EVERETT — If a 0-0 tie can be a win for any team, it was a win for the Edmonds-Woodway girls soccer squad Monday night.
The Warriors battled co-conference leader Jackson in a Wesco 4A South tilt at Everett Memorial Stadium and neither competitor could draw blood after 90 minutes of regulation and two overtimes.
The teams entered the game tied atop the standings with 11-1-1 league marks, but Monday’s deadlock gives the Warriors an edge in the tiebreaker for seeding heading into the 4A district tournament that begins Saturday.
“We still have to take care of business on Wednesday (against Lynnwood), no different than (the Timberwolves) do,” Warriors coach Bill LeCompte said. “I think both of us believe that those are winnable games, so co-champ I’m not going to argue with that.”
If that’s the case, the Warriors — who also tied Jackson in their first meeting — would get the No. 1 seed into the playoffs on the strength of a better record against the conference’s No. 3 team, Kamiak. The two teams would, however, share the league title.
“That’s huge,” LeCompte said. “I’ve done it an awful long time and I’m not going to lie being that No. 1 seed is a big relief of stress. It doesn’t mean that game is going to be easy by any stretch, but you get a couple extra days. You know that if you mess up one night, you have another night to give. That’s huge.”
The Edmonds-Woodway players were in much better spirits after the game than the Timberwolves. This likely means their second league crown in three years.
“It would be really awesome,” senior defender Sofia Colvin said. “My whole team is so excited because we’ve been talking about this all year. Last year we didn’t get a chance, but the year before we did and we all remember what an amazing feeling that was.”
If scoring chances, shots, or possession were a tiebreaker then the game would have strongly gone in Jackson’s favor. The Timberwolves had a 21-2 shot advantage on the night and 15-2 in shots on goal, but the Warriors’ Kiera Towell vacuumed up everything close.
“(The Warriors) switched to a system that was a little bit more defensive, so they knew that coming out of this with a tie was more beneficial to them than it was to us,” Jackson coach Jesslyn Kellerman said. “I can’t say anything bad about the way my girls played. They worked hard. They played the way we wanted to play. … I think they played awesome.”
The Warriors controlled the possession and the pace of play for the first 15 minutes or so. Towell didn’t touch the ball during the stretch as E-W kept the ball near the Jackson goal.
Gradually the tide began to shift from the Jackson end toward the E-W side more and more. The Timberwolves earned their first corner kick in the 27th minute and from then to the end of regulation it was almost all Jackson on the attack.
“We didn’t talk about playing for the tie,” LeCompte said. “I’m not a huge person that believes in that. My biggest thing was trying to slow them down because they were doing a great job of causing us problems all night.”
Perhaps Jackson’s best chance came in the 42nd minute when Lynnae George streaked down the right side and nailed a perfectly placed cross across the goalie box. Two T-Wolves swung and missed and like the rest of their chances, this would only be recorded as a missed opportunity.
With Jackson constantly on the offensive, Edmonds-Woodway’s Gabby Clark drew the game’s only yellow card in the 68th minute after sweeping the legs out from under a Jackson player with the ball.
In the final 10 minutes of regulation, the Warriors resurrected their offense a bit and took a few swings but Callie Vanaelst was there in goal for Jackson.
If Edmonds0_Woodway wins Wednesday against Lynnwood, it will host its next game Tuesday night in a winner-to-state, non-elimination game.
If both teams win Wednesday, Jackson would face elimination Saturday, hosting either Monroe or Mount Vernon.
“We have to play an extra game and that’s unfortunate, but I think the Wesco South is really strong,” Kellerman said. “As the two seed we don’t have to see another Wesco South team until the district championship.”
At Everett Memorial Stadium
Goalkeepers-Edmonds-Woodway: Kiera Towell Jackson: Callie Vanaelst..
Records- Edmonds-Woodway (11-1-2 league, 11-2-2 overall), Jackson (11-1-2, 11-1-3)
At Everett Memorial Stadium
Goals—Name (School). Assists—Name (School). Goalkeepers—Edmonds-Woodway: Name. Jackson: Name. Records—Edmonds-Woodway x-x-x league, x-x-x overall. Jackson x-x-x, x-x-x.