EDMONDS — It appears red cards, like beauty, are in the eye of the beholder.
The Meadowdale girls soccer team overcame a controversial red card in the 65th minute of their first-round Class 3A state tournament match Wednesday night, and then down a player for the rest of play, hung on to beat Bainbridge in a shootout. The Mavericks came away 2-1 winners after taking the shootout 5-3 at Edmonds Stadium.
“It’s a little difference of opinion,” Meadowdale head coach Wade Foley said of the red card. “Our player said she got caught up. The referee said she (took the Bainbridge player) down.”
With the score tied at one, the Mavericks hung on for the final 15 minutes of regulation and 10 minutes of overtime to force the shootout. Hannah Shouse, Alyssa Navlet, Kendall Raecker and Emily Crichlow made Meadowdale’s first four penalty kicks.
Bainbridge made its first three kicks, but Natalie Vukic’s fourth attempt sailed wide left of the goal. Mavericks senior Roslyn Stapleton then calmly walked up and put the ball in the back of the net, sealing the victory for Meadowdale.
“To win the first game in state is always the toughest,” Foley said. “You have to get over the nerves.”
The victory gave Meadowdale, the No. 1 ranked team in the state in 3A, a win over the No. 6 team, and advanced the Mavericks (20-0 overall) to a showdown with No. 4 Columbia River (15-0-2), which defeated Seattle Prep 2-1. Meadowdale will host the match this weekend.
The Mavericks came out a little sluggish in the first half with Bainbridge (14-3-1) dominating possession and scoring opportunities. Foley attributed the slow start to the girls having a hard time focusing on the game due to a funeral that had taken place for Kenny Hummel, the Meadowdale grad and Washington State University freshman who passed away on Oct. 27.
“They had a lot on their minds,” Foley said. “… We came out sluggish. It took us 30 minutes to get going.”
In the 26th minute, the Spartans struck first with a goal by Rosie Kerstetter, on an assist by Vukic. It was the first of six shots in the game to get past Meadowdale’s sophomore goalkeeper Ashley Routh, who was tested early and often.
Bainbridge held onto the lead through halftime, until Crichlow equalized in the 53rd minute. The Mavericks continued to put pressure on the Spartans for 12 more minutes before Meadowdale got its first card of the season, and the Spartans got a one-player advantage.
At that point, Meadowdale adjusted its defense and began hoping for a shootout, Foley said.
“Once we got the red card, we were playing to get into (penalty) kicks,” Foley said. “My girls are really strong at kicks. And we have a strong goalkeeper in Ashley Routh. She doesn’t give up a lot of goals.”
The senior defender who was carded will have to miss Meadowdale’s next game, and, depending on the referee’s report and a league ruling, could miss up to two games. Foley said that the Mavericks — who have been to the past three state tournaments, with last year’s fourth place finish their best showing — are going to have to get off to a faster start in the future.
“There were lots of obstacles in that game. It was a great win for the girls,” Foley said. “They had to come back after being down in the first half. … But we’re going to need to get out of the gates quicker. Every team going forward is tough. Every game going forward we’re going to have to play all 80 minutes or teams will take advantage of us like they did tonight.”
At Edmonds Stadium
Goals–Rosie Kerstetter (B), Emily Crichlow (M). Assists–Natalie Vukic (B). Goalkeepers–Bainbridge: Ali Blake. Meadowdale: Ashley Routh. Records–Bainbridge 14-3-1 overall. Meadowdale 20-0.