Highline girls soccer edges upset-mined Foster
By Gerardo Bolong
It was energized excitement in Tukwila that prevailed on Mon., Oct. 15, when the Highline High School girls soccer team held off an inspired Foster squad 3-2 in SPSL 2A North Division action.
The visiting Pirates moved to 6-5-1 league and 6-7-1 overall while maintaining a grip on a post season playoff spot. Heading into the match, home team Foster Bulldogs dropped to 2-8-2 league and overall despite a strong effort. Heading into the match the Highline Pirates held an RPI of eight in a 12-team playoff scenario.
“Foster played well,” HHS head coach Luke Benedum explained. “They’re physical and have good speed. We’re happy to get the win. We did just enough to win. Kudos to all our players.”
The Pirates opened up in their customary attacking, spread the ball well offense, but the Bulldogs showed some aggression of their own in a foreshadowing of tough action still to come.
Diyhani Frazier showed speed and muscle on the outside for Foster, but HHS continually put the Bulldog defenders in peril until freshman Sophie Jones burst clear in the middle for a Pirate 1-0 lead in the 12th minute.
Highline kept pounding away with numerous near misses on shots and three minutes later senior Natasha Maharaj broke the border for a goal that increased the Highline advantage to 2-0.
Aggressively fighting back, Foster drew within 2-1 in the 29th minute when Suani Merida cashed in from the left side with a long goal as the team eventually went to halftime with the Bulldogs gaining momentum and confidence.
Highline brought everything it had to the fore in a show of opening half offense and ball movement as Abby Sagmoen scored from close-in from the right side for a 3-1 Pirate lead in the 64th minute of play.
HHS kept the ball on the Foster half of the field for many of the following minutes, but the battling Bulldogs fought back into contention in the 84th minute when Elizabeth Valiente Perez took advantage of an awkward goal keeper position to get credit for the goal that kept Bulldog hopes alive and set up some final drama.
Sagmoen and the other Pirate forward strikers kept Foster occupied on defense to keep the tough victory in hand.
“They were really physical,” said Jones. “We just had to match their aggression.”
The Foster Bulldogs draw on many sophomores in a continued step in progress.
“The girls have grown the whole season,” Bulldog head coach Ray Schriber said. “Our goal is to score at least one goal each game. We want to work the ball up to the scorers and get balance with everyone involved. This game we did it well.”