MUKILTEO — Bailey Lux-Lowry was nervous.
The Kamiak junior midfielder and her teammates really wanted to beat Arlington in a battle of Wesco North and South first-place teams Tuesday night.
She didn’t show an ounce of those nerves in front of the home fans, scoring on a pair of first-half penalty kicks to propel the Knights to a surprisingly comfortable 3-1 victory over the Eagles.
“My adrenaline was rushing I guess,” Lux-Lowry said about her penalty kicks. “I knew I was going to place it, but I was more nervous on the second one.”
In the 27th minute, Knight senior Christine Heisen edged one dribble inside the Arlington penalty box and had her legs taken out from under her, prompting the referee’s whistle for the first penalty kick.
Lux-Lowry quickly kicked the penalty try into the bottom left of the goal, getting it easily past Arlington’s Kat Sanchez.
After a first 25 minutes that was fairly even and competitive, the goal seemed to shock the Eagles, who quickly found themselves backed against their own end again.
In the 29th minute, Arlington committed another foul in the box, this time close to the goal mouth. Moments later the result was the same off the foot of Lux-Lowry, who made it 2-0, in the same corner of the goal.
“Fortunately we had a great (referee) crew that actually got them because they were legitimate fouls inside the box,” Kamiak coach Beth Stewart said.
Arlington coach Nathan Davis believed the Knights took his team by surprise in the first half.
“We weren’t ready for Kamiak’s speed and physicality really,” Davis said. “It took us awhile. It took us about 45-50 minutes to get dialed in.”
Before the game, Stewart made some lineup adjustments in preparation for Arlington’s own fast roster.
“We put in some people with a little more speed,” Stewart said. “So we tweaked the defense a little bit and I think it really helped.”
Sophomore Tylor Adcock anchored the Knights’ backline and frustrated the Eagles’ offense all night.
“No. 20, their center back, just kicked our butt,” Davis said of Adcock. “She was winning everything.”
Adcock even made a rare mark on the scoreboard. In first-half stoppage time, another Eagle foul, this time just outside of the box, set up Lux-Lowry again. The junior took the free kick and it was deflected by Alexie Morris to Adcock, who easily converted the 5-yard shot to give the Knights a commanding 3-0 edge.
Though Lux-Lowry takes all the big kicks, Stewart pointed to Adcock as the linchpin of one of the best teams she’s coached.
“She’s only a sophomore, but she’s probably the true leader on the field,” Stewart said. “She has a calm demeanor and everybody listens to here so she’s going to be fun to watch over the next two years.”
The long-time Knights coach has had some stars that have gone on to play college Division I soccer over the years. She may not have that this year, but that has made Kamiak better.
“They are such a team,” she said. “Top to bottom I can put different people in and I can count on them and I’ve never really had that before.
“So, I don’t have any real superstars. Everybody’s looking for who’s going to make it happen. Sometimes there’s an advantage to that.”
Arlington did show some mettle, fighting back in the second half and sending a barrage of shots at Kamiak keeper Shannon Peth.
One shot finally got by the sophomore goalie in the 56th minute after Kerra Williamson chipped a shot over Peth’s head from long range. Though Peth saved it with one hand, she was unable to control the ball and Marisa Rathert came in for an opportunistic goal.
Despite a significant corner kick advantage for Arlington that lead to chances for Mckenzie Buell, the freshman couldn’t get any of the chances past the Knights’ backline, which did not let up until the final whistle.
“Arlington was a big team to beat,” Lux-Lowry said. “We were really striving to beat them. That was our one game where we are going to go out and fight really hard.”
At Kamiak H.S.
Goals—Bailey Lux-Lowry 2 (K), Tylor Adcock (K), Marisa Rathert (A). Assists— Kerra Williamson (A), Alexie Morris (K). Goalkeepers—Arlington: Kat Sanchez . Kamiak: Shannon Peth.