The Mount Si Wildcats girls’ soccer team opened last week with a home win against the Newport Knights. Mariana Zanella scored a goal to lead the Wildcats to the 2-1 win. However, it was not a very satisfying result for Mount Si coach Darren Brown, who after the game held a lengthy meeting with his team. “Well, if we play like that the way we did tonight against Issaquah, we’ll get killed. We did not look good tonight. We had lapses,” said Brown.
The Wildcats opened the scoring in the 13th minute. Continuous offensive pressure by the Wildcats resulted in a severe Newport defensive blunder that resulted in an “own goal” when the Knight player accidentally kicked the ball into her team’s net. Mount Si continued to fire away and in the 21st minute, that continued pressure resulted in Zanella’s third goal in three games since starting the season Sept. 19. “I couldn’t ask for a better ball from Katie [Woolsey]. It was just beautiful and I saw myself open and I just got whatever I could on it, so just props to Katie for an awesome ball,” Zanella said. Woolsey’s corner kick set up the goal.
Mount Si kept the pressure up in the second half, but could not score against the Knights. Newport had their fair share of chances, though, and they finally broke through in the 69th minute. A Mount Si foul in the penalty area resulted in a penalty kick for the Knights’ Ruth Orbach. Orbach fired it home and cut the deficit in half. The PK woke up the Wildcat offense, which promptly turned around and relentlessly took shot after excellent shot, but none went in. Mount Si held on, but Issaquah was next on the schedule Sept. 28.
It was billed as a battle between the two top teams in Kingco, and maybe two of the best on the entire Eastside. The Eagles used the match as an opportunity to make a statement about who really is best, and on this night, it was them. And it was a player who was celebrating a special day in her life that helped make it happen.
Junior midfielder Elissa King, celebrating her 17th birthday, scored twice. Fellow star junior Kate Deines, who played despite her outside soccer commitments, also scored in a 3-0 shutout, which at times was extremely physical but for most of the game was all Issaquah.
King didn’t take all the credit. “I didn’t do anything. It was us,” she said.
Eagles coach Tom Bunnell was pleased with the effort, especially after coming off a scoreless tie in their previous game with Bellevue. “This is truly the first game where we’ve kind of broken out, which is nice to see. So we’re excited about that because it came against the best team in the league,” Bunnell said.
Mount Si opened with an early burst, but about three or four minutes in the momentum shifted to the Eagles. King scored her first goal in the 11th minute off a pass from Lauren Maris to put Issaquah in the lead. Deines scored off a misplay by Wildcat goalie Jessica Blessard in the 49th minute, then about a minute after Deines’ tally, King took another feed from Maris, a senior whose nickname is “Tygerr,” and fired it home for her second goal.
Mount Si had their chances, but the offense was shut down the rest of the way. “We really saw what we needed to work on, improve on and that’s movement without the ball. That needs to get better. I think the girls came out with a lot of passion. They really wanted this game, but we played a team tonight that is excellent, and they always play their A-plus game when they play us,” Brown said.
The Wildcats are at Skyline Thursday. The two teams tied 2-2 Sept. 7 after Mount Si took a 2-0 lead on the Spartans. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.