Battle of the Bartleys: Murphy tops Marysville Pilchuck, 3-0

EVERETT — Because it was the first game, Archbishop Murphy girls soccer coach Mike Bartley and his players were unsure what to expect in the season opener against Marysville Pilchuck on Wednesday night.

As it turned out, they probably got more than they hoped for.

The Wildcats scored a goal late in the first half and two more early in the second half to defeat visiting Marysville Pilchuck 3-0 in the annual Battle of the Bartleys, pitting Mike Bartley against his brother Paul Bartley, the Tomahawks’ head coach.

“Actually, I was surprised,” Mike Bartley said, assessing his team’s three-goal shutout. “We’ve worked hard (in preseason), but it’s our first game and I know how good (the Tomahawks) are. They went to state last year … so I was very happy with our performance.”

On a sunlit evening at Terry Ennis Stadium, Archbishop Murphy sophomore forward Talia Daigle scored the season’s first goal, coming free on a breakaway eight minutes before halftime. She veered to the left as she neared the goal, and then sent a left-footed kick into the far right corner of the net.

As a first-year varsity player, “Talia is an unknown,” Mike Bartley said. “But I think everybody will figure out who she is. She’s extremely fast.”

The Wildcats put up their second and third goals in the first three minutes of the second half. Senior midfielder Kristi Bartz delivered the first, coming in with the ball on the right side of a 2-on-1 break. Her shot beat the goalkeeper to the left side of the net.

Moments later, Bartz set up Archbishop Murphy’s third goal. Her shot from in front hit the crossbar and teammate Madisson Lowdon was right there to bang in the rebound.

“Last year Kristi had 16 goals from playing at point,” Mike Bartley said, “and now I brought her back into the midfield to make her a playmaker. I’ve put on a lot on her shoulders, but she’s a captain and a senior, and she played really well.”

Against the Tomahawks, “I thought we played really well,” Bartz said. “We’ve been putting in a lot of work and I think it showed. … I think our fitness really paid off. We really held our own.”

Going forward, Mike Bartley said, “I think we have the potential to do really well. And after that (victory), now I know we can.”

“I think we have a lot of potential,” Bartz agreed. “I think we had a really good (first game), and I think we’re going to grow a lot from here and hopefully go pretty far.”

Though the Tomahawks were stung by the outcome, Paul Bartley expects his squad to bounce back.

“I have a lot of new players and this was a good learning experience,” he said. “And I thought it was a good game. We played hard. It was even (for most of the first half), and then we made one mistake and they scored.

“They came out in the second half and took us apart for a little while, but then we adjusted (for the game’s final 37 minutes),” he added.

Though their matches are usually spirited, the Bartley brothers are both very supportive of the other’s program. “He comes to my games if we’re at district or state,” Paul Bartley said, “and I go to his games if his team’s at district or state.”

And whenever they go head to head, there is usually a little something riding on the outcome. This year, according to Mike Bartley, there were cookies and other treats.

“Something for the kids,” he said.

At Archbishop Murphy H.S.

Archbishop Murphy 3, Marysville Pilchuck 0

Goals: Archbishop Murphy — Talia Daigle, Kristi Bartz, Madisson Lowdon. Goalies: Marysville Pilchuck — Emily Dunston. Archbishop Murphy — Natalie Robinson, Crissy Talley.

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