Kennedy girls soccer earns state seeding
By Gerardo Bolong
UNIVERSITY PLACE - It was a long day's journey into night, but senior Kalina Cordero's goal in the second minute of overtime gave the NPSL Kennedy Catholic girls soccer team a 1-0 West Central III/Southwest IV BI-District 4A win against SPSL Emerald Ridge on Thurs., Nov. 2, at Curtis High School to earn the Lancers a WCD berth in the round of state play. Kennedy moved on to play a D3 #1-D3/4 #3 seeding match against Puyallup at Sparks Stadium. The match up was slated for 2 p.m. on Sat., Nov. 4.
The winning play came off action that was initiated when the soccer athletes converged en masse near the right side of the net. In the ensuing skirmish that included the Jaguar goal keeper, the ball escaped the multitude and was trickling toward the goal. Cordero made a rush to give the ball directional impetus into the net.
"I saw the ball curving and thought I better slide it more toward the goal," said Cordero. "I felt urged to finish strong."
Victory came close to sliding away from the Lancers during regulation action.
Kennedy Catholic tried to use speed from its offense to set the tone, but found great resistance from the Emerald Ridge defense throughout. The Falcons stayed persistent and gradually gained an edge in steady ball movement.
Tough midfield battles were waged and good striking position for close shots on goal needed extra effort as the teams fought to a first half with nil on the scoring end.
Beginning the second half, the physical Jaguars had more aggression. For the most part, ER unleashed long, powerful shots. Into the final 15 minutes of regulation, the Lancers began to hit their stride, particularly on offense as the defense hung on.
Emerald Ridge stayed dangerous, bombing away with shots from long range. In the 32nd minute a Jaguar long distance shot struck the cross bar. Kennedy stood tall on defense to force the match into a five-minute overtime.
With expectations of more tenacious defensive struggling in the offing, the sudden development of the final score ended the ferocious struggle in favor of Kennedy Catholic.
"The back line was outstanding," said KC head coach Michelle Beattie. "Cassidy Elicker, Claire Spadoni-Varden and Lauren Shoemaker did a great job. Abbigail McBroom on defense did well in the last 25 minutes when we pushed Cordero up from the back line into the left midfield. They kept No. 24 (Karlee Stueckle) under control. When we finally came together, we were strong."
Goal keeper Jaclyn Seifert recorded the shut out for Kennedy Catholic (14-0-3)