For the King’s girls soccer team it was déjà vu at the state 1A soccer semifinals.
Seattle Christian beat King’s 1-0 Friday, Nov. 21 at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner delaying the Knights’ quest for a state title until next year.
King’s has made it to the semifinals all three years of the program. But the Knights are still in search of that elusive trip to a championship game. In 2006, King’s lost in a shootout in the semifinals to Seattle Christian and last year the Knights lost in the third-place game to the Warriors after losing to eventual state champion Meridian in the semis.
King’s bounced back and beat Highland 4-0, to claim third place on Saturday, Nov. 22.
“It’s kind of bittersweet in that we really did want first. We really wanted it,” junior defender Hillary Quinn said. “But God gives and God takes away.”
“We’re sick of coming here in the semis and not going on,” said Quinn, a junior. “Next year we’ll come back and go past semis.”
Seattle Christian sophomore midfielder Jordan Comiskey scored the game’s lone goal in the 24th minute on a shot from 20 yards out that caught the bottom of the crossbar and went into the goal.
King’s stepped up the pressure in the second half outshooting the Warriors 10-1, but could not connect.
“They were a stronger team this year, which I knew they were,” King’s coach Nicole Gabelein said. “It was one of those games where I felt we controlled the game to some degree, a little bit more than they did but couldn’t find the back of the net.”
“They play well together,” Gabelein said of Seattle Christian. “They have one very talented girl (sophomore forward Terrika Weaver) and the rest of the team plays well together.”
King’s senior Kendall Thoreson, who has signed with Northwestern University of the Big 10, had the ball on a breakaway in the 65th minute but Warriors’ goalkeeper Hannah Kane came out to challenge Thoreson and made a sliding save.
“I looked up to see where she was and I took one touch down and she got there so fast I didn’t have a chance,” Thoreson said. “She’s an excellent keeper. I applaud her.”
“We thought it was our year this year,” Thoreson said. “We had an awesome chance, the best one we’ve had so far. We’ve always been a team that gets a lot of opportunities. In our past we have a lot of shots and we fail to finish and that’s what we did yesterday. Seattle Christian has an excellent goalie and she did really well back there.”
The Warriors’ experience paid off in a game in which King’s had the ball in their end of the field most of the time.
“We’ve been in this situation,” Seattle Christian coach Melissa Bennett said. “We’ve been in a close games.”
King’s controlled the ball much of the time, but the Warriors’ defense held its ground and never let the Knights break through.”
“They’re very dangerous in the corner and with free kicks,” Bennett said. “My heart was skipping the whole game.”
The Warriors only chance of the second half came in the first few minutes but King’s goalkeeper Carolyn Dapper knocked the ball away to keep the Knights from going into a deeper hole.
“I think they came out faster, stronger than we expected,” Gabelein said. “Not that we didn’t think they were a threat. We didn’t finish well. They had a good goalkeeper.”
King’s returned Saturday with strong offensive performance against Highland of Cowiche.
Junior forward Hillary Zevenbergen scored in the 18th minute following a corner kick by Thoreson. Junior forward Julia Crosby added a goal in the 27th minute following up Zevenbergen’s blocked shot.
Thoreson scored both second half goals, the first coming on a header in the 44th minute.
Thoreson outran the defense and beat Highland keeper Melissa Cervantes on a breakaway but got clipped from behind by Highland defender Andrea Wickenhagen in the penalty box in the 53rd minute. The ball trickled in but the referee called the foul and Wickenhagen received a red card for the trip. Thoreson knocked the penalty kick into the left side of the net to make it 4-0.
Thoreson was awarded the sportsmanship medallion in the third-place game.
King’s only loses three seniors, so a return trip to the semifinals looks like a good bet next year. Thoreson will be tough to replace, but King’s has plenty of state experience after finishing third in 2006, fourth last year and third this year.