Sports

Big save, huge goal nets Mount Si KingCo 3A crown | Girls Soccer

Scoring one of the biggest goals of her high school career, Mount Si’s Nikki Stanton puts one in past Juanita’s Sabrina Gradke. - Mark Lowry / Reporter Newspapers
Scoring one of the biggest goals of her high school career, Mount Si’s Nikki Stanton puts one in past Juanita’s Sabrina Gradke.
— image credit: Mark Lowry / Reporter Newspapers

Last week was a dream for the Mount Si girls’ soccer team, as they continued their unbeaten second half string and grabbed the Kingco 3A championship.

It all started last Tuesday, Oct. 21, as the Wildcats played Bellevue on senior night, the final home game of the regular season. Mount Si’s offense played great in the first half, but it was goaltender Marika Loudenback who was the story. Her efforts were critical in the 2-1 win.

Mount Si scored first in the eighth minute off a corner kick; the kick went to Stephanie Burk, and the senior ripped it home for the 1-0 lead. Later, in the 27th minute, Alexis Pearlstein was in the right place at the right time, as she fired a ball in traffic toward the net and it went in, giving Mount Si a 2-0 advantage. Bellevue scored in the 48th minute, as Alli Cahill picked up a goal while the Wildcats were temporarily shorthanded.

With the score 2-1, and the Wolverines pulling out all the stops late, Loudenback made a huge save on a kick by Bellevue, using her right paw to swat the ball away from the upper crossbar. It appeared the ball was going to go in, but as soon as fans saw it didn’t, there was celebration aplenty in the stands on the home side. Act one was complete. It was on to act two.

The Wildcats traveled to Juanita last Thursday night, Oct. 23, with a lot on the line. A win and they were in. There were a number of other scenarios that could get them the crown, but for the girls, the goal was to take care of things themselves and not worry about what other teams did. It took awhile, but it was one big goal from one special senior leader that got it done and etched this team among the best in school history.

Nikki Stanton scored in the 87th minute to lift the Wildcats to another 2-1 win, this time over the Rebels.

The Wildcats and Juanita played a scoreless first half, but it did not come without a big price for the Rebels, as senior goalie Katherine Boone was taken out of the game after colliding hard with a Mount Si player in the 36th minute. Boone was down for several minutes before being helped off the field. She was replaced by backup Sabrina Grandke, and the Wildcats were ready to pounce.

They did that in the 43rd minute. Lauren Snead fired a shot into an empty net after Grandke came out and played the ball against a Mount Si attacker, who got the ball away from the goalie and got it to the junior.

Juanita scored to tie the game in the 58th minute, and after playing the rest of regulation even at 1-1, it was off to overtime.

The first overtime came and went, with no goals scored. Then, midway through the second extra session, Mount Si scored its biggest goal in a long time. Stanton took a feed from Taylor Robbins and punched it home past Grandke to give the Wildcats the lead.

“I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to finish it,” Stanton said.

When the final whistle sounded, and the Mount Si Wildcats had made history, winning their first league girls’ soccer title since winning the Seamount league crown in 1988. The victory also earned them a state berth for the first time since 2006.

“Our goal is to always go to state every year,” Wildcat coach Darren Brown said. “That’s our objective and we’ve done it three out of six now, but we just haven’t won the big one yet. That’s what our eyes are set on and the league title is sweet.”

“It’s our first one, which I’m really proud of for these girls,” Brown added.

“I feel honored to play with this team,” Robbins said. “It was a team effort and I think that we deserve this, definitely.” and the Wolverines pulling out all the stops late, Loudenback made a huge save on a kick by Bellevue, using her right paw to swat the ball away from the upper crossbar. It appeared the ball was going to go in, but as soon as fans saw it didn’t there was celebration aplenty in the stands on the home side. Act one was complete. It was on to act two.

The Wildcats traveled to Juanita last Thursday night, Oct. 23, with a lot on the line. A win and they were in. There were a number of other scenarios that could get them the crown, but for the girls, the goal was to take care of things themselves and not worry about what other teams did. It took awhile, but it was one big goal from one special senior leader which got it done and etched this team among the best in school history.

Nikki Stanton scored in the 87th minute to lift the Wildcats to another 2-1 win, this time over the Rebels.

The Wildcats and Juanita played a scoreless first half, but it did not come without a big price for the Rebels, as senior goalie Katherine Boone was taken out of the game after colliding hard with a Mount Si player in the 36th minute. Boone was down for several minutes before being helped off the field. She was replaced by backup Sabrina Grandke, and the Wildcats were ready to pounce.

They did that in the 43rd minute, as Lauren Snead fired a shot into an empty net after Grandke came out and played the ball against a Mount Si attacker, who got the ball away from the goalie and got it to the junior.

Juanita scored to tie the game in the 58th minute, and after playing the rest of regulation even at 1-1, it was off to overtime.

The first overtime came and went, with no goals scored. Then, midway through the second extra session, Mount Si scored its biggest goal in a long time. Stanton took a feed from Taylor Robbins and punched it home past Grandke to give the Wildcats the lead.

“I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to finish it,” Stanton said.

Shortly thereafter, the Valley Record learned from their sister publication, the Mercer Island Reporter, that MI had lost 2-0 to Sammamish, huge for Mount Si with some of these other scenarios. But by that time, though, it was all said and done. The final whistle sounded, and the Mount Si Wildcats had made history, winning their first league girls’ soccer title since winning the Seamount league crown in 1988. The victory also earned them a state berth for the first time since 2006.

“Our goal is to always go to state every year,” Wildcat coach Darren Brown said. “That’s our objective and we’ve done it three out of six now, but we just haven’t won the big one yet. That’s what our eyes are set on and the league title is sweet.”

“It’s our first one, which I’m really proud of for these girls,” Brown added.

“I feel honored to play with this team,” Robbins said. “It was a team effort and I think that we deserve this, definitely.”

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