SNOHOMISH — With its first three conference matches coming against Wesco 4A’s top three finishers from last season, this young but talented Glacier Peak High School girls soccer team was going to find out quickly just how good it is.
And after beating all three teams — punctuated by Tuesday night’s rout of the five-time defending Wesco 4A champions — the Grizzlies left no doubt about it.
They’re for real.
Freshman Ryann Reynolds scored two goals and added two assists as Glacier Peak ended Jackson’s 17-match conference unbeaten streak in emphatic fashion with a 5-1 victory over the visiting Timberwolves in an early-season Wesco 4A clash.
“Jackson always brings a great team, and our kids always get fired up to play them,” Grizzlies coach Melinda Torre said. “They’ve had our number for the past couple years, and my kids just put it together tonight. It felt really good to see their potential realized.”
Chloe Seelhoff added one goal and one assist for Glacier Peak (4-0-1 overall, 3-0 Wesco 4A), which broke a 2-1 match wide-open during a second-half flurry of three goals in 11 minutes.
“Their movement off the ball was really good,” Torre said. “… (And) we’ve got goals coming from a number of different (players) now. That makes it super fun.”
A ROARING START TO THE YEAR
The Grizzlies entered this season with high hopes after a league change for the Redmond-based Crossfire Premier club soccer program allowed a trio of elite underclassmen — Reynolds, Seelhoff and Kate Sprink — to play high school soccer for Glacier Peak this fall.
The Grizzlies got off to a strong start in conference play last week with a 3-1 win over Lake Stevens and a 2-1 triumph over Kamiak. But the real measuring stick was perennial power Jackson, and Glacier Peak certainly passed that test with flying colors.
The Grizzlies handed the Timberwolves (3-2, 2-1) their first Wesco 4A loss since October 2017 and their worst conference defeat in at least eight years.
“This year has been phenomenal,” Glacier Peak junior Annika Lambott said. “The way we’ve been playing and our chemistry as a team is just insane. And being able to go out on the field (tonight) and show what we’ve got is just awesome.”
Jackson senior Katie Cheng opened the scoring with a left-footed strike in the 21st minute to give the Timberwolves an early 1-0 lead. It was the fifth goal of the season for the standout forward.
But it didn’t take long for the Grizzlies to respond.
In the 28th minute, Emma Apostolos lofted a corner kick to the far right post and Reynolds one-timed the ball out of the air and into the top shelf of the net for an equalizing score. Reynolds struck again just three minutes later, one-timing a pass from Seelhoff into the lower-right portion of the net to give Glacier Peak a 2-1 lead.
It’s been a spectacular start to the season for Reynolds, who already has six goals and four assists through five matches.
“She’s just a true forward,” Torre said. “She has a nose for the goal, and those are always rare. It’s hard to find people who are center forwards who stay central and stay involved who like to be up there and will shoot every chance she gets.”
GP’S SECOND-HALF ONSLAUGHT
Holding a one-goal lead in the second half, the Grizzlies quickly put the match out of reach.
Glacier Peak showcased nice ball movement during a sequence in the 54th minute, which ended with Lambott receiving a pass from Abigail Varghese and splitting the goalkeeper’s legs to give the Grizzlies a 3-1 lead.
Speedy basketball star Aaliyah Collins extended the margin in the 64th minute, scoring off an assist from Reynolds on a counterattack. Seelhoff then netted a 65th-minute goal off a perfectly executed set-piece pass from Reynolds.
Reynolds has highlighted a Glacier Peak attack that’s scored 15 goals through five matches, but it’s been far from a one-star show. The Grizzlies already have had eight different goal-scorers and five different players who’ve recorded assists.
“Insane,” Lambott said of her team’s offensive balance. “Anybody on this team can score. … We know that we can all go out and score a goal.”
“They come out every practice to get better, and they get on each other and they work for each other and they just love the game. It’s so fun. It makes me want to jump in and play with them. That’s the type of team they are. They’re very dynamic, very outgoing kids, and they have a lot of fun. There’s a lot of joy in their play.”
— Glacier Peak coach Melinda Torre
Glacier Peak and Jackson square off again Oct. 17 at Everett Memorial Stadium in what figures to be another pivotal Wesco 4A match.