Everett senior defender Lanie Thompson, center, tries to head away a corner kick from in front of her team’s goal during a district playoff matchup against Oak Harbor on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, at Shoreline Stadium in Shoreline, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Everett senior defender Lanie Thompson, center, tries to head away a corner kick from in front of her team’s goal during a district playoff matchup against Oak Harbor on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, at Shoreline Stadium in Shoreline, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Everett’s late-season surge falls one win shy of state

The Seagulls’ recent run of success ends in a 1-0 loss to Oak Harbor in a winner-to-state, loser-out district tournament game.

SHORELINE — The Everett girls soccer team’s late-season quest for a Class 3A state tournament berth fell just short in a defensive battle against Oak Harbor on Thursday night.

The No. 5-seeded Seagulls came into a 3A District 1 winner-to-state, loser-out bout having won 10 of their last 14 games after an 0-5 start, but Everett couldn’t get over its last hurdle in a 1-0 loss to the sixth-seeded Wildcats.

Oak Harbor junior forward Addisen Boyer netted the game’s only goal on a header with less than a minute before halftime, as both teams came up empty on second-half shots.

“They’ve done an incredible job,” Seagulls head coach Dagi Kesim said. “We were ranked to finish in the bottom three or four in our league. Being in the top five out of 17 teams in our region, they did an incredible job. I think it’s about heart and tactics, we were very good at defending as a group and we did that tonight to Oak Harbor, who has some Division-I level players. We knew how they were going to try to go after us, but we made one mistake and left a girl unmarked and they punished us for it.”

The Seagulls (10-9-1), made it a priority to stack the defensive side of the field, and big saves from junior goalkeeper Emerson Hammer in the 13th, 55th and 69th minutes all awarded Everett with extra chances to get an elusive goal on the other end.

“All the way up to this point we made the other teams very uncomfortable when they had the ball. Today we didn’t really do that,” Kesim said. “We could’ve done a better job and we would have had created more chances with that and we didn’t. Oak Harbor did a good job of containing and did some really good counter attacks to put the ball behind our defensive line.”

Everett’s Avery Marsall tries to fend off a defender during a district playoff matchup against Oak Harbor on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, at Shoreline Stadium in Shoreline, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Everett’s Avery Marsall tries to fend off a defender during a district playoff matchup against Oak Harbor on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, at Shoreline Stadium in Shoreline, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Senior forward Avery Marsall had a quality shot on goal in the 24th minute and came up just shy of converting on a breakaway opportunity in the 57th. In the 76th minute, the Seagulls got one of their cleanest looks at the goal, but senior Bella Nguon also came up shy.

A win would have marked Everett’s first state tournament berth since 2012.

“When I was hired, my job was to create what I did with Cascade before,” Kesim said, “make an underdog team believe they could be in the top five (of our district). And, they believed they could be there and they didn’t back off. Some of the teams we’ve beat in this tournament on the way here, they’ve (us) beaten bad (in the past). Now, we are up there with them. … I’m really proud of them, underdog mentality for sure.”

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