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Trojans lose key players, state playoff
By AARON MANAGHAN
SEATTLE At the 2007 3A WIAA State Girls Soccer Tournament, beating a top-flight program is hard enough. Doing so without two key players is even tougher.
Olympic found that out the hard way on Tuesday, as the Trojans dropped a narrow 1-0 heartbreaker with one of the states best programs in Lakeside at the Southwest Athletic Complex at Chief Sealth High School.
Its a disappointment because if we didnt want to win the game, we wouldnt have shown up, Olympic coach Steve Haggerty said.
The teams played extremely even through the first half, as the first 40 minutes flew by without too many strong scoring chances either way.
But the in 22nd minute of play, the Trojans were dealt their first bad break of the night. Streaking toward the Lakeside goal, Oly forward Lacy Skelly, a catalyst for the Trojans throughout their playoff run, got taken out on a clean slide tackle by Lions defender Adriana Hiestand-Salgado. She was transported off the field to a local hospital with an apparent injury to her left leg.
After play resumed, both teams continued to play each other tough, with Lakeside pressuring in the closing minutes. On three straight corner kicks, Oly goalie Pepper Fanua was able to leap above the pack and punch the ball out.
On the third try, however, coming in the 43rd minute, the ball found the ground and pin-balled around before Lion Lauren McAndrews was able to send it by the pack and by Fanua for the lone goal in the game. The extra time that would prove to weigh heavily on the outcome was added in response to the injury time.
This team will go far in the state tournament, Haggerty said. I think we played them for 42 minutes in the first half. Unfortunately, they scored in the 43rd.
But the goal was just one ill effect of the extra minutes.
After a Lakeside player shoved midfielder Kaylegih Badger, the referee stopped play and issued the foul. Badger got up however, ran to the Lakside player and shoved her back, earning a red card from the referee that not only ended the seniors high school career, but left the Trojans one player short for the remainder of the game.
It was just hard one player down, Curry said. We didnt have Kayleigh or Lacy. But I thought our defense played well.
The Trojans played with a renewed intensity in the second half, with Curry firing a great header to the right side in the 50th minute that appeared to be a goal. Somehow, Lakeside goalie Katherine Myhre was able to jump on the ball before it went into the goal, keeping the Trojans scoreless.
Despite a strong push at the end, that was the way the game stayed, with Lakeside advancing 1-0 to the 3A state quarterfinals.
They played hard, Haggerty said of his team. I think this is the hardest game weve played all year as far as everyone stepping up.
After losing Badger, Curry suggested that she drop back to the defensive side of the ball. While that decision impacted Olys offense, it helped prevent what could have been several strong scoring opportunities for the Lions.
The way we play, obviously Liz Curry is a huge part of our offense, Haggerty said. But we needed to put our strength to match with their strength. It was at Lizs suggestion. She knows the game. Elizabeth did an outstanding job.
Haggerty said the display was just another selfless act that helped the Trojans when they needed it most.
The goal scorers sometimes get the glory, Haggerty said. The defenders do the hard work. Liz by doing that showed team first. She knew where our best chance of winning was.
The loss ended the careers of several Oly players, including Curry and Fanua. Other seniors who wont be back include midfielders Samantha Axtman, Rachel Haas and Kelsey Anchors, as well as defender Rosin Saez.
Its hard to replace Pepper. Its hard to replace Liz. Were just going to have to play a different style of soccer, Haggerty said. That group of seniors has been to the playoffs three years in a row. Theyre going to be hard to replace. But thats the whole idea of high school soccer. You get a new group every year.
While Curry said there were things Oly could have done better, like create more offense in the game, she said the loss couldnt take away the accomplishments of the team.
Its pretty cool, she said. It should be interesting to see what they do next year. Hopefully they do well. I love all the girls. Im gonna miss all of them.
Fanua said it felt good to show just how good Oly is.
Oh yeah. It showed how we can play at that next level of soccer, she said.
Fanua too said shell miss a lot about the Trojans.
The chemistry of our team, Fanua said. Just our team bonding and our coaches. Youve got to love (assistant Jeff) Trainer and Haggerty.
Another of those seniors who helped get Oly back to state, Fanua said she couldnt have more pride in her team and school.
I feel really proud of this group of girls Ive been growing up with through high school, she said. Theyre so athletic. They have a number of skills that contribute to the team.