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Some gotta win ...
"It was Back to the Future for the Klahowya Secondary School girls soccer team last Friday night. And, like the Michael J. Fox movie of that name, the Eagles hope there's a sequel in the offing. Before their 4-2 state Class 2A quarterfinal playoff victory over the Montesano Bulldogs, the Eagles spent 90 minutes watching videotape of their victory in last year's state championship game. They started to realize they want that feeling again, Klahowya coach Troy Oelschlager said.Hilary Crisman, by far the leading scorer in Klahowya's soccer history, had three goals to propel the Eagles back to Federal Way Stadium for this weekend's state Final Four. They take on East Valley of Yakima in a 10 a.m. semifinal game Friday, with the winner advancing to Saturday's 4 p.m. title game.Crisman gave the Bulldogs an uneasy feeling right away in last Friday's quarterfinal game at Silverdale Stadium, when her direct free kick sailed over a wall of Montesano defenders and past the outstretched arms of Bulldog goalkeeper Crystal Snyder just 2 minutes, 42 seconds into the game.The Eagles scored again less than 10 minutes later when a pinball game broke out in front of the Montesano goal. Sophomore Melissa Emel took a pass from Crisman and scooted it forward into the goalmouth. It bounced off Snyder and at least two defenders before Klahowya senior Kasey Cowdin got a piece of it with her head, sending it skidding off even more legs and, finally, into the netting.It was just kind of bouncing off everyone, said Cowdin, a senior. I was just hoping to get a touch on it.It seemed like nearly everyone in a jersey got a touch on it, but Cowdin made hers count. And that's when Oelschlager started to get nervous.A two-goal lead in soccer is the worst, Oelschlager said. You can start to relax, but then they score a goal and they're right back in it.With eight minutes remaining in the first half, Montesano senior Annie Becker made good on Oelschlager's prediction. She had been contained by a physical Eagle defense, but broke out and powered a shot in from decent field goal range, beating freshman goalie Alicia Langdon.That's when Crisman took control of the game. She gave the Eagles all they'd need to win with a nifty drive to the goal in the game's 47th minute. Emel hit the speedy junior in stride with a pass down the right sideline. Crisman then juked one Bulldog, cut hard and split two more defenders before luring Snyder out of the goal and lofting a shot over her that stretched the net and tucked itself into the upper left corner.Crisman scored another goal - her school-record 31st of the season - with 20 minutes left to play to ice the game. Becker tallied a meaningless goal for the Bulldogs in the 75th minute, knocking in the rebound after her free kick was saved by Langdon.Montesano coach Bob Tully and some of his players criticized the Silverdale Stadium surface after the game, Becker calling it cement painted green.It's tough not to play on grass, when you play on grass all year, Tully said. We've had three practices on turf fields, and this was the worst one.Becker added that the field is a lot faster than what we've played on ... they had the advantage of playing on it all season. They adapted to it better than we did.Oelschlager agreed that the Bulldogs appeared to struggle with the turf, but added, They were playing a flat defense, and we've got pretty fast forwards. I don't think they realized how fast our forwards were.After the game, Klahowya players peeled off their game jerseys to reveal t-shirts reminding everyone of their status as 1999 AA State Champions. And both Crisman and Cowdin were demanding the sequel.We want to write '2000' on the bottom of that, Crisman said. Champs in 1999 and 2000.Cowdin admitted to more urgent motives for her and other three seniors on the roster - midfielder Jennifer Beall, sweeper Aimee Gray and defender Erin Gregor.We weren't going to let our senior season end on our home stadium field, Cowdin said, because that's not right. "