It honestly doesn’t matter how you spell it. One Central Valley soccer star spells it with an ‘e’, the other with an ‘i.’ Kaelyn or Kailyn, it all sounds the same.
On the pitch, “Kay-Lyn” translates to “goal.”
Kailyn LaBrosse and Kaelyn Barnes connected in the first half for the only goal Central Valley would need to secure a 1-0 win over Kennedy Catholic in the State 4A girls soccer tournament semifinal Friday night at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup, Washington.
Central Valley will face Issaquah at 4 p.m. Saturday for the state championship and the culmination of a perfect season.
LaBrosse streaked down the right wing, as she did dangerously most of the night, and found Barnes occupying enough space to collected a clean pass, set and deliver a powerful shot into the top corner of the goal in the 23rd minute to give the Bears a 1-0 lead.
“Kaelyn was running down the line and all I saw was a little gap and the defenders were, there was a defender on one side of me and their midfielders were walking so Kaelyn played it and I went on to it,” Barnes said.
CV saw most of the ball on the night, though had to contest with an at times aggressive Lancers side trying to play through long balls and test Bears goalkeeper AJ Crooks with the occasional volley.
The Bears back four contested it well most of the night, muscling runners off the ball and clearing through balls.
“That helped so much, I had to communicate more than I usually do for that reason with the long balls but our center backs handled them so well,” Crooks said.
Crooks was calm and composed on the night, making it frustrating enough for a Kennedy Catholic side struggling to find the holes in Central Valley’s organized and aggressive defensive shape.
“We had a plan in place and today we carried the plan out to perfection,” CV coach Andres Monrroy said. “We talked about controlling the game … when they played the long balls we were prepared for them, they played them in the midfield.”
Carrying out game plans to perfection means perfection is still on the table for the Bears. Not just unbeaten, but completely perfect. No losses, no ties – just wins.
Central Valley is 18-0, with seven wins coming by only one goal. Four of the last five wins have come by a goal … including the last three victories in the state tournament.
CV hopes to be lifting a third state championship trophy in five seasons on Saturday.
Liberty (Issaquah) 6, West Valley 2: Abby McConnell scored both goals for the Eagles (9-13), but they fell to the Patriots (19-2-1) at Shoreline Stadium in the semifinals. West Valley advances to the third-place match at noon Saturday against White River.
St. George’s 2, Brewster 1: Sydney Wilcox scored the winner and the Dragons (11-4) beat the Bears (19-1) 5-3 in penalty kicks in the semifinals of the tournament in the Sunset Chevrolet Stadium in Sumner. The Dragons advance to play Life Christian Academy at 2 p.m. Saturday. Alli Dixson scored in the 50th minute for the Dragons.
St. George’s 3, Prescott 1: Mitchell Ward notched a goal with an assist and the Dragons (14-1-2) beat the Tigers (9-7-1) in a semifinal at Sunset Stadium in Sumner. The Dragons advance to the championship at 4 p.m. Saturday against Crosspoint.