By Tyler Hemstreet Special to The Herald
TUMWATER — It had been three years since a girls soccer team from Tumwater High School had advanced to the Class 2A state tournament, so some nerves were to be expected once the clock started.
Unfortunately for this year’s team, it took a little too long for the Thunderbirds to calm those nerves. By then it was too late.
Tumwater fell behind early and had no remedy for a strong-footed Archbishop Murphy team, eventually falling to the Wildcats, 6-1, in a Class 2A first-round state playoff game at Tumwater District Stadium on Tuesday.
The Wildcats drew first blood in the fifth minute, getting a goal from *Sarah Ungvarsky at point-blank range.
Less than one minute later, Archbishop Murphy senior Brooke Busch lofted a free kick into the upper right corner past freshman goalkeeper Mackenzie Bergquist from 35 yards out, pushing the lead to 2-0.
“We were kind of (like a) deer in the headlights for a lot of it,” Tumwater third-year coach Brett Bartlett said. “They got a couple of early ones and we were kind of shocked a little bit.”
Archbishop Murphy (20-1) kept the offensive pressure on the Thunderbirds, outshooting Tumwater, 12-2, in the first half. Tumwater, which entered the contest having won seven of its past eight games, had considerable trouble generating any kind of push on offense, as Wildcats’ goalkeeper Anna Whitehouse only needed to make a play on only one shot.
“They have a lot of tournament experience,” Bartlett said of the Wildcats. “They brought the game to us, and they were really clean today. When we watched them before, they weren’t. And we’re usually a very clean team and we weren’t.”
The Wildcats, who average 25 shots on goal per game, added to their lead in the second half when Koch converted on a pair of penalty shots — the second coming after the Thunderbirds were whistled for a hand ball in the penalty box.
“The goal in the second half was to try to take longer shots and put more pressure on the keeper and see if anything would come from that,” Archbishop Murphy coach Mike Bartley said. “They were trying to focus on some of our key people, and I moved the key people around so they were a little bit off with how they were matching up.”
At Tumwater H.S.
Goals—Sarah Ungvarsky (AM), Brooke Busch (AM) 2, Shelby Koch (AM) 2, Claire Feeney (AM), Felicia Horrah (T). Assists—Koch (AM), Sammi Conard (AM). Goalkeepers—Archbishop Murphy: Anna Whitehouse. Tumwater: Mackenzee Berquist. Records—Archbishop Murphy 20-1 overall. Tumwater not reported.
*Correction, Nov. 7, 2012: The original version of this story attributed the first goal of the game to the wrong player.