Spartans soccer team hosts scrimmage of defending state champs

September 11, 2012

By Lillian O'Rorke

Rachel Shim, Skyline High School senior forward, dribbles past Seattle Prep’s defense during the Sept. 4 game at Skyline Stadium. By Lillian O’Rorke

The Skyline High School girls soccer team has a lot to prove this year.

The defending state champions have won the 4A title three times in the past four years. They went undefeated in the 2010 season and finished last year at 18-0-2.

It’s a similar story for Seattle Prep’s girls soccer team. Coming off of two consecutive 3A state championships, the players are ranked second among Washington’s 3A teams.

So as an early-season test of their mettle, the two defending state champions came together for a friendly match. And when the whistle was blown after the 90th minute ticked away Sept. 4, the two teams walked away still on level ground — tied at 2-2.

Skyline had the home advantage and for the first third of the game, it looked like it would add another notch to its belt.

Nine minutes in, Makenzie Ware redirected a corner kick past Panthers’ goalkeeper Abby Rockwell. The junior midfielder for the Spartans got the final touch on the winning play that was started by Leanna Simms and helped along by Rachel Shim.

Skyline scored again in the 33rd minute after a foul on sophomore forward Amanda Johnston led to a successful penalty kick by Simms.

“We’re doing a fine job,” Skyline’s junior midfielder Abbie Litka said. “We just need to dig deeper to the last minute.”

The lead began to slip from the Spartans when Lauren Hallgrimson, a senior at Seattle Prep, scored for the Panthers in the 39th minute.

“We knew they had good throw-ins and good corners,” said Litka. “We just needed to mark up better.”

The second half saw Skyline taking several plays to Seattle Prep’s box. But in the end, the Spartans remained scoreless in the final 45 minutes.

“We were just unable to finish the chances we created,” Skyline coach Don Braman said. “We showed composure under pressure in the middle of the field. Unfortunately for us, our composure evaporated when we entered the 18-yard box. We must improve in the final third.”

Seattle Prep also did a bit of scrambling in front of Skyline’s goal, and 10 minutes into the second half the Panthers made the game’s final goal and tied it at 2-2. Being a friendly, pre-season game, the two teams opted out of a tiebreaker.

With league play not set to begin until Sept. 17, when the Spartans take on Newport at 7 p.m. at Newport High School, Johnston is confident.

“I think we’ll win state,” she said. “I think there are a couple hard teams that we are going to face but if we work hard we can overcome that.”Seattle Prep, 2-2

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