Trio of keepers have Spartans primed for repeat run | Prep sports feature
By JOSH SUMAN
Issaquah Reporter Sports Reporter
October 31, 2012 · Updated 3:08 PM
Skyline soccer coach Don Braman knew before the season began he would have a strong defense and solid presence in goal.
Even despite the loss of first team all-state talents in goalkeeper Tina Vargas, forward Michelle Bretl and midfielder Maddie Christ, Braman had confidence that the Spartans could again reload, instead of rebuild.
"We returned a lot of great defenders," Braman said. "We have so many good players, we were able to talk about how we wanted to play differently and work from there."
While some of the faces have changed, the results on the field haven't.
Skyline posted a 13-1-3 record overall and finished the regular season unbeaten in the conference at 9-0-1. On Tuesday, the Spartans missed out on a KingCo title with a 1-0 loss to Redmond, which broke a 37-match winning streak and should provide yet another measure of motivation for the postseason.
Without Vargas, Braman has turned to a trio of goalkeepers in Emily Baril, Sydney Martinez and Jaeden Chew, and gotten outstanding results from each. The team has surrendered only 11 goals all season and earned shutouts over nine opponents.
The only problem for Braman has been finding time in net for each of the three.
"If I had three halves to the game, I'd have a pretty simple solution," he said. "It's been a pretty even battle."
Baril and Martinez were part of the team's state title run last year while Chew was injured to begin the year before rehabilitating and earning minutes on the varsity squad.
It has been Martinez who has sacrificed the minutes, but Braman said she has been the quintessential teammate and never allowed her own playing time to become a focus or source of frustration.
"Sydney is a great kid," Braman said. "She does all the things good goalkeepers do and she has so many great qualities as a person that are easy to transfer over."
Braman's trio of goalies and the rest of the Spartans will begin the playoffs as the second seed from the league and travel south for the first round at a date and location to be determined.
No matter the combination used in goal, Skyline will have every reason to keep the faith.
"I just feel lucky," Braman said. "We are so deep."
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