A fourth-place finish at the 4A state championship in 2018 wasn’t enough to satisfy the Issaquah Eagles girls soccer team.
As the 2019 season approaches, head coach Kyle Tatro said the team is ready to push for another deep playoff run. Tatro said falling short of their goal last year has made them even more excited to get back and challenge for another state title.
“The plan is to get back to Sparks Stadium,” Tatro said. “That’s the expectation that the girls have and that the program has set for itself.”
The Eagles will be returning some key players from last year’s squad and bringing in some talented replacements for their graduated seniors.
“We’re excited for the players that are returning and those stepping into new roles,” Tatro said. “It’s an exciting team.”
Two key players for the Issaquah attack are senior forward Jenna Wisler, 2018 first-team all-KingCo, and junior midfielder Jaden Humbyrd, 2018 second-team all-KingCo.
“They’re both going to be central players for us who can really get the offense going,” Tatro said. “They’re really creative players.”
The Eagles will also have two stout defenders in sophomore Lauren Lailey, and senior Riley Larson. Last season, the Eagles allowed only three goals in their nine league games.
Tatro said the team will be an exciting offensive squad that will also work hard defensively this year. The Eagles also showed lots of energy and enthusiasm at practice, something that Tatro encourages.
“I like to have fun,” Tatro said. “I love to instill a passion for the game and a passion for playing good soccer. We’re all about getting hyped here and playing soccer.”
When the Eagles look at the 2019 schedule, there is one date that is probably circled in red marker, their showdown with rival Skyline on Sept. 24 (game time is 7:30 p.m. at Issaquah). The Spartans earned a 1-0 victory over the Eagles in last year’s state semifinal, on their way to winning the state championship.
“I’m looking forward to the Skyline game, of course,” Tatro said. “It’s always a good test. Other than that, we’re taking it one game at a time.”
• The Eagles will open their season at 6 p.m. Sept. 7 at Liberty.