Sports

Girls soccer team nears state competition

Sophie Nespor leaps to save Charles Wright’s final kick from the penalty mark and give Vashon the shootout win. - Rik Forschmiedt photo
Sophie Nespor leaps to save Charles Wright’s final kick from the penalty mark and give Vashon the shootout win.
— image credit: Rik Forschmiedt photo

If the Pirate girls didn’t play another soccer game this season, last week would have been a fitting end. But they have a game today, Nov. 4, and are close to a spot in the state tournament.

The Pirates won the regular-season finale, on senior night, and went on to two 2-1 shootout wins in playoffs.

A 4-0 win over archrival Charles Wright, with more than half played by an all-senior lineup, began one of the greatest weeks so far in Vashon girls’ soccer history. The playoff wins over Port Townsend and Charles Wright capped the week.

Last Tuesday, coach Paul Beytebiere started an all-senior lineup in honor of the 12 seniors on the team. All but Kiki Means, injured earlier, played the entire first half and a good part of the second half.

Teal Sigler scored in the 14th minute to give the Pirates a 1-0 halftime lead.

Beytebiere had the regular starting lineup start the second half. Junior Carlyle Scott scored in the 48th minute, with an assist by Sigler. Sophomore Cat Amick got goals in the 55th and 69th minutes, assisted on both by freshman Lena deGuzman.As soon as Amick scored the fourth goal, Beytebiere put all the seniors in to finish their final home game.

Though the Tarriers were missing several of their regular starters with a reported 25 percent of their student body absent with the flu, a win over Charles Wright is always good, and on senior night it is especially sweet.

Pirate defender and captain Katie Chale said the unusually large and noisy crowd inspired the Pirates.

Thursday at Port Townsend was one of the most intense games the Pirates have played. The tension was made greater because the loser of the sub-district play-in was done for the season.

Rain, mud, deer on the field and strange calls added to the fun.

Sigler struck quickly, taking a feed from Amick to beat the Redskin goalkeeper in the seventh minute. Chale injured her arm when she fell in the 14th minute and missed the rest of the first half and the first minutes of the second half.

The game was very physical and the teams were evenly matched, with neither team able to penetrate the other’s defense. Pirate keeper Sophie Nespor put on an amazing display with numerous acrobatic saves.

In the 77th minute, when it looked like Vashon would make its 1-0 lead hold, a deer ran onto the field. When the referee blew his whistle, most spectators thought it was to stop play until the deer left, but instead he called a penalty kick for Port Townsend. Redskin Khloe Frank converted, and the game went to overtime.

Neither team could score in the 10-minute overtime, and the game went to kicks from the penalty mark.

Each keeper saved one kick, and after six rounds the shootout was tied 5-5. Chale sent her kick to the top bar, where it bounced down and the assistant referee signalled it had crossed the goal line. Port Townsend’s seventh kick went high, and

the Pirates’ season contin-ued with the victory.

On Thursday Vashon and Charles Wright met for the third time this season, this time at neutral Orting Stadium for seeding to the Tri-District Tournament.

The Tarriers struck first in the 10th minute. Sigler evened it up in the 21st minute, with Scott getting the assist. Nespor saved a Tarrier penalty kick in the second half, and after two scoreless overtime periods, the game went to kicks from the mark.

Vashon made the first four kicks, and Charles Wright missed one. Tarrier keeper Natalie Powell saved Vashon’s fifth kick, leaving the Pirates with a 4-3 lead as the Tarrier kicker lined up for the fifth shot. Nespor made a leaping save, and Vashon won the game.

The Pirates go into the Tri-District tourney as the third seed, and the Tarriers are fourth seed. Vashon plays Meridian at Mount Vernon High School at 7 p.m. tonight, Nov. 4, in a loser-out game.

— Rik Forschmiedt is a former Beachcomber sports editor.

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