Skyline, Issaquah in all-KingCo 4A title game | Girls Soccer
Amanda Johnston scored just 22 seconds into the game and Bianca Saint got the winning goal in the 66th minute as the Spartans beat top-ranked Tahoma, 2-1.
Special to The Seattle Times
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PUYALLUP — The storyline had played out this way before. Only this time, the shoe was on the other foot.
In 2010, Skyline rolled into the Class 4A girls soccer semifinals with an unbeaten record and No. 1 ranking in the nation, only to fall 1-0 to Tahoma.
This time, Tahoma entered unbeaten and ranked No. 7 in the country. The Bears left disappointed.
Bianca Saint provided the winning goal in the 66th minute as fourth-ranked Skyline denied top-ranked Tahoma its title hopes, 2-1 Friday night in the semifinals at Sparks Stadium.
Skyline (16-1-3), which struck for a 1-0 lead on a goal by sophomore Amanda Johnston only 22 seconds into the game, denied the Bears (20-1-0) their ultimate goal.
"As I walked through the line after the game, I said to (Tahoma coach Jason Johnson), I honestly know just how you feel right now," Skyline coach Don Braman said. "I think the key is to recognize that we are both good sides. I understand how he feels.
"Really, though, it's about the way these (Skyline) girls played. We kept working. When we conceded (one goal), we just worked even harder."
Skyline, the defending state champ, plays KingCo rival Issaquah for the title at 4 p.m. Saturday. Tahoma will play Camas for third place at noon.
The Spartans, who were in the Final Four for the sixth time in seven years, are going for the school's fourth state 4A title in five years. They won it all in 2008, 2009 and 2011.
If not for the semifinal loss in 2010 to Tahoma, Skyline could be going for five state crowns in a row.
"I think that goal early shook us," said Johnson. "When you're scrambling uphill against a team as good as Skyline, it's going to be tough. Skyline's too good to give too many chances. "We love playing them, but we wish the tables were turned. I'm disappointed in all the effort my seniors put in and not get that last thing they've been working on."
Johnson said he wished his seniors could have advanced, after finishing second in 2010 and third in 2011.
"We've got a second, we got a third and they deserved a first," he said. "Everything about what we've done all year and I've seen with these kids all year is we worked to get to this point.
"We earned the opportunity. We just couldn't finish. I'm heartbroken for the girls."
Skyline took a 2-1 lead with an opportunistic goal from Saint in the 66th minute. Saint flicked a short shot into the right corner of the net after defender Lianna Simms sent in a cross after gathering in a loose ball.
Simms gained possession after taking a corner kick that was deflected out by Tahoma's Brie Hooks.
"I got my laces on it," Saint said. "Li had a quality service, and I just tried hard to get it, even though I don't think she was going for me and was going for the goal.
"To people, we were the underdogs, and we needed to believe in ourselves," Saint said. "We just kept believing."
The Spartans jolted Tahoma for a 1-0 lead on Johnston's powerful shot into the upper right corner of the net just 22 seconds into the game off the opening kickoff. It was Johnston's fourth goal of the season.
"It caught us off guard," Hooks said.
Said Johnston: "That was literally unreal. There is no feeling I can describe like that. It was amazing."
The Bears' Kaysha Darcy poked the ball through a big crowd on a Hooks corner kick in the 54th minute to knot the game at 1-1. Somehow, Darcy threaded the ball through a pack of players from both teams and into the right side of the net for her 18th goal.
Mackenzie Henke provided a close-range blast in the 26th minute for Tahoma, but Skyline goalkeeper Emily Baril stonewalled her attempt. The Spartans withstood two more chances on corner kicks in the next minute following Henke's blast off a cross from Hayley Warren.
Issaquah 2, Camas 1, OT
Sophomore forward AnnieLorlei Hoffman scored on a 21-yard left-footed shot with eight seconds left in the first five-minute overtime as the undermanned Eagles (19-2-1) won after digging out of a 1-0 hole. It was Hoffman's 10th goal this season, and none could've been more meaningful.
Issaquah's top two players — Rachel Wheeler and Audrey Thomas — suffered knee injuries in a 2-0 quarterfinal win over Central Valley of Spokane last Saturday. Thomas suited up and played forward with her injured left knee in a brace. Wheeler has an ACL injury and didn't play.
Teylen Sheesley's header in the 24th minute put the Papermakers ahead 1-0.
Thomas had a pair of shots early in the second half, forcing Camas goalkeeper Lauren Rood to make a pair of saves.
Thomas broke through to tie it 1-1 with a sliding left-footed goal from 8 yards out in the 57th minute. She broke free down the left side and slid the shot into the right corner of the net.
The Issaquah victory assured an all-KingCo 4A final for the third time in five years. KingCo 4A teams have been in the finals nine of the last 13 seasons. Issaquah and Skyline met for the title in 2009, with Skyline winning, 2-1.