The Issaquah Eagles were playing their fifth game in eight days, but you’d never have guessed it from the energy they displayed Saturday night at Spokane Falls in the quarterfinals of the State 4A girls soccer tournament.
The Eagles (18-2-1), produced intense offensive pressure from the opening kickoff, converted it into an early goal and went on to a 2-0 victory over Central Valley, the second straight year the Bears (14-3) lost in the second round at state.
Issaquah finished the contest without its top two scorers, senior midfielder Audrey Thomas and junior forward Rachel Wheeler, both of whom suffered knee injuries, but it was Wheeler who dominated the first half on offense and put the Eagles on the scoreboard with a nice solo move down the left wing that she finished with a shot just inside the right post.
That the Bears trailed only by a goal at intermission was a tribute to their solid defensive play and at least one terrific save by CV goalkeeper Jessie Kunz-Pfeiffer. Their first genuine offensive opportunity didn’t come until 30 minutes into the half on a strong effort by Natalie Middleton, but Issaquah’s quickness up front and solid defense on the back didn’t yield many chances.
“You can’t score if you don’t get any shots,” CV coach Andres Monrroy said, “and we just didn’t have enough good shots. … Sometimes this season, we’ve been a little lax in the first few minutes, and we’ve been able to get away with it. Tonight, we just couldn’t recover from our start.”
The Bears came out more offensive-minded after halftime, but a pair of Issaquah sophomore defenders, Lyrik Fryer and Olivia Witherspoon, were fast and physical in the back and kept CV from putting the ball on net.
The teams counterpunched for much of the second half until the 65-minute mark, when Issaquah junior forward Juliana da Cruz punched in a rebound after a nice save by Kunz-Pfeiffer to make it 2-0. CV missed its best scoring chance when a header looped over Eagles keeper Tala Fry’s head, only to land atop the net.
• Freshman goalkeeper Lauren Rood stopped three tiebreaker penalty kicks and the Camas Papermakers edged the Mead Panthers 1-0 in a State 4A quarterfinal match in Camas.
Mead outshot Camas 15-6, including 6-3 in shots on goal, but couldn’t find the net.
• Alyssa Wickenhagen scored in the first half and Riley Steele added a second-half netter to lead the host West Valley (Yakima) Rams to a 2-0 win over the Pullman Greyhounds in a State 2A quarterfinal.
Erik Muelheims had three goals and two assists and Nathan Furbeyre added two goals and an assist to power the St. George’s Dragons to a 5-1 victory over the Tacoma Baptist Crusaders in a State 2B/1B quarterfinal match at Whitworth.
• Jacob Weaver notched three goals and an assist and Austin Friedly added two goals and an assist to carry the Northwest Christian Crusaders to a 5-1 victory over the Waitsburg-Prescott Cardinals in a State 2B/1B quarterfinal at NWC.