BOTHELL — The Shorecrest girls soccer team defeated Mountlake Terrace 2-1 in a Wesco 3A South contest Thursday night, clinching a league title for the Scots.
Which was news to the Scots.
After the victory was secure, an assistant coach informed the team that he was “pretty sure” they had clinched the league title. That elicited a cheer from the Shorecrest team that had just won a hard-fought contest with the Hawks at Lynnwood High School.
The Scots did, in fact, guarantee themselves some hardware.
“We never really talked about it to be honest,” said Shorecrest head coach Mindy Dalziel of the Wesco 3A South title. “It’s always been a game-by-game thing for us. Take it just a little bit at a time.”
The difference-maker in the game was a goal in the 55th minute by Hailey Wicken that broke a 1-1 tie. Shorecrest’s Kayla Holland dribbled down and got a good shot off, which rolled off Mountlake Terrace goalkeeper Amanda Aversano, and right to the feet of Wicken who promptly put her team ahead.
It was the second straight goal for Shorecrest, which also scored right before halftime in the 35th minute after a controversial penalty call. With a Shorecrest player bringing the ball down and a Mountlake Terrace defender trying to intercept, the two got tangled up with the Hawks player falling to the ground. The referee blew his whistle and called an “obstruction” call, eliciting a negative reaction from the Mountlake Terrace fans in attendance.
On the ensuing free kick, Alexa Iacolucci crossed a ball in front of the goal and Kate Hildahl redirected it into the back of the net to tie the score at 1-1.
Dalziel said her team is still getting used to the success its found. Shorecrest (10-1-0 league, 12-1-1 overall) has only lost one game all season, which is a new feeling for the Scots.
“The challenge really is none of my girls have been in this situation before,” Dalziel said. “We went to state last year but we’ve never had this kind of success.”
The Shorecrest coach wasn’t sure when the last time the Scots won the league title was, but she said this was the first time in her eight years as the Shorecrest varsity coach that her team has accomplished the feat. She knows that now that they’ve established themselves as the league champions, other teams — like Mountlake Terrace (7-4-0, 9-5-0) and Meadowdale (6-2-3, 9-2-3), Shorecrest’s next opponent — will be trying even harder to upset the Scots.
“I think the takeaway for us is it’s quite lonely at the top,” Dalziel said with a laugh. “We have a big target on our backs. Everyone will want to beat us.”
Mountlake Terrace got off to a good start Thursday night, with a goal in the game’s sixth minute. The Hawks’ Maddy Kristjanson headed in a corner kick to give her team the upper hand early.
The Hawks continued to attack in the game’s early minutes, before the possession advantage shifted to Shorecrest and the Scots got their scoring underway.
“I think we kind of took them for granted,” Dalziel said. “We beat them earlier in the season 4-0. Terrace came out hard. They want that (Wesco 3A South) No. 2 seed. That team gets to host (a playoff game). (Mountlake Terrace head coach) Evan (Hatch) has done a great job preparing Terrace to play. They’re a very direct team, always trying to move the ball forward. And they’re always physical.”
At Lynnwood H.S.
Goals—Maddy Kristjanson (MT), Kate Hildahl (S), Hailey Wicken (S). Assists—Alexa Iacolucci (S). Goalkeepers—Shorecrest: Frida Swensen. Mountlake Terrace: Amanda Aversano. Records—Shorecrest 10-1-0 league, 12-1-1 overall. Mountlake Terrace 7-4-0, 9-5-0.