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Shorecrest, Everett girls soccer teams battle to 1-1 draw

Teams have different reactions after Scots and Seagulls tie 1-1 in Wesco 3A showdown

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By Jon Saperstein
Herald Writer
SHORELINE -- The score ended up the same for both girls soccer teams Thursday night at Shoreline Stadium, but the reactions from each sideline were distinct.
Shorecrest and Everett battled to a 1-1 tie after double overtime in the Wesco 3A crossover match. The Scots were happy with the result. For Everett, which gave up it's first points in the standings in league play this year 'happy' isn't quite the right word.
"It's definitely disappointing," Everett forward Haley Ayers said. "I know that we could have won, so that's what makes it more disappointing."
Everett coach Kosta Pitharoulis was definitely shaking his head at some missed scoring opportunities, but his head wasn't hanging after the final whistle.
"We had some better opportunities throughout the game than they did to break the tie," Pitharoulis said. "They just didn't fall our way."
After battling Marysville Pilchuck to a draw Tuesday, and playing without regulars Sophia Flohr and Maria Zahajko, coach Mindy Dalziel and the Scots were very much happy to add a point to the standings against a team that has only lost to undefeated 4A power Skyline this season.
"To be able to steal a point basically from them … nobody in league has been able to touch them. That's a huge morale booster," Dalziel said. "It comes down to heart and dedication and legs. These girls laid it out. I'm so proud of my team."
Shorecrest jumped out to a quick lead in the fourth minute when forward Maya Garber-Yonts surprised the Seagulls defense, gathering a Kate Hildahl pass and rifling a shot from 27 yards out past Katie Webber in goal.
"Totally uncovered," Dalziel said. "If you leave anybody uncovered in the middle -- I hope all my girls will take risks like Maya did tonight. She's uncovered in the middle. Take a chance. Take a shot. Catch them off guard."
It was like a punch in the face for the Seagulls, but their response was swift. Just five minutes later, the Seagulls pushed possession into the mouth of the Scots goal, where the senior Ayers, who leads the team in scoring, likes to hang out. Midfielder Bailey McMullen found her teammate camping and Ayers easily converted an 8-foot shot to even the score at 1-1.
"I saw the goalie moved to near post and Bailey just had an open slot to me," Ayers said with a smile. I had no one on me."
In the 20th minute Ayers nearly struck again. She got the ball on a counter attack and blazed through the Shorecrest defense. Frida Swensen came out of the Scots goal to challenge but was too late and Ayers' shot hurtled toward the far post. It ricocheted hard toward the near post, dancing in front of the goal, but no Seagulls were there to clean up a one-footer and the Scots cleared it avoiding damage.
"I though it was going in," Ayers said.
Pitharoulis was equally baffled.
"It makes you wonder if they were round posts," the Everett coach joked. "What could have happened?"
Though both sides had chances, neither got too close until overtime as the teams' defenses took over in a very clean, but hard-fought contest.
Ayers nearly scored again at the open of the second overtime, but a brilliant save by Swensen saved the day.
With 2.2 seconds left in the game the Scots' Garber-Yonts took a free kick after a penalty just outside the 18-yard box. Her shot sailed about 18 inches over the crossbar as the game ended.
In the end, the tie may prove to be a good result for Everett, which holds a commanding lead in the North.
"It seems like you need a couple losses or a couple tight games to make sure that you stay focused," said Pitharoulis, whose team has had disappointing playoff exits after relatively easy regular seasons the past two years.
For Shorecrest, it helps the Scots believe they can catch undefeated Meadowdale atop the Wesco 3A South standings.
"We are improving every day, and we are finding ways to win … or tie," Dalziel said. "I'll take the tie against (Everett), absolutely."
At Shoreline Stadium.
Goals--Maya Garber-Yonts (S), Haley Ayers (E). Assists--Bailey McMullen (E) Kate Hildahl (S). Goalkeepers--Shorecrest: Frida Swensen Everett: Katie Webber. Records--Everett (6-0-1 league, 8-1-1 overall), Shorecrest(4-1-2, 6-2-2).

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