Eagles rise to the occasion in first round of the state playoffs

Issaquah advances to Class 4A quarterfinals.

The Issaquah Eagles girls soccer team is peaking at the right time.

Issaquah won its fourth consecutive game, earning a 3-1 win against the Kentridge Chargers in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs on Nov. 7 at Gary Moore Stadium in Issaquah. Kate Wilkinson (18th minute), Chloe Huling (43rd minute) and Jenna Wisler (64th minute) each scored a goal apiece in the victory.

Issaquah senior Natalie Perez, who had two assists in the triumph, wasn’t worried when Kentridge cut Issaquah’s lead to 2-1 when they connected on their first goal of the game in the 62nd minute. Issaquah answered two minutes later with Wisler’s goal, extending the lead to two goals once again.

“I think it was just a big statement to say even though you guys got one (goal), we’re still 100 percent into the game and we’re going to still push through it together,” Perez said of Wisler’s goal.

Issaquah head coach Kyle Tatro concurred with Perez’s assessment.

“That was huge for the remaining minutes of the game. It instilled confidence and stopped their momentum. Kudos to them (Kentridge), they put one away and were starting to attack. It was looking difficult there,” Tatro said.

Tatro admitted it took the Eagles some time in the first half to combat Kentridge’s speed and physical play. The Eagles’ first goal occurred in the 18th minute.

“It is state (tournament) and all of the teams know how to win and they are ready to play. They can run and they were physical. It definitely was something that took us by surprise a little bit. Once we got settled in, we started playing our game and good things started to happen,” Tatro explained.

Issaquah will face the Puyallup Vikings in the Class 4A state quarterfinals on Nov. 10.

“Honestly, I think the last few games we’ve made some really huge statements. We’re taking it one game at a time. Our focus now is on Saturday (game against Puyallup). We’re just going to take things one step in front of the other and keep fighting as a team,” Perez said.