In the end, Shorecrest didn’t get the 3A girls soccer title it hoped for, but the Scots earned respect for their best finish in 12 years.
“I’d rather get first, second or third, but fourth’s not bad,” said senior co-captain and goalkeeper Caroline Towles. “We fought hard, we totally deserved to be here. We battled to the end.”
Kennedy (21-1-1) beat Shorecrest (15-7-2) for third place 2-0, on a pair of goals by Lancers’ forward Rebekah Kurle, Saturday, Nov. 22 at Harry Lang Stadium in Lakewood.
Shorecrest’s fourth-place trophy was its first since it placed third in 1996 in Class 4A, a year after winning the title.
Last year, Shorecrest lost at home in a first-round district game in shootout to Sedro-Woolley. This year, the team wanted to redeem itself from that disappointing early exit.
“We accomplished a lot coming from a very tough league (the Western Conference South Division) and coming from a team that hasn’t gotten out of first round or second round in a long time,” Shorecrest coach Mindy Dalziel said. “They might not be the best soccer players but they work really hard and they have tons of dedication.”
For Dalziel, who is in her fourth year, this is the first group she’s coached since they were freshmen.
“To lead these seniors from the time they were 14 to a state semis and consolation match is huge,” Dalziel said.
Shorecrest returns nearly all its midfielders including sophomore Rachel Schrote, freshman Lulu Wissmar, junior Jessica Rankin and junior Agen Heffernan.
The defense will require some retooling with the graduation of Towles and sweeper Ashley Rojan, but Dalziel believes backup keeper Kayla Obrycki will be ready to step in next year.
Obrycki saw action against Kennedy after Towles went down hard in a collision on its first goal.
Kurle headed in a shot off a free kick by Amy Holland, narrowly beating Towles to the ball.
“It was a fair goal, it was 50-50,” Towles said.
Kurle added a second goal in the 37th minute, while Obrycki was in. The goal was her 38th of the year.
“I had good opportunities and great players behind me to help,” Kurle said.
Two of the three goals Shorecrest gave up over the weekend came directly or indirectly off free kicks.
“We had trouble on free kicks and they capitalized on that and that’s unfortunate,” junior midfielder Agen Heffernan said. “But I’m so proud of this team and how far that we’ve come. We’re such a close unit and I’m so happy to be a part of it.”
Seattle Prep slips past Scots
One free kick is all it took for Seattle Prep to end Shorecrest’s state title dreams in the 3A state soccer semifinals at Friday, Nov. 21 at Harry Lang Stadium in Lakewood.
In a game marked by strong defensive efforts by both teams, Prep struck in the 32nd minute off a direct free kick after Scots’ defender Kimi Smith was whistled for a handball.
Prep’s Jaclyn Rudd took the shot from the right side, 20 yards out. Rudd’s kick went over the defense and into the upper left corner of the net out of the reach of Shorecrest goalkeeper Caroline Towles.
“They played a hard game. We played a hard game,” Towles said. “Obviously they’re talented, they wouldn’t be here otherwise. They’ve been here before, they took us for granted and unfortunately we didn’t get to the state finals…”
Seattle Prep, finished as state runners-up for the third year in a row after losing to Everett, the 3A District 1 champs, 3-0 in the state title game. Prep’s final record was 16-4-3.
Seattle Prep only had seven shots in the game and only one in the second half. Shorecrest had 12 shots, seven coming after the break.
Shorecrest had a couple solid scoring opportunities in the second half. Midfielder Rachel Schrote fired a shot in the 69th minute that was knocked down by Panther goalkeeper Shanley DeFrancia. Midfielder Agen Heffernan’s shot in the final seconds was deflected out of bounds off of a Prep player, and the Scots’ Christina Jarvis had one last ditch corner kick that went past the goal as time expired.