MUKILTEO — Thick, soupy fog cascaded down from the light prior to the Jackson girls soccer team’s visit to Kamiak Tuesday night. During warm-ups Timberwolves coach Jesslyn Kellerman told her players that it wouldn’t affect their game.
She was wrong, but it turned out all right for Jackson, which got an assist from the fog on the game-winning score en route to a 2-1 victory that kept the Timberwolves tied atop the Wesco 4A South standings.
“What I told my girls before the game is that, the way we play we don’t need to see more than 15 yards ahead of us,” Kellerman said. “We play the ball on the ground. Keep possession of it.”
Jackson played it close to the feet most of the night, but on one of the few Jackson long balls of the game in the 64th minute with the game tied 1-1, Lynnae George teed one up from just inside of midfield. She lofted what looked like a football punt into the penalty box and it hung in the night air.
Kamiak keeper Shannon Peth came off her line and misjudged the tailing ball. She bobbled the catch, sending the ball to the feet of Jackson’s Kristina Serres with nothing between her and the net. Peth lunged and pulled down Serres with her arms, setting up a penalty kick.
Jackson midfielder Maddie Cooley was set to take it but took herself out of PK duty because she and Peth play on the same club team. So sophomore defender Nicole Castro coolly stepped up to take it. Peth guessed correctly on the her lunge to the right of the goal but Castro’s shot was too hard and the ball deflected into the net
“She couldn’t see it, that’s what she said,” Kamiak coach Beth Stewart said of her keeper’s vision in the fog. “She felt bad about the PK … she tackled (the Jackson player) and it was the right call.
“She never drops those high balls.”
Unlike a week ago when Kamiak was flat in a 3-1 loss to the Wesco 4A North-leader Snohomish, the Knights didn’t give an inch the rest of the game, fighting until the final whistle for the equalizer.
In the 70th minute Chardalise Madrigal broke free with a shot off the Jackson crossbar, setting up the first of six Kamiak corner kicks in the last 10 minutes of regulation and stoppage time. The Knights had plenty of chances and outshot Jackson 14-8 on the night, but couldn’t convert them into scores.
“The ball was sitting in front of the goal like three times,” Stewart said of the final 10 minutes. “I’m not sure how it didn’t go in.”
Kellerman gave a lot of credit to her keeper Callie Vanaelst.
“I think Callie came up huge for us,” the second-year coach said. “Making saves but also organizing our defense. She was definitely a standout today.”
Vanaelst’s only blemish was a 55th minute score by Kamiak’s Christine Heisen on a Bailey Lux-Lowry assist that put Kamiak up 1-0.
The first half was almost all Knights, but their possession advantage led to just one corner kick and no major threats. The Timberwolves weren’t playing up to the standard they’ve set so far this year.
“I didn’t need to say much at halftime because they knew that we had kinda settled into the way that Kamiak plays,” Kellerman said.
Though Kamiak scored first after the half Jackson came out more aggressive and finished the game strong.
“The girls knew how much this game meant to us and I just think we wanted it more,” The Jackson coach said.
Jackson’s first goal came in the 60th minute on its fourth corner of the second half. Brittany Orlosky found an unmarked Mackenzie Hanson on the back post for an easy goal.
Tuesday’s win avenges a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Kamiak Sept. 12 and keeps the Timberwolves tied with Edmonds-Woodway atop the league standings. After missing the playoffs during Kellerman’s first season, she now has the team poised to potentially take the league crown — if they can knock of the Warriors.
“Our next biggest game is against Edmonds Woodway which is next Monday,” Castro said. “We are going to prepare for that and hope we can get a full win out of that to stay in first place.”
At Kamiak H.S.
Goals—Christine Heisen (K), Mackenzie Hanson (J), Nicole Castro (J). Assists— Bailey Lux-Lowry (K), Brittany Orlosky (J). Goalkeepers—Jackson: Callie Vanaelst. Kamiak: Shannon Peth. Records—Jackson 10-1-1 league, 10-1-2 overall. Kamiak 9-3-0, 9-3-1.