EVERETT — KC Wilson made the save of her career and that meant she and her Jackson Timberwolves’ teammates were headed to the Class 4A state tournament semifinals.
The sophomore goalkeeper saved two shootout shots and the Timberwolves defeated the Tahoma Bears 2-1 in a thrilling Class 4A state quarterfinal game at Everett Memorial Stadium Saturday night.
“I felt relieved. They (the Timberwolves) were enjoying every moment,” said Jackson’s head coach Mike Bartley.
“I’m overwhelmed,” Wilson said after her rejection of Tahoma forward Savannah Johnson’s shot gave the Timberwolves the victory.
After 90 minutes — regulation and two five-minute overtimes — of soccer the Timberwolves (16-1-3 overall) were advancing to the semifinals for the first time since 2005, when they placed third at the 4A state tournament.
Jackson will play Woodinville 6 p.m. Friday at Harry Lang Stadium in Lakewood. Tahoma’s season comes to a heartbreaking end.
After Wilson saved her first shot in the shootout — Tahoma’s second attempt, a Toree Flynn shot after Mollie Picha scored on the first shot — the sophomore keeper kept telling herself to relax.
“I tried not to get too excited,” Wilson said.
Three shots and a save later and Wilson and the T-Wolves were celebrating.
Lori Deland, Cara Wegner, Megan Bolmes and Denae Fitz all scored goals in the shootout for Jackson.
The Jackson-Tahoma battle wasn’t just a rematch of the 2005 semifinals when Tahoma defeated Jackson en route to the 4A state title, but it was also a battle of two teams similar in style.
“Three years ago we played Tahoma, so we knew how they’d play. We knew it was going to be a great game,” Bartley said.
Both teams scored on identical shots, free kicks at nearly the same time — Jackson’s Brianna Ellis connected in the 49th minute, Tahoma’s Tarah Duty followed three minutes later for the 1-1 tie — and both teams had plenty of opportunities to score but instead ended up battling for defensive superiority.
“They are a great counter-attack team and that’s what we are so it was just end-to-end,” Bartley said.
“They are identical to us. The girls asked who they were like and I said, ‘us’,” Bartley said.
Both teams battled through a scoreless tie in the first half mixing in scoring opportunities with key defensive stops.
“If it wasn’t for the defense than all the goals wouldn’t matter. Mollie McPherson and Megan Hatcher played great,” Bartley said.
At halftime the Timberwolves seemed down while Tahoma continued to cheer along the sidelines.
“We talked about wasting energy, staying calm, working through things. There’s going to be adversity and there’s going to be things you’re going to have to deal with. This team has one senior but they have eight juniors. The junior group just wants to play,” Bartley said.
Woodinville 2, Shorewood 1: At Shoreline, Shorewood saw its surprising run through the 4A state playoffs come to an abrupt end at the hands of Woodinville in the state quarterfinals at Shoreline Stadium.
Woodinville senior Heather Thomas lobbed a free kick in from 30 yards out in the 10th minute to put the Falcons up early, Stine Schoening scored in the 35th minute off an assist from Taylor Bolibol, and Woodinville hung on to take a 2-1 victory and advance to a match up with Jackson.