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Trojans go back to state
"The Olympic High School girls soccer team to beat Thomas Jefferson to earn the home-field advantage in last night's first-round state Class 4A playoff game.Then they had to win out over a football team.The Trojans, 2-1 winners over the Raiders in a West Central District state qualifier Nov. 3, got to host Stadium of Tacoma in the state round-of-16 last night at Silverdale Stadium. But the Tuesday night date wasn't set until the Trojans won out over Port Townsend's football team, which coveted Silverdale Stadium as the site for its Class 2A Bi-District matchup against Sultan.Olympic will be the Central Kitsap School District's only team in the state 4A bracket. Central Kitsap, the Olympic League's No. 2 district seed, was ousted 1-0 by Decatur earlier Saturday at Federal Way Stadium.It was a lot easier for Oly to turn away the 2A gridders, it turns out, than it was to get past Jefferson and earn the Trojans' first state tourney appearance since 1997.Two first-half goals, one each by Erin Laird and Tiffany Hamre, had to stand up against a fearsome TJ comeback that started with a goal less than a minute into the second half.I just thought, 'Oh, no,' Haggerty said of Kelsey Klatt's goal off a free kick that pulled the Raiders within a goal. After that, they just missed on a free kick, and for probably the rest of the game they dominated. But we held them out. We got it done.Haggerty gave a lot of the credit for the victory to 6-foot-1 goalkeeper Tiffany Jess, who made several key saves down the stretch. Jess actually was replaced at halftime by Erin Shafer, but came back in when Shafer was cautioned for playing a ball with her hands outside the penalty area. Shafer never got back into the game.Normally, I would've put (Shafer) back in as soon as there was a dead ball, Haggerty said, but I felt like I had to go with the hot keeper. They put a lot of pressure on Tiffany, and she made some great saves.Jess also had to withstand some early pressure when Jefferson constricted the play in the Oly end and earned a half-dozen quick corner kicks.But Trojan senior Erin Laird gave her the lead in the eighth minute of play.It came against the run of play, Haggerty said of Laird's goal, on an assist from Cara Johnson. It was really our first offensive attack. She just put it in from 18 or 20 yards.The Trojans made it 2-0 about 20 minutes later when Chantal Ricard found sophomore Tiffany Hamre open wide of the goalmouth.She got that goal by doing her job, staying wide, Haggerty said of Hamre, who also scored the game-winning goal in Oly's 3-2 victory over Central Kitsap that boosted the Trojans to the league championship. Chantal got the ball to her and she was able to just redirect it into the net.From then on, it was hold-on time as Jefferson seized the run of play.Tiffany bailed us out with some outstanding saves, Haggerty said.Decatur 1, Central Kitsap 0: Laura Harvey's goal 15 minutes in turned out to be the game's only score, although the Cougars gave it their best shot the rest of the way.We should've won the game, said CK coach Lee Yeager. We'd seen Decatur play, and we knew we were the more fit team. We knew we could put pressure on them, particularly in the last 20 minutes.That the Cougars did, but they never managed to get a shot past Decatur goalie Breanna Klasen.The pressure got downright fearsome in the final five minutes, when Klasen fisted away a long line-drive shot by Keely Malhiot, then trapped a ball against the goalpost following a long Nicole Zygmontowicz throw-in. Klasen later called the the sequence the longest five minutes I've ever played. They just kept shooting and shooting.The Gators made plenty of chances for themselves, as well, but Yeager credited senior Kelly Costello with her finest game of the season in goal.She made at least four saves that probably should've been goals, he praised.Costello couldn't stop Harvey on the game's only goal, however, after a pass from Sydney Saenz broke her free for a 1-on-1 run against the CK goalkeeper.It was a very even game, Yeager said. Both teams had their opportunities. I think we showed we deserved to be there.It's tough when you have to play that first game on the road, but we're not making any excuses, he added. We were ready. They got the goal they needed and we didn't. "