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A stunning loss wakes up Mount Si
Last week started out kind of strange for the Mount Si Wildcat girls' soccer team. Their game with Liberty on Oct. 10 was one of the more bizarre games in recent memory, as a failure of the stadium lights delayed things for more than a half hour.
Not only did the lights go out in the stadium, but the lights went out on the Wildcats as the Patriots rallied from a 3-1 deficit midway through the second half to stun Mount Si.
Halie Pentin's goal off a corner kick in the 74th minute broke a 3-3 tie and gave Liberty a 4-3 win that will be remembered largely for the stadium's light failure. Amy Torget scored two goals for the Wildcats and Mariana Zanella added the other. Both have five goals on the year.
Torget's goals were both in the first half - the first in the 11th minute off a pass from Mariah Stevens and the second in the 25th minute off an assist from Nikki Stanton - into an empty net. Kayla Gunderson scored for Liberty in the 43rd minute, then Zanella fired a beautiful shot into the net just one minute later. Monica Nelson was credited with the assist on the Zanella goal.
Anna Skutley scored a pair of goals for Liberty within two minutes of one another in the 62nd and 64th minutes to tie the game at 3-3. With almost exactly 10 minutes left and the game still tied, the lights went out. A timer glitch was the cause. Fortunately, the lights returned minutes later and play resumed.
The delay did not stop the Patriots. Four minutes after the lights returned, Jenny Miller fired a corner kick to the front of the net and Pentin was there to ram it home and give Liberty the lead, shocking the Wildcat fans in attendance. Mount Si made their best efforts to come back and tie, but to no avail. The Patriots escaped with a stunning victory and the Wildcats were left to wonder what might have been.
For many teams, a loss such as the one Mount Si suffered can serve as a wake-up call, and last Thursday, Oct. 12, the Wildcats responded. Zanella and Stanton scored goals within three minutes of one another in the second half and Mount Si scored an extremely important 2-0 win at Bellevue, which put Mount Si right back in the championship chase. The Wildcats' hopes were also helped by a scoreless tie between Issaquah and Skyline, the top two teams in Kingco 3A.
Mount Si continued their strong play last Saturday night, Oct. 14, and posted another 2-0 shutout win, this time over the Sammamish Totems. Oliver scored a pair of second-half goals to lead the Wildcats to victory.
"Jessie Oliver was a monster tonight. She's been playing the last two games like a caged animal ready to break off. She's just absolutely ferocious," said Mount Si coach Darren Brown of his senior speedster.
Two new freshmen joined the defensive corps last week as Taylor Warnke and Chloe Loveridge were promoted from junior varsity. Junior defender Kara Clearman is pleased with what she's seen so far from her two new teammates in the back. "Well, it's always hard to add other people into the team during the season, but I think they're really adjusting really well and catching on really fast," Clearman said.
The Wildcats looked tired at times, it being a Saturday night game. Despite that, Oliver says that Mount Si is working hard. "Well, we just keep working hard and normally when there's lapses, we have this new thing where we all put five up, where it's five minutes hard and that's a team thing, so when we see that five, that means we've got to step up our game," Oliver said.
The Wildcats played at Interlake Tuesday and are off Thursday. Mount Si doesn't play again until next Tuesday, when they host Issaquah in a big game that will be the Wildcats' final home game of the regular season. The high-school careers of the team's six seniors, Nelson, Torget, Oliver, Jessica Blessard, Becky Wada and Susan Nielson, will be honored prior to the contest. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.