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Wildcats close to perfect year

Mt. Spokane girls reach 3A title game

PUYALLUP, Wash. – Madison Boyd certainly lifted her teammates up before she went down.

It means the Mt. Spokane girls soccer team has a chance to end its first trip to the State 3A final four in magical, undefeated fashion.

With one goal already in the bank, Boyd was pushing for another and collided with goalkeeper Kayla Baskett in the 54th minute.

Boyd’s pressure on offense resulted in an own-goal as second-ranked Mt. Spokane eased into the state championship match with a 2-0 win over seventh-ranked Holy Names in Friday’s semifinal at Sparks Stadium.

“This year we wanted to come over to prove that Spokane teams can play as well as Seattle teams,” said Boyd, a sophomore who hurt her left ankle and left after the Wildcats’ second goal. “I think I’ll just try to push through it tomorrow,” she said.

The Wildcats went in front 1-0 on Boyd’s close-range shot on a half-volleyed pass from Alyssa Lloyd in the 27th minute. Boyd’s point-blank score came after Lloyd headed the ball near the left post on a deflection by Danika Martin after a long throw-in from the left sideline from Kelsey Frank.

It was Boyd’s 13th goal of the season.

“I just managed to get my foot on it,” Boyd said.

Boyd almost tallied her 14th goal of the year for a 2-0 lead in the 54th minute with a run up the middle on a pass from Whitney Weaver from the left wing, but Holy Names finished the job. The play resulted in a Holy Names defender heading the ball into the Cougars’ own net to give Mount Spokane a two-goal cushion.

Boyd injured her left ankle in a collision with Baskett on the scoring play, left the match and never returned.

“Maddy Boyd all season long has just crashed the net with authority,” said Mt. Spokane coach Ryan Campanella. “That first goal is always the release valve.”

The Wildcats (20-0-0) face fourth-ranked Columbia River (18-0-2) – a 2-1 overtime shootout winner over Liberty of Issaquah in the other semifinal – for the championship today at 2 p.m.

Holy Names (15-6-2) meets Liberty (14-4-1) for third place at 10 a.m.

Holy Names, which entered with a nine-match unbeaten streak, turned up the heat on offense the first 10 minutes of the second half but couldn’t break through against Mt. Spokane.

Wildcats goalkeeper Shannon McReynolds made a diving save at the right post in the 47th minute, turning away a header from Katelyn Faust after a long cross in front of the goal by Katie Kipp.

Mt. Spokane gained motivation after falling to Eastside Catholic 3-1 in a quarterfinal road match last season.

All but three players are back from that squad.

“It galvanized our team from that game,” Campanella said. “Our girls came in from Day 1 as if they’d been playing for two months together. I’m just a lucky coach that has a great group of girls that was already put together and solid from Day 1.

“They are just having fun and playing looser. It is a special season.”