EDMONDS — The Meadowdale girls soccer team played Wednesday night like their final regular season game had plenty of meaning. Even though the previously anticipated showdown with Everett at Edmonds Stadium would have no effect on the Wesco 3A standings.
Striving to remain the only undefeated 3A team west of the Cascades, the Mavericks eked out a 1-0 victory on senior night over Everett, which has become the team’s biggest rival and the area’s next highest-rated team.
The thought of saving something for a possible playoff rematch was not in Meadowdale’s (13-0 league, 15-0 overall) collective mind.
“We’re undefeated all year,” senior Hannah Shouse said. “Why not finish the year strong?”
The Mavs finished the game and the year strong when Taylor Monroe-Jones put away the game-winner in the 79th minute.
Meadowdale coach Wade Foley beamed like a proud father as his team celebrated the undefeated season on the field after the clock ticked to zero.
“Good regular season,” he said. “It was a nice way to close it out. The girls worked hard. They put a lot of time and effort into managing their season.”
In the early going it looked like the teams were destined for the sports fan’s dreaded nil-nil tie.
“I knew going in,” Foley said. “I told the girls expect a game between the 18(-yard boxes) wait for the second half and things will probably open up.”
The most highly anticipated game of the Wesco 3A season — at least when the schedule came out in August — was a snoozefest until Meadowdale began pushing the action in the second half. Both teams had long since secured the No. 1 seed atop their respective divisions to the district playoffs that begin Saturday. Both teams featured stout, experienced defenses. Neither took many chances on offense until the end of the game, which suddenly featured 10 minutes of fireworks.
In the 63rd minute Meadowdale’s Alyssa Navlet found herself with a the game’s only open shot to that point. She was 25 yards from the goal, but her rising missile was punched over the crossbar in the play of the game by Everett’s Katie Webber.
Sixteen minutes later Navlet found herself in the same position, but seemed to swing and miss, only to squirt the ball to her left for an open Monroe-Jones.
Everett awoke like a sleeping giant and pushed for the equalizer. On a corner kick, co-captain Rosie Sittauer looked like she might score on a header that edged over the crossbar. The final 56 seconds remained when a funny bounce headed for forward Morgan McCarty. Her open shot from close range caromed off the post in front of goalkeeper Ashley Routh out of position for one of the very few — if not only — times of the night.
Coach Kosta Pitharoulis’ Seagulls were quiet after the game, but not in bad spirits. A year ago they finished undefeated and beat Meadowdale in the regular season, only to lose to the Mavs in the district final. Everyone on the field knew there is a good chance that the teams will face off again Nov. 3 at Shoreline Stadium for the district crown.
Pitharoulis was happy to use this game to scout for a potential rematch.
“There’s certainly more at stake (in a rematch),” he said. “But you can kind of see what they are bringing to the table this year, so that’s always good. My guess is that Wade held back some … I don’t know. A good poker player doesn’t show his hand.”
One player that surely held nothing back was Shouse, who had a few feisty altercations with Everett players, including one that led to a yellow card in the 86th minute. She’s ready to play Everett again.
“So we can prove to ourselves again that this wasn’t just a fluke,” the defensive captain said. “That team is beatable. We can beat them a second time, just like last year for districts.”
At Edmonds Stadium.
Goals—Taylor Monroe-Jones (M). Assists—Alyssa Navlet (M). Goalkeepers—Everett: Katie Webber Meadowdale: Ashley Routh. Records—Everett (10-2-1 league, 12-3-1 overall), Meadowdale (13-0, 16-0)