Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography Skyline players surround senior Julia Mitchell following her goal against the Issaquah Eagles. The Spartans defeated the Eagles 1-0 on Nov. 2 at Gary Moore Stadium in Issaquah.

Spartans girls soccer team earns KingCo 4A championship

Pure euphoria and joy was evident along the visitors side of the field following the final whistle of the KingCo 4A championship game between the Issaquah Eagles and Skyline Spartans girls soccer programs.

Skyline captured their fifth consecutive victory in the KingCo 4A title game, courtesy of a 1-0 win against Issaquah at Gary Moore Field in Issaquah. Skyline senior Julia Mitchell scored the only goal of the night in the second minute of play. With the victory, Skyline clinched a berth in the Class 4A state tournament. Skyline, which lost to Issaquah twice during the regular season, was victorious when it mattered the most. Skyline head coach Don Braman said his team made history with its fifth consecutive victory in the KingCo 4A title game.

“In the 40 years of KingCo Conference with women’s soccer, no team has won it five times in a row. For these girls to make history, it has been a really special moment in my career. I’m really proud of them. They did everything they needed to be the absolute best in the moments they needed it. It was great to see them deliver,” Braman explained.

Mitchell, who scored the Spartans’ lone goal off of a corner-kick, was thrilled to see her squad reign victorious against their biggest rival.

“That really set the tone for the whole game and kept us going,” Mitchell said of the goal. “It felt great. We wanted to win so bad. It is great to get the five-peat (fifth consecutive victory in KingCo title game).”

While Braman was jovial following Mitchell’s goal in the opening minutes, he knew there was still plenty of soccer left to play.

“I must admit I looked up at the scoreboard after we scored and thought to myself 79 minutes is a long time to defend,” Braman said with a smile. “I really liked how they performed tonight. This is probably the most intelligent team that I’ve had in terms of adjustments they make during a game. Julia Mitchell did such a great job defending at the end. It really made a difference for us.”

Issaquah Eagles head coach Tom Bunnell, who announced last week that this would be his final season as head coach of the Issaquah soccer program, was dismayed following the defeat.

“It’s not the way I wanted it to end. I’m snakebit on the KingCo championship. It is super disappointing,” Bunnell said. “They got a goal a minute and a half into the game and we couldn’t rally (score the tying goal). “Congratulations to Skyline.”

Issaquah will face Woodinville in a winner-to-state, loser-out game at 1 p.m. on Nov. 4. Skyline will compete in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament next week. First round games will take place from Nov. 6 through Nov. 8.

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