Seattle Prep’s speed, size and ability to find the net early, quashed the Edmonds-Woodway girls soccer team’s quest for a second straight Class 3A title Friday night.
The Panthers (21-0-1), ranked in the top 25 of USA Today’s national high school soccer poll, beat the Warriors (18-2-2), 2-1, at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup. Edmonds-Woodway will play Wesco rival Arlington for the third time this season, this time at 10 a.m. Saturday in the third-place game at Sparks Stadium.
Southridge of Kennewick won the first 3A semifinal over Arlington, 1-0.
Senior midfielder Jalen Woodward got Seattle Prep on the scoreboard first in the 11th minute on a penalty kick she stroked past Warriors’ goalkeeper Hannah Hicks into the left side of the net.
The Panthers added to their lead in the 17th minute. Sophomore midfielder Sophie Hirst scored on a breakaway down the middle of the field beating Hicks one-on-one, after a through pass by midfielder Nicole Rasmussen.
The Warriors looked overmatched in the first half by Prep’s pressure and ability to control the ball. E-W coach Bill LeCompte gave a motivational speech at halftime, though and the team responded and came out much stronger in the second half.
“’He said, “This is it, this is our season, give it everything we got,’” sophomore forward Alison Monroe said. “We really took it to heart.”
The Panthers took a more defensive stance in the second half while the Warriors got more aggressive after being out shot 4-1 by the Panthers in the first half. E-W matched Seattle Prep in second half shots with four apiece.
Monroe gave the Warriors new life in the 56th minute.
After a throw-in from freshman midfielder Chiara Serafini, Monroe punched it in from about 10 yards out on the left side of the net past Panthers’ goalkeeper Sophie Cooprider.
Monroe also had a near miss in the 52nd minute when her shot from 30 yards out hit the top-middle of the crossbar.
The defending champs lost eight seniors off last year’s team and leading goal scorer Madison Schultz, who did not play this season after committing to North Carolina.
“We were going to go out and give it our best shot,” Monroe said. “We did better than we thought we were going to do.”
Edmonds-Woodway 0 1 — 1
Seattle Prep 2 0 — 2
Seattle Prep: 8
Seattle Prep: 5
Seattle Prep: 2
E-W, Hicks: 2
Seattle Prep, Cooprider: 0
— By Tony Dondero