EVERETT — Jackson girls soccer coach Sarah Smart felt there were still a few more scoring chances her team could have converted.
But nevertheless, she was more than pleased with a four-goal barrage in her team’s state opener.
Keile Hansen netted two goals and helped the Timberwolves pull away for a 4-0 win over visiting Union in a Class 4A first-round state-playoff match Tuesday night at Everett Memorial Stadium.
“The message we sent to the team tonight was that you have to capitalize on your goals in state,” Smart said. “(And) we were able to make the chances that we got.
“I mean, we could’ve (scored) some more, in my opinion. But we finished the ones that we needed to.
“Four goals in the opening round?” she added. “I’m happy.”
The victory advanced Jackson (15-2-0) to the state quarterfinals for the third time in four years.
The Timberwolves will host the winner of Wednesday’s first-round match between Issaquah and Puyallup in a quarterfinal contest Saturday at Everett Memorial Stadium.
Jackson entered Tuesday’s state opener coming off the program’s fourth consecutive outright Wesco 4A title and fourth straight Northwest District championship.
Making their 12th state appearance in 14 years, the Timberwolves compiled a strong all-around performance that moved them one step closer to their ultimate goal.
Hansen, a junior, came off the bench and put Jackson on the board in the 30th minute, redirecting a cross from senior Jadyn Edwards into the left side of the net for a 1-0 lead.
Emma Rich gave the Timberwolves some breathing room with a 60th-minute goal, Hansen netted her second goal of the night in the 67th minute and Hannah Thompson added a 78th-minute score to put the finishing touches on Jackson’s dominant opening-round display.
“We moved the ball really well,” Smart said. “We played all over the field really quickly. Our possession was really on point — one to two touches, quick movement.
“We were really able to move the ball fast, attack from both sides and get our people crossing and shooting from the middle.”
Senior goalkeeper Kayleigh Sedlacek made several brilliant saves, keying Jackson’s ninth shutout of the season. The Timberwolves have allowed just 11 goals all year and have held opponents to one goal or less in 14 of their 17 matches.
Sedlacek made a leaping save midway through the first half and made a sliding kick-save shortly before halftime to keep Union (13-4-1) off the board.
“Anything that we can’t handle defensively, she covers for us on the back end,” Smart said. “She saved three great chances that they could have scored on, and that would’ve changed the momentum of the game completely.”
Hansen spent the first portion of the match on the bench before entering play near the 30-minute mark.
The substitution came at a perfect time.
Less than a minute later, Edwards created space for herself in the right corner and sent a cross into the box. Hansen came charging in and redirected the ball past Union goalkeeper Lizzie Anderson for a 1-0 lead.
“My coach said, ‘Go in and score,’” Hansen said. “And so I did exactly what she said. I got a great ball from Jadyn, and I just happened to be there and have her assist.”
Union was inches away from an equalizer in the 50th minute, when senior MaKayla Woods fired a rocket from 18 yards out that rattled off the upper corner of the right post.
Jackson answered right back with two prime scoring opportunities, but Anderson saved both to keep it a one-goal deficit.
It didn’t remain that way for long.
The Timberwolves pulled away in the latter portion of the match, netting three goals in the final 20 minutes.
The flurry of goals began midway through the second half when Edwards, a University of New Mexico commit, sent a ball out wide to Rich on the right side of the 18-yard box. Rich, a sophomore, then launched a perfectly placed shot over Anderson’s head and into the back of the net for a 2-0 cushion.
Seven minutes later, Hansen corralled a loose ball in front of the net and blasted home a top-shelf goal to make it 3-0.
Thompson, a sophomore, then netted an 18-yard rocket in second-half stoppage time to cap the offensive fireworks.
Jackson has now scored 62 goals this season, an average of 3.6 per match.
“This team has accomplished a lot,” Smart said. “Our goal though from day one has been to win state, because (the players) know that they can.
“There’s people on this team that have been to the final (in 2014), and they know that they can get there again.”