PUYALLUP — After paving its way through the Class 3A state tournament, the Shorecrest girls soccer team’s postseason run came up just shy of an elusive title.
The ninth-seeded Scots managed wins over Peninsula (No. 8), defending state champion Bellevue (No. 1) and Lakeside of Seattle (No. 4) before falling in the championship match 4-1 to 14th-seeded Roosevelt on Saturday night, finishing as the 3A runner-up.
Shorecrest (18-5-0), which made its 11th state tournament appearance in the last 12 full-length seasons, was in search of its first state title since 1993, when head coach Mindy Dalziel was a player for the Scots.
“This group has been so tight and they had an amazing experience this year,” Dalziel said. “… To finish second when everyone kinda just jumped over us, I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
It’s the first girls soccer state crown for Roosevelt (15-7-3) in the school’s 101-year history, and it came after pulling out victories in six loser-out contests throughout the postseason.
In a physical title bout, the Scots and Rough Riders both found themselves fighting for loose balls on the turf more often than not, especially when rain showers started falling on Sparks Stadium.
“Dishing it and taking it,” Dalziel said. “Both teams, it was pretty back and forth. … Credit to Roosevelt, they played really hard and put us on our heels (and) we knew they were gonna do that. … They had some great goals, we couldn’t control the middle and they ate us up.”
After a deadlock for most of the first half, Andrea Cummings tapped in Roosevelt’s first goal in the 35th minute, and Brigid Bennett tacked on a penalty kick in the 37th to give the Rough Riders a 2-0 lead at the intermission.
“I think right before the half, that’s when the middle got away from us,” Dalziel said.
After Roosevelt scored in the 45th minute, senior forward Taylor Christensen netted a goal in the 54th minute to put the Scots on the board and shave the deficit to 3-1. Senior midfielder Tayvi Khann came up just shy of a score off a free kick in the 60th.
Roosevelt senior Ava Kelley put the the game away with a goal in the 65th minute, as the Rough Riders built a 4-1 advantage that wouldn’t teeter the rest of the way.
Shorecrest senior goalkeeper Tatiana Zahajko came up with key saves in the 39th and 50th minutes to keep her team in it.
After an underdog push through the 3A state bracket, Shorecrest graduated a senior corps of seven players.
“Well, one of them’s my own (defender and daughter Darci Dalziel),” Mindy Dalziel said. “They’ve all been through a lot. They were freshman when we got back from COVID, so they had this weird freshman year (when teams played shortened seasons in the spring of 2021). But they all stepped on the field as sophomores like they were experienced soccer players.
“They’ve never given up, and I’ve watched them grow up and play. They fight for any team they play for. They’re tight, they’re connected, and there’s a lot of history with that. And that’s been pretty impressive to watch.”