EVERETT — Tack on one more accolade for Jackson in what’s been a dominant four-year reign in Wesco 4A soccer.
A week ago the Timberwolves wrapped up their fourth consecutive league title. Against Kamiak on Thursday, Jackson claimed its third consecutive district championship, clinching its berth to the Class 4A State Tournament.
“It’s awesome,” Jackson midfielder Jadyn Edwards said. “I love playing with this team and with this program. It’s just been great. The past four years we’ve played really well. I’m proud of us.”
Edwards set up the Timberwolves’ first goal and scored the second, which was enough to hold off a furious Kamiak second-half attack, as Jackson earned a 2-1 Class 4A District 1 Tournament title game win at Everett Memorial Stadium.
With the loss, Kamiak now faces Glacier Peak at 2 p.m. Saturday at Shoreline Stadium in a winner-to-state, loser-out game. Jackson’s win pushed its win streak to 10 games and marked the second time the Timberwolves have beaten the Knights this season. The two rivals also played to a scoreless tie back in September.
State berths are nothing new for Jackson, but for three Timberwolves who played prominent roles in Thursday night’s win, next week’s state tournament will be their first.
“This is my first year as head coach, so this is my first district win, first league win, so it feels pretty good,” Jackson coach Sarah Smart said. “For these guys, it’s an old hat, but for me it’s new, so I’m pretty giddy about it.”
The same can be said for freshmen Katie Cheng and Emma Rich, who made their way onto the scoresheet.
Cheng put Jackson on the board first with a 19th-minute goal off a free kick, and Rich set up Edwards’ score in the 29th minute with a beautiful, long cross. Kamiak’s lone goal came in second-half stoppage time off the foot of Jamie Beirne.
While Kamiak put Jackson in defense mode throughout the second half with waves of attacking pressure, it was the Timberwolves who created more scoring chances through the first 40 minutes.
After several shots on goal, Cheng capitalized on a free kick from 23 yards out. She struck a low liner that blew past the left side of Kamiak goalkeeper Ally Peterson’s outstretched hands. Peterson had no chance with the ball’s placement in the goal’s bottom-left corner.
Cheng wouldn’t have had the scoring opportunity, though, if it weren’t for a nice individual effort by Edwards, who was about to break free behind the Knights defense after a couple of fancy moves in the open field before she was taken down by a defender.
“Getting that first goal gave us a real push in the game, a lot of energy,” Edwards said, “and we just did a really good job holding onto the lead and playing hard throughout the game.”
Jackson’s second goal came during the run of play less than 10 minutes later. Edwards again figured into the score, but this time the junior placed the ball into the back of the net herself.
Edwards made a nice run down the left side of the field, and Rich connected with her, placing a beautiful long-range pass at Edward’s feet right in stride. Peterson, charging out of her goal, collided with Edwards and the ball, which ricocheted up in the air. Edwards recovered quickly and blasted a shot past Peterson before she could react, giving the T-Wolves a 2-0 lead 29 minutes in.
Kamiak didn’t go away, though.
The Knights had Jackson on its heels throughout the second half, but Timberwolves goalkeeper Kayleigh Sedlacek made several impressive saves, and the backline of Rich, Alyssa Weed, Peyton Manalo and Mackenzie Rennhack worked well in turning Kamiak away time-and-time again.
Beirne’s late goal gave the Knights a glimmer of hope, but it wasn’t enough as Jackson’s bench erupted on the referee’s final whistle.