It was an exciting kickoff for the Vashon High School girls’ varsity soccer team during their first playoff game against the Klahowya Eagles last week Tuesday in Bremerton, at Silverdale Stadium.
Klahowya entered the match strong, maintaining possession of the ball for most of the first half. Many attempts were made on Vashon’s goal, with keeper sophomore Tamsen Henry saving several close calls. Vashon’s defensive line — in particular, freshman Phoebe Wilke and juniors Ella Wheeler and Hannah Spranger — had multiple interceptions on the Eagles’ offensive line running toward the goal. Klahowya persisted, finally getting two past goalie Henry during the first half. Unfortunately, Henry suffered a kick to the head, diving to save the ball. Henry underwent a concussion check on the field and was deemed unfit for the remainder of the match.
Vashon regrouped at the half, entering with a strong passing game, feeding offensive players sophomore Payton Venturi and senior Anna Riggs with opportunities on goal. The Eagles persevered, getting two more goals past keeper senior Sydnee Adams, solidifying their victory, 4-0.
After losing on Tuesday to the top-seeded team in the district playoffs, the VHS girls soccer team knew that in order to keep playing, they had to keep winning. On Thursday, they did battle against Bellevue Christian for the third time this season, in the third round of District playoffs. After having lost the first two regular-season meetings by one goal, some adjustments were made and the outcome, this time, was different.
It was a windy evening at Silverdale Stadium, at times, so windy that the soccer ball moved by itself. That didn’t stop senior Riggs from drilling a free kick home from just outside the top of the box into the back of the net, putting Vashon up early 1-0.
Losing sophomore goalkeeper Henry to a concussion on Tuesday forced leading Vashon goal scorer Adams into action as the backup keeper. Adams is no stranger to being in the net, as that is her regular position on her club team. Adams, with the help of freshman center back Wilke and central midfielder Emily Serebryakov, continually locked down the Bellevue attack as they could not get anything going offensively.
It wasn’t long before Riggs blasted goal number two past the Bellevue Christian keeper, extending Vashon’s lead 2-0 at halftime. The Pirates had the aid of the wind in the second half, enabling keeper Adams to boot the ball nearly 70 yards in the air, leading to many more attack opportunities and five more close shaves for the Bellevue goalkeeper. The game ended in favor of the Pirates, 2-0.
It was more of the same on Saturday, Nov. 3 — either win or go home. And win, Vashon did, at Silverdale Stadium, this time versus Cascade Christian, another team they had faced twice previously in the regular season. The Pirates won at home 4-0 and tied at their place 2-2. There was a lot riding on the outcome of this game for both teams, as the winner would move on to the state tournament next week and walk away with second place hardware from the district tourney. Again, with Adams in goal and Riggs playing striker, the Pirates started strong. About 20 minutes into the game VHS was awarded a corner kick. Over 50 percent of goals are scored off of set pieces just like this, and Vashon proved that statistic to be true. Sophomore midfielder Venturi launched a perfect swinging corner kick into the box, which found senior Riggs’ head and, in turn, the back of the net.
The Pirates were up midway through the first half, 1-0. Emily Levin added to a strong defensive effort by Vashon as Cascade Christian was desperate for an equalizing goal in the second half. They pressed hard but to no avail, as Levin and Vashon’s Wilke helped secure the Pirates second victory in three days, 1-0. VHS brought home a trophy and a date to the state tournament. That first round state game is Wednesday evening, after press time, in Shoreline against Kings.
— Karson Brown is the mother of freshman player Franki Brown. Scott Nicolino is the VHS girls’ varsity soccer coach.