Issaquah soccer wins battle of state champions on Plateau

Issaquah knew if it was going to make a run at the KingCo 4A soccer title, it would have to conquer one very large obstacle.

Issaquah’s Margaret Rauch and Eastlake’s Kory Spotts battle for a loose ball Tuesday night.

Issaquah’s Margaret Rauch and Eastlake’s Kory Spotts battle for a loose ball Tuesday night.

Issaquah knew if it was going to make a run at the KingCo 4A soccer title, it would have to conquer one very large obstacle.

The Eagles achieved that feat Tuesday night, knocking off the No. 2 team in the state, Eastlake, 1-0 on the Wolves’ home field.

“We did our homework as best as we could,” said an elated Issaquah coach Tom Bunnell. “We’ve seen them play four times, we dissected our game film. The girls watched and listened up, and we worked on a lot of stuff. I don’t know how perfectly it worked, but it worked good enough to win one out.”

Issaquah, the 2007 class 3A state champion, and 4A state champion Eastlake, matched each other shot for shot and save for save on a frigid night on the Plateau.

It was a stone-cold boot from Eagle junior Kristin Maris, however, that gave Issaquah the go-ahead score in the 48th minute. Fielding a ball from 20 yards out, on the left side of the field, Maris spun and cranked a shot with her right foot. The ball sailed into the upper right corner of the net over the outstretched hands of Shelby Nilsen.

“I just remember turning and hearing my coach say ‘Send one’ and I sent it,” Maris said.

It was the seventh goal of the season for Maris, who is fifth in KingCo for goals scored.

“What a great goal. She’s just been money all year,” Bunnell said.

The Eagles kept up their offensive pressure the remainder of the second half, out-shooting the Wolves 9-5.

Eastlake had its scoring opportunities throughout the game. The Wolves out-shot the Eagles 11-5 in the first half, barely missing on several opportunities. Junior Emily Hurd took seven of those first-half shots, using her speed to beat the Issaquah defense down the left side of the field.

The Eagles made an adjustment in the second half, however, putting sophomore Dayna Talley on Hurd.

“Dayna can keep up with her pace-wise and she’s pretty hard-nosed, and she did a good job defending,” Bunnell said.

Hurd, the top scorer in KingCo, had one shot in the second half — a ball that just missed going in the left side of the net.

“She’s a very hard mark,” Talley said.

Eastlake just missed one other opportunity in the 71st minute, when a pass from Mackenzie Garrett to Emma Levy was cut off at the last second by Issaquah goalkeeper Nicole Eddings. Eddings had five saves for the game and recorded her sixth shutout.

Issaquah improved to 5-1-1 in the KingCo Crest and 7-2-2 overall with four games to play as of press time. The Eagles have 16 points in league play. Eastlake is now 6-2-0 in league and 9-2-0 overall with three games to play. The Wolves have 18 points in league play.

“Now you can’t stumble along the way, but it’s just great,” Bunnell said.

Skyline 1, Woodinville 1

Skyline remained in the hunt for the KingCo 4A title, earning a 1-1 tie with Woodinville Tuesday night.

The Spartans trailed 1-0 at halftime, but battled back to knot the contest on a goal from Maddie Christ in the 68th minute. Coral Anderson had the assist on the play.

Skyline improved to 5-1-1 in the KingCo 4A Crest division and sat in a tie with Issaquah with 16 points as of press time. Woodinville leads the Crown division with a 6-1-1 record and 19 points.

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