edmonds-Woodway), unassisted, in the 20th minute
Kyra Hicks (Edmonds-Woodway), assisted by Gaby Chappell, in the 32nd minute
Kyra Hicks (Edmonds-Woodway), assisted by Gaby Chappell, in the 49th minute
Kaylee Coatney (Bonney Lake), assisted by Olivia Kirby, in the 74th minute
Kaylee Coatney (Bonney Lake), unassisted, in the 79th minute
Hannah Hicks (Edmonds-Woodway) — 8
Eliza Christensen (Bonney Lake) — 4
Sarah Daffern (Bonney Lake) — 2
Edmonds-Woodway — 3
Bonney Lake — 3
Records: Edmonds-Woodway 13-3-3 overall; Bonney Lake 14-3-0 overall
Edmonds-Woodway next match: versus Mercer Island, Saturday, Nov. 11, 3 p.m. at Edmonds Stadium (WIAA 3A State Girls Soccer Tournament quarterfinal match)
— By Doug Petrowski