Kessler recorded a hat trick as the Panthers knocked the Timberwolves out of the 4A state tournament with a 3-2 win on Tuesday in a first-round match at University H.S.
According to Jackson head coach Jesslyn Kellerman, Kessler's three goals were scored in a similar fashion.
"They were very direct and had very fast forwards," said Kellerman. "All of their goals came on balls kicked over our backline that they chased down."
After Kessler spotted Mead to a 2-0 lead in the first half, the Jackson offense finally came to life in the final 15 minutes of the match. Lynnae George fed Kailey Castro for the T-wolves' first goal in the 66th minute to cut the deficit to 2-1. But Kessler completed her hat trick two minutes later with what proved to be the game-deciding goal. The two-goal cushion proved to be necessary since George scored in the 78th minute.
Despite the comeback falling short, Kellerman liked the effort from her team late in the match and noted it was something the T-wolves had done all season.
"At the end of the game we stopped worrying how they were playing and focused on our game," said Kellerman. "In two of our three losses we scored with less than two minutes left. It just shows our heart and our fight until the very end."
Mead advances to play the winner of Union/Moses Lake in the quarterfinals.
At University H.S.
Goals--Anna Kessler (M) 3, Kailey Kastro (J), Lynnae George (J). Assists--George, Nicole Castro (J). Goalkeepers--Jackson: Callie Vanaelst. Mead: Ashlyn Juul. Records--Jackson 14-3-3 overall. Mead 16-3-0.
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