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Originally published Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 7:17 PM

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After two devastating injuries, Issaquah junior Devan Talley having dream season | Girls soccer

Talley led KingCo 4A in scoring this year after missing her first two years of high-school soccer with knee injuries.

Special to The Seattle Times

State soccer

When: Friday and Saturday

Where: 4A/3A girls: Sparks Stadium, Puyallup2A/1A girls: Shoreline Stadium2B/1B boys and girls: Sunset Chev Stadium (Sumner)

4A girls schedule: Central Valley (Spokane) vs. Mead (Spokane), Fri., 6 p.m. Olympia vs. Issaquah, Fri., 8 p.m.Title game: Sat., 4 p.m. 3A girls schedule: Bellevue vs. Kamiakin (Kennewick), Fri., 2 p.m.Seattle Prep vs. Liberty (Issaquah), Fri., 4 p.m.Title game, Saturday, 2 p.m. 2A girls schedule : Sumner vs. West Valley (Yakima), Fri., 6 p.m.Squalicum vs. Bellingham, Fri., 8 p.m.Title game, Saturday, 4 p.m. 1A girls schedule: LaSalle vs. University Prep, Fri., 2 p.m. King’s vs. Seattle Academy, Fri., 4 p.m.Title game, Saturday, 2 p.m.

Players to watch: Isabelle Butterfield, Bellevue, MF/F, Sr. — 19 goals, 6 assists Sadee Kallis, West Valley (Yakima), F, Sr. — 33 goals, 10 assists for No. 1 Rams Mary Ann Santucci, Seattle Prep, Sr. — 9 goals, 6 assists Beth Stella, King’s, F, Sr.—30 goals, 18 assists Emily Mark, Seattle Academy, GK, Sr. —13 of 30 career shutouts this season

Matt Massey

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After her first serious knee injury at age 14, Devan Talley remained determined.

After her second one, on her opposite knee, Talley felt the universe was picking on her.

But Talley, a junior forward playing her first season for the Issaquah High School girls soccer team, is now leading the Eagles into the Class 4A semifinals against Olympia Friday at 8 p.m.

“This year has been probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever been through in my life,” said Talley, who led KingCo 4A in goals (12) and points (26), and now has 14 goals.

Both of Talley’s injuries — a torn ACL and meniscus damage in her right knee in July 2011 and an ACL tear in her left knee in August 2012 — came in matches for her club team, Eastside FC. After the first one, before her freshman season, she was reduced to watching from the sideline during games and practices.

As a sophomore, after her second injury, she chose to be away from the team.

“It was hard to watch when I was hurt (as freshman), but with the first (injury) I came out and tried to be part of the team,” Talley said. “I got through it and told myself, ‘That’s going to be me out there soon. ...’

“The second time was just awful. It’s such a disappointment seeing all your friends out there and not being able to be out there with them again.”

Eagles coach Tom Bunnell likened Talley’s return to that of getting an entirely new player.

“I coached her when she was younger, and she was a highly competitive little bugger back then,” said Bunnell, whose team lost to Skyline 1-0 in last year’s 4A state final. “To see her get injured — and I was there, because she plays on my daughter’s club team — was sad. You just knew the spirit she had, and it was kind of taken away.”

The Eagles have gotten hot at right time, surviving Saturday’s state quarterfinal win over No. 1 Skyline, 2-1 in penalty kicks. On Nov. 9, Talley scored twice in a 3-1 win over Kamiak in a loser-out district match against Kamiak.

“She’s come through with confidence and a never-give-up attitude,” said her mother, Deanna Talley. “...She learned that soccer is not everything, and that it didn’t define her. She came out of this a better person.”

Said Devan: “The rehab wasn’t all that fun, but it was worth it. It’s just surreal to finally play.”

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