By Jon Saperstein Herald Writer
SNOHOMISH — On a team with a number of strong seniors including eventuall All-Area girls player of the year Morgan Green, Ellie Otteson was a surprise leading scorer for Snohomish last year.
This season she’s had every opponent’s attention, including Kamiak — the Panthers’ opponent Tuesday night. But the Knights had no answer for Otteson’s two goals or her freshman sister Quinn, who teamed up to help Snohomish race past Kamiak 3-1 at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium.
“She’s come out determined this season to even be better than last year and she’s done that,” Snohomish coach April VanAssche said. “Her composure in front of the net is impressive as well.”
Prior to the game, the Knight’s were tied with the most wins in Wesco 4A and had only allowed three goals on the season. But Snohomish had little trouble finding the net Tuesday, especially on set pieces, where the Panthers got two of their scores.
The first goal of the night was perhaps the most special for Ellie as her sister Quinn set her up from midfield for a shot in the 20th minute.
“She knows I’m always there for her,” said Ellie, who leads the Panthers in scoring again this year. “She knows to look for me. She didn’t even look for me. She knew I was there. It was just that sister telepathy thing, I guess.”
On an assist from Brooke Pingrey, Quinn, a freshman, got her turn in the second half, scoring the final goal of the game.
“It’s nice having my sister on the team we work well together,” the elder Otteson said. “And the whole rest of the team … We are like a family so we work really well together.”
The Panthers came out aggressive from the kickoff, teeing off on Kamiak goalkeeper Shannon Peth, but the sophomore rebuffed attempt after attempt, weathering a 20-4 shot disadvantage on the night.
“She had a great game,” Kamiak coach Beth Stewart said of her keeper. “I thought she played really, really well.”
The final two goals of the night came on assists from Pingrey on set pieces early in the second half. The senior captain defender wowed the crowd with her prowess from distance.
“Her free kicks, her corner kicks are magical,” VanAssche said.
The first came when the Knights fouled a Snohomish player about 40 yards from the goal and Pingrey set up a chip shot like an NFL kicker with her target the goal box. Pingrey nailed the shot and Ellie Otteson was their with a back-to-the-goal flick header that seemed destined for the net
“Ellie is very fierce in the air,” VanAssche said. “For high school girls soccer you don’t see that very much.”
Pingrey’s second assist was only slightly less impressive in that it was on what is a routine play for her in the corner kick that Quinn finished.
“At the end of the day their goals were brilliant,” Stewart said. “I don’t think we gave up any soft goals.”
Entering the game the Knights were riding high with a statement win over Arlington the previous week and a lot of momentum, but Snohomish may have taken over the mantle of best team in Wesco so far with the win.
“I think they made a statement tonight,” VanAssche said. “I’m proud of them for that.”
With the loss Kamiak failed to retake the 4A South lead from Jackson and trails the Timberwolves and Warriors by one point in the standings.
“I told them (after the game): ‘It’s tough to be on top.’” Stewart said. “And it is.”
Meanwhile Snohomish fortified its lead atop the North Standings, now six points ahead of Arlington.
VanAssche felt her team could be undefeated if they would have played complete games in their two previous losses. They didn’t in those games but the Panther’s did Tuesday night, including goalie Taylor Knapinski, who only allowed a first-half goal to Alexie Morris.
“I just wanted our girls to play up to their potential and prove what they are capable of,” VanAssche said. “I couldn’t be happier with what our entire team did for that 80 minutes.”
At Veterans Memorial Stadium
Goals—Ellie Otteson (S) 2, Alexie Morris (K), Quinn Otteson (S). Assists—Quinn Otteson (S), Brooke Pingrey 2 (S), Christine Heisen (K). Goalkeepers—Kamiak: Shannon Peth. Snohomish: Taylor Knapinski. Records—Kamiak 8-2 league, 8-2-1 overall. Snohomish 8-2, 10-2.