BURIEN — Everett got closer to full strength as returning players helped the Seagulls beat Kennedy 4-0 in the first round of the 3A state girls soccer tournament.
Haley Ayers, who has been out a good portion of the last few weeks according to Everett head coach Kosta Pitharoulis, struck fast, scoring unassisted in the sixth minute. Ayers was just one of several players coming back from injuries.
“I think we are finally getting healthy,” said Pitharoulis. “We kind of limped into the district playoffs. We are getting kids back, they are playing some minutes. That has been helpful.”
In addition to healing injuries, the Seagulls are trying to catch their breath after a compact season. “They are all hurting at this point. With as many games as it has been and as short a season, they are all kind of recovering,” said Pitharoulis.
But they are recovering well and Pitharoulis says the Seagulls “could be a real force to be reckoned with over the next few games.”
Katie Johnson had the shutout for Everett, and Pitharoulis said that if not for a few missed opportunities the margin of victory could have been higher.
Everett plays Holy Names next in the quarterfinal round, 7 p.m. Friday at Seattle Memorial Stadium. Everett beat Holy Names 1-0 in the first game of the season, but that was a long time ago.
“Early on like that both teams were trying to figure out what exactly they had,” said Pitharoulis. “We’ll go at ‘em as best we can and use what we’ve got. It should be exciting.”
At Highline Memorial Stadium
Goals—Haley Ayers (E), Bailey McMullen (E), Erika Hall (E), Ashley Simons (E). Assists—Morgan McCarty (E), Ashlyn Johnson (E), Madeleine Reed (E). Goalkeepers—Everett: Katie Johnson. Kennedy: Diondre Borgette. Records—Everett 15-4-1 overall. Kennedy not reported.