EVERETT — The Jackson fans stormed the field but the Timberwolves girls soccer coach was pretty sure the game wasn’t over.
But she celebrated anyway.
With Jackson up 3-2 in a shootout, Timberwolves goalkeeper Callie Vanaelst made her second save of the shootout and as the Jackson players looked to the referee he blew his whistle, signaling the end of the game.
After Curtis head coach Frank Hankel sprinted on to the field to correct him, Jackson forward Drew Locknane stepped up and sealed the game for good with a score, causing the Timberwolves fans to once again storm the field to celebrate as Jackson defeated Curtis 4-2 in a shootout to advance to the quarterfinals of the 4A state tournament.
“I knew the game wasn’t over but he blew the whistle. That’s why I kind of walked out,” said Jackson head coach Jesslyn Kellerman. “I’m a goalkeeper. I count all that stuff. I knew it wasn’t over but I’m like, ‘Well, if he calls it. It’s not my fault, right?’
“We just got to storm the field and celebrate with our fans twice.”
After regulation and overtime ended in a 1-1 tie, Jadyn Edwards, Lynnae George, Madison Cooley and Locknane all scored for Jackson in the shootout, while Vanaelst blocked two Curtis shots, including one by Vikings star forward Morgan Weaver.
“She’s obviously one of the best players that we’re going to play against and we knew that coming into the game,” Vanaelst said. “I was just like, ‘You know where good players go. They go left.’ So I went left and it went left. It was awesome. … (I) just try to stay calm but stay intense. It especially helps when everybody on your team is making shots. It builds up your confidence a lot.”
Jackson (14-4-1), which made it back to the 4A state tournament for the second consecutive season, needed a little extra time in its state opener. The Timberwolves took the first lead of the game in the 38th minute when George weaved through the Curtis defense as she dribbled down the field. Once George was clear, she shot from about 25 yards out and watched as her shot bounced off Curtis goalkeeper Olivia Engle, up off the top crossbar and back down off Engle again and into the net.
“The last game against Kamiak was the first time Lynnae’s played up front all season,” Kellerman said. “She’s one of those players that can play anywhere you put her she works hard. She’s going to give you everything she had.
“When I moved her back in to the defense a little bit she looked at me and she’s like, ‘Get me back (to) forward. I need to go forward.’ She’s just one of the most hard-working players I’ve ever coached or even played with. … Wherever you put her she’s going to make a difference.”
Curtis (13-4-1) answered in the 54th minute with a Sariah Keister goal off a Weaver assist.
Both teams remained scoreless through the rest of regulation and two five-minute overtime periods.
George and the Timberwolves had a few more scoring opportunities but they couldn’t quite put it away until the shootout.
“We’re hoping to finish it in 80 (minutes) but before the game it was just about playing 100 percent — giving 100 percent effort — for however long it takes,” Kellerman said. “If that’s a shootout, it’s a shootout. We’ve practiced that a lot. The girls were prepared.”
During the shootout Kellerman was standing by herself behind the Jackson bench, well away from her fellow Timberwolves. When a Jackson assistant coach came over to celebrate with her after the second made kick by the Timberwolves Kellerman quickly shooed the coach away.
“I’ve never coached a shootout before,” Kellerman said. “I’ve always been the one in goal so it’s really hard to sit and watch and center all my goalkeeper skill that I possibly can fathom. I just needed to be by myself and not be distracted.”
Jackson moves on in the state tournament and will host the winner of Wednesday’s Union-South Kitsap game in the 4A state quarterfinals. Kellerman said the game will likely be Saturday afternoon.
“I’ve talked to my girls about how the stakes are higher during state, games are more important, teams step it up,” Kellerman said. “Because we have a lot of returners from last year, I think they were able to know and be able to explain to the new players what that really means. I think that we handled the pressure well.”
At Everett Memorial Stadium
Goals—Lynnae George (J), Sariah Keister (C). Assists—Morgan Weaver (C). Goalkeepers—Curtis: Olivia Engle. Jackson: Callie Vanaelst. Records—Curtis 13-4-1 overall. Jackson 14-4-1.