Archbishop Murphy girls soccer ‘weathered the storm’

The Archbishop Murphy girls soccer team was forced to make changes to its style of play because of a rash of injuries that at one point in the middle of the season sidelined four starters. The Wildcats got back to full strength toward the end of the season, but they fell short of returning to the 2A state tournament.

Archbishop Murphy’s season came to an end last Thursday with a 5-3 loss to Bellingham in a Northwest District tournament contest.

“The girls adjusted and adapted to different systems to make things work,” Wildcats coach Michael Bartley said. “When we were down four starters, other people stepped up and did a great job. We weathered the storm. This is a smart group. The players (did) a good job of being organized and ready.”

The injuries affected Archbishop Murphy’s (11-5-3) offense more than its defense, but the team “found ways to score goals,” Bartley said, thanks in part to the efforts of leading scorer Lexi Klaudt.

“Our defense had to play better, and it did thanks to the leadership of Emily Schwartz and the goalkeeping of Lily Zwiefel,” Bartley said. “Emily and Kaitlyn McCurdy, our center backs, have been solid. Leah Chu, our left back, has shut down a lot of good (offensive players). Catherine Pepper has done a good job. Our back line stepped up and played great.”

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