An aggressive Lake Stevens team edged Shorewood right out of the postseason Oct. 29.
The Vikings ended Shorewood’s playoff run 1-0 in a first round 4A District 1 playoff game at Shoreline Stadium.
Forward Danielle Ali of Lake Stevens scored the only goal of the game in the 53rd minute on assist from forward Taryn Wright. Ali lost the defender marking her, slipped into the penalty box and drilled a shot past Shorewood goalkeeper Leah Butterfield, before the two collided.
“We’ve had a really solid defense but sometimes we have lapses and good teams capitalize and take advantage of weaknesses in the defense.” Butterfield said. “That’s what happened tonight.”
Ali’s aggressive, opportunistic goal was symbolic of how the game was played. The Vikings went after loose balls and seemed to win more of them. They also weren’t afraid to slide tackle to get them.
“It was a really, really aggressive game,” said Lake Stevens senior midfielder Alexa Moriarty. “I felt this was one of our most aggressive games.”
Shorewood coach Teddy Mitalas said that style of play affected his team.
“The physicalness got us, we’re not that physical,” Mitalas said. “You can’t make excuses, they took us out of our game.”
Mitalas said the Western Conference North Division plays more physical, a characterization that Moriarity disagreed with generally, but in this game Lake Stevens clearly was more physical.
“As well as we played, Lake Stevens is a good team and they put a lot of pressure on us,” Butterfield said. “And I definitely think that we were pretty evenly matched. We played a very aggressive team and I thought we did well.”
Said Moriarty: “Our defense starts in the front and we just play as a team.”
Shorewood had 12 shots on goal to Lake Stevens’ nine, and had a few close calls but couldn’t find the net.
“We had some opportunities we should have scored on and we missed,” midfielder Xana Bartlett said.
It was the second straight year Shorewood lost in the first round at districts since Mitalas took over the program. The T-birds ended the season 10-6-1.
Injuries also hurt the T-birds with the latest being forward Stephanie Lim, who was out with a knee ligament injury.
Shorewood will lose eight seniors, the most significant being Butterfield and forward Amanda Clark. The defense remains intact with Louise Albin, Dominque Amor and Erin Tenney returning as seniors.
The junior varsity went 14-1 this season and the team’s strengths lie with its yonger players, Mitalas said.