EDMONDS — Less than a week ago, the Marysville Getchell girls soccer team suddenly found itself short-handed and scrambling to adjust.
Just one day before their district play-in match, two Chargers suffered injuries and another quit the team.
Marysville Getchell fought through the adversity to make school history.
Oshinaye Taylor scored in the 59th minute as the fifth-seeded Chargers punched their ticket to the state tournament with a historic 1-0 win over fourth-seeded Shorecrest in a Class 3A District 1 semifinal Tuesday night at Edmonds Stadium.
The Chargers are the first Marysville Getchell team in any sport to reach a state tournament since the school opened in 2010.
“We’ve pushed through so much,” Chargers junior goalkeeper Kaitlynn Knocke said. “It’s amazing, because we just made our school’s history. Nobody’s done this (before).”
The victory advances Marysville Getchell (10-3-4) to the district championship Saturday against third-seeded Edmonds-Woodway, which punched its ticket to state with a 1-0 win over Marysville Pilchuck in the other semifinal.
“Anything credit-wise or accomplishment-wise, it’s all the kids,” Chargers coach Kyle Suits said. “We (were) faced with adversity, and they’ve risen to the occasion completely. It’s been really fun to watch.”
Suits said last week’s personnel losses forced them to change their formation heading into the postseason.
Marysville Getchell adjusted on the fly, beating Lynnwood 2-1 in a district play-in game last Thursday and earning a 3-2 penalty-kick win over Stanwood in Saturday’s quarterfinals.
“In the last week, we’ve really had to remake the team, because we had some significant injuries,” Suits said. “(It) totally speaks to the character of the team.
“Kuddos to the kids,” he added. “They’ve been really amazing.”
Taylor, a senior forward, netted the match’s lone goal midway through the second half.
After sophomore Jadin Thompson-Sheldon lobbed a pass over the back line of Shorecrest’s defense, Taylor controlled the ball at the top of the 18-yard box and calmly slotted the eventual game-winner past the charging goalkeeper and into the upper-left corner of the net.
“So much relief,” Taylor said of her immediate reaction to the goal. “But the game wasn’t over. There was so much time left.”
Indeed, the Chargers had to withstand a late onslaught from Shorecrest (9-5-4) in the match’s final 10 minutes.
In the 72nd minute, Scots junior Jacy Elizondo dribbled from the left side and fired a dangerous shot from about 10 yards out that sailed just outside the near post.
In the 75th minute, Shorecrest sophomore Rhorrie Henning sent a rocket from the top of the 18-yard box that rattled off the crossbar.
One minute later, Marysville Getchell sophomore Sophia Trujillo cleared two shots from the back line to help preserve the 1-0 lead.
Knocke had a brilliant performance in goal for the Chargers, keying the team’s eighth shutout of the season.
“The goal scorers get all of the spotlight and all of the credit,” Suits said, “but the goalkeeper at the back end is really the key to the team, because everything from that point builds forward.”
Knocke made a key save in a one-on-one situation in the 24th minute, catching a hard liner from Shorecrest junior Madison Kellogg to keep it a scoreless game.
“Kaitlynn, in my opinion, is the best (goalkeeper) around at this moment,” Suits said. “She’s just really amazing.”
Shorecrest controlled much of the first half, earning at least five corner kicks in the opening 20 minutes. But the Chargers came out much more aggressive after the halftime break.
“We didn’t really make any adjustments,” Suits said. “I think the girls just changed their attitudes a little bit. They played with a lot more determination (in) the second half.
“We talk about the difference between bursting and coasting. Sometimes in the first half we coasted around. And (we) were doing a little more bursting in the second half.”
With the loss, Shorecrest falls to the loser’s bracket of the district tournament. The Scots need to win two consecutive elimination matches to earn their seventh consecutive state-tournament berth.
The Chargers, meanwhile, are headed to state for the first time ever.
“It’s amazing,” Taylor said while fighting back tears. “Four years of hard work — it’s finally paying off.”