The objective is the same for the Skyline girls soccer team in every game — play as hard as possible early, and set the tone for the rest of the match.
“With our high intensity in the first five minutes it just kind of builds from there,” said senior captain Michelle Bretl.
It took just 37 seconds to set the tone Tuesday night as the Spartans cruised to a 2-1 victory over rival Issaquah.
Senior defender Makenzie Malsam started things with a pass to Bretl in the right corner of the box. Bretl then centered the ball to Madi Barney, who tapped it past Issaquah goalkeeper Brooke Miller for the quick goal.
“They got the early one, which is totally unfortunate,” said Eagles’ head coach Tom Bunnell. “That just sets you back the whole game.”
Skyline padded its lead in the 52nd minute when Bretl knocked in a goal off a deflection. The play was set up by speedy junior Dom Randall, who beat a defender one-on-one down the left sideline. Her shot clanked off the post, under the arms of Miller, and Bretl was there to tap in an easy score.
“Dom did a great job wreaking havoc up the left side,” Skyline head coach Don Braman said. “That’s what she can do. It’s fun for us to be able to use that to our advantage.”
Tuesday’s rivalry game was a typical hard-fought effort from both teams. As a result, there were a handful of aggressive penalties.
Issaquah reaped the rewards of one of those fouls in the 77th minute when sophomore midfielder Audrey Thomas drilled a penalty kick into the left upper corner of the net from 25 yards out.
It was one of just a few scoring opportunities for the Eagles, however, as Skyline’s defense held Issaquah to just five total shots for the game. The score was just the third goal against the Spartans, who have now outscored opponents 44-3.
“They’re just kind of on a roll,” Bunnell said. “With them, you’ve got to get up early.”
Skyline improved to 8-0 in league and 13-0 overall. The Spartans have two more regular-season games remaining and need just one win, or an Eastlake loss to secure the top seed in KingCo, a trip to the league championship game, and a guaranteed state berth.
Issaquah dropped to 6-2-1 in league and 10-3-1 overall. The Eagles are still alive for the No. 2 seed in KingCo, but require a win in their final game Thursday against Garfield and two losses or ties from Eastlake (6-1-1).
Eastlake drops Woodinville
Senior forward Jaclyn Softli continued her rapid scoring pace Tuesday night, knocking in two more goals in Eastlake’s 3-1 victory over Woodinville.
Softli, who now leads the league with 17 goals, tallied her first score in the 32nd minute via an assist from Julia Bennett.
Bennett helped the Wolves to a 2-0 lead, scoring in the 54th minute, and Softli tacked on her second goal in the 67th minute for a 3-0 lead.
Eastlake improved to 6-1-1 in league an 8-5-1 overall. The Wolves can secure the No. 2 seed in KingCo and a berth in the championship game with just one win in their final two games.