The Vashon girls’ varsity soccer team entered the State tournament ranked #14 in the 1A division. This marked the first appearance by the Vashon team in the statewide tournament since 2018.
The Pirates traveled to Blaine, a half mile from the Canadian border, on Wednesday, Nov. 9, to play the Lynden Christian Lyncs who were ranked #3 in the state. Under clear skies in brisk 36-degree weather, the girls, wearing their black kits, had strong support from parents and fans who made the northbound trip.
Keeper Ivy Staczek saw action early when she challenged the Lyncs striker for the ball and came up a step short and turned to watch a hard shot sail just inches over the crossbar.
The Lyncs played aggressively with arms and elbows landing all over the Pirates’ bodies. Unimpressed, the Pirates played relentless and inspiring defense including several point-blank blasts that Staczek pushed aside.
Vashon was playing without two of their starting defenders, both of whom had broken their collar bones and were out of the line-up.
Fifteen minutes into the game the dam broke, though, and Lynden got on the board first. Being so close to Canada, a few parents in the stands were heard to say, “it’s aboot time”.
Throughout the season, Vashon’s best play was to send a through ball toward a forward, streaking down the sideline. Countless times during the regular season, the Pirates put themselves in an excellent scoring position in this way, but on this night, they were only able to execute the play a few times. This meant that the Pirates were only able to threaten the Lyncs with two shots on goal the entire night.
Meanwhile, Staczek was peppered with 19.
Lynden scored twice more before the referee blew his whistle to end the first half, with Vashon down 0-3.
Going to the state tournament is an incredible accomplishment for any team. To honor the girls, prior to boarding the travel bus at VHS, several hundred students and faculty formed a tunnel and screamed encouragement as the Pirates ran through. Most of the girls have been playing Vashon soccer for a dozen or so years and have gone through a tunnel of fun countless times.
For the four seniors on the team — Daalny Meyer, Hanifa Khidr, Myra Butler, and Leah Gross — it would be their last time.
The second half kicked off with the temperature at the freezing level, and the Pirates couldn’t muster enough heat to get the ball into the net. The Lyncs managed one more goal and the game ended with Vashon losing 0-4.
Despite the loss, it was a fantastic season and with 15 varsity members potentially returning next year, along with many strong JV players who will make the team, the 2023 season is looking great for the Pirates.