ARLINGTON — In a loser-out soccer game, Arlington’s Mckenzie Buell did her best to make sure the Eagles’ weren’t the team that found itself out.
Buell scored a goal in the game’s first two minutes and another in the final two minutes to lead Arlington past Ferndale 2-1 in overtime and give the Eagles the final 3A District 1 state berth in a winner-to-state game Saturday night at Arlington High School.
“Mckenzie is just a clutch player,” said Arlington head coach Nathan Davis. “Mckenzie’s not flashy, but she’s just really solid and just makes things happen. She scores goals. She finds a way to put the ball in the back of the net.”
Buell gave the Eagles the early lead in the second minute which held until Katelyn Neher’s equalizer for Ferndale in the 25th minute.
The two teams remained scoreless until Buell found the back of the net in the 89th minute off a Kirsten Phillips assist to clinch Arlington’s first state berth in at least 20 years, according to Davis.
“Basically, the mentality was it was a championship game,” Davis said. “It’s one and done. If you win you get a pretty big prize. … It’s an awesome thing. I’ve been coaching for a long time and you always want to get there. This group of girls is a lot of fun to hang out with and coach. I’m excited to hang out with them for a few more days. They want to do some damage in the state tournament and I don’t see why we can’t.”
The win wasn’t without a loss for Arlington (16-4-0 overall), which lost leading scorer Bre Morren in the first half with an injured shoulder. Morren went to the hospital after the game and her status for the state tournament was unknown as of Saturday night.
Davis was proud of how his squad faced adversity with the loss of Morren.
Said Davis: “They battled through without her which is a testament to how much determination they have.”
At John C. Larson Stadium
Goals—Mckenzie Buell (A) 2, Katelyn Neher (F). Assists— Kirsten Phillips (A). Goalkeepers—Ferndale: not reported. Arlington: Kat Sanchez. Records—Ferndale 12-6-2 overall. Arlington 16-4-0.