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... Some gotta lose
"By MIKE MOOREStaff WriterSEATTLE - Bernie James was quick to compliment the Olympic High School girls soccer team his Roosevelt squad had just crushed.He said they'd fit right in with the teams the Roughriders play twice a week in the Kingco Conference.They're a good team, James said after Roosevelt had finished its 4-0 demolition of the too-young, too-small Trojans in last Friday's state Class 4A quarterfinal playoff game at Memorial Stadium. But we play teams like this every game. Every game (in Kingco) is like a playoff game for us. When we got (to the state bracket), we were tough. We were ready.The Trojans, who play a mixed bag of opponents in the multi-classification Olympic League, clearly hadn't seen the level of play the Kingco-champion Teds threw at them.Our wingers got some crosses in early and got Olympic back on its heels a little, I think, said James, a recently retired Seattle Sounders veteran. Our team speed is the best I've seen.Olympic, which traded on its speed to win the Oly League title, didn't have anyone who could stay with Roughrider wingers Juliana Edwards (just a freshman) and Tiffany Fenster, who continually blew down the wings and sent line-drive crosses or wicked, angled shots into the box.It was a style reminiscent of the English-flavored Sounders in James' heyday. It also recalled the rough, uncompromising style he played as a defender.Our defenders could keep up with their speed, said Trojan senior Erin Laird, but they're big, and they play very physical.You don't see that in the Olympic League, shrugged Olympic coach Steve Haggerty, who got to the Final Eight - and no further - for the second time in the last four years. They wore us down.Haggerty pointed out that the Trojans were weakened by injuries. Junior defender Natalie Carlson in particular could've helped out in the middle, but she was in street clothes on the sideline after playing a few short spurts in last Tuesday's 2-1 opening-round win over Stadium.Even with a healthy Carlson, though, Troy would've had a rugged time containing all the offensive firepower Roosevelt unleashed. Senior Tammy Hartung scored two goals, playing just 28 minutes before sitting down to rest her own injuries; Edwards and Fenster created constant danger from the wings; and stopper Deanna Wilkie controlled the midfield play and kept Oly's defense honest with a number of runs and long shots.Hartung's first goal, heading in Edwards' corner kick from point-blank range at the far post, came early (1 minute, 59 seconds). Olympic, however, almost scored even earlier. Chantal Ricard ran onto Emily Tracy's cross to the left side of the box less than 30 seconds into the game and sent a shot just inches wide of the goalpost.If that ball goes in, it must might be a different game, said Haggerty.James agreed, saying, That could've changed everything around. Fortunately for us, they didn't get the early goal and we came right back and got one of our own.Hartung made it 2-0 rather easily, gathering the rebound after Oly goalkeeper Tiffany Jess slapped down a rocket through the middle of the box by Wilkie. It was Hartung's 23rd goal of the season.Jess was under constant pressure throughout the half, making saves on eight of the Teds' 17 shots. She finished with nine saves, coming out just after Roosy freshman Sophie Spickard scored her team's fourth goal in the 62nd minute.Olympic totaled just four shots to the Teds' 25, but came close on a couple of occasions. Laird's hard shot after a cross from freshman Lauren Haas sailed just high, and Tracy got open for a run into the box in the 65th minute that was smothered smartly by Roosevelt goalie Meghan Miller before she could get a shot off.We weren't expecting anything, Laird said of the game against the 13-0-3 Roughriders. We just wanted to get here and see what we could do.Ricard, like Laird a senior on an underclassman-dominated roster, added, We got farther than we thought we could, so we can't be too unhappy. "