By DAN SARGENT
RENTON – The Archbishop Murphy Wildcats went out with class after losing to University Prep 4-1 on Saturday in the A/B girls soccer state tournament.
The Wildcats’ heads were held high as they walked off the field. You could hear “good luck” and “congratulations” directed from the Wildcats to the University Prep players.
The young Wildcats, led by only two seniors, came out in the first half a little hesitant.
“We were a little intimidated by their physical play in the beginning,” Wildcat coach Pat Jack said.
The Pumas scored their first goal in the 17th minute, when the Wildcat defense was unable to clear the ball and Lucy Strong intercepted it and put it past Wildcat goalkeeper Lindsay Krell for the goal.
One minute later, Pumas midfielder Chloe Jones crossed the ball to Laura Kerr, who headed into the back of the net.
University Prep added another goal in the 24th minute when Jones rocket shot from 20 yards out went off Krell’s hands and into the goal.
At the half, with their confidence a little shaken, the Wildcats were behind 3-0.
The second half began with the Pumas taking shot after shot but just missing the goal or being knocked around by the Wildcats’ pressure.
Archbishop Murphy’s pressure led to a goal in the 51st minute on Danielle Bair’s 30-yard arching shot that beat the keeper to narrow the score to 3-1.
“That was a nice shot,” Jack said.
The Wildcats limited the Pumas’ attack and chances, but they themselves could not draw any closer to the Pumas’ lead.
University Prep added a late goal in the 76th minute, when Jones crossed from the right side to Michelle Gorski, who headed the ball to the back of the net.
The Wildcats didn’t complain after the game, but were happy to get as far as they did and proud of what they had accomplished all season.
“We have come a long way since the start of the season,” Jack said.
“It’s a great accomplishment this year,” Wildcat co-coach Chris Jowell said.