Liberty stuns Columbia River

November 19, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy

The Columbia River girls soccer team came into the state tournament with a rather impressive résumé.

In addition to being the defending state champions, the Chieftains had outscored opponents 83-0.

By Greg Farrar Sami Harrell (second from left), Liberty High School junior forward, sees her kick get by Bishop Blanchet’s goalie Nov. 16 for the for the first of her two goals in a 3-0 state 3A soccer tournament first-round win at home.

By Greg Farrar
Sami Harrell (second from left), Liberty High School junior forward, sees her kick get by Bishop Blanchet’s goalie Nov. 16 for the for the first of her two goals in a 3-0 state 3A soccer tournament first-round win at home.

That’s right, no team had scored on Columbia River this year, that is until the team met the Patriots Nov. 13.

Not only did Liberty find the net twice against the Chieftains, but the team also pulled off a shocking upset, sending the top-ranked team home in the first round of the state playoffs. The Patriots even did it on Columbia River’s home turf, down in Vancouver.

It was a nice bit of revenge, Liberty coach Tami Nguyen said, given that Columbia River defeated the Patriots in last year’s semifinal game.

“This win was a chance for this group of seniors to put their stamp on the program, and prove how good they are,” she said.

Jacquelyn Anderson and Sami Harrell each scored, while Harrell and Kelley Johnson both had assists. Amy Ellenberg and Katie McGuire combined for the shutout.

The victory made for a fun ride home, Nguyen said, but the Liberty coach stressed to her team that its job was not done.

“We have to take one game at a time,” she said. “At this stage, everybody is good. It’s about who’s going to be great on a given day.”

Just days later, the Patriots continued their march toward the state championship with a convincing 3-0 win over Bishop Blanchet on Nov. 16.

Harrell scored twice, with assists from Ashlann Applegate and Tara Johnson. Anderson scored the third goal with an assist from both Kelley Johnson and Kali Youngdahl. Ellenberg and McGuire again combined for the shutout.

The Patriots are now guaranteed to, at the very least, match last year’s fourth-place finish, but Liberty is determined to improve on that mark this year, Nguyen said.

“Our preparation is all about us, being confident and sticking to our plan,” she said.

They will play in the state semifinals against Seattle Prep at 4 p.m. Nov. 22 at Puyallup’s Sparks Stadium.

If the girls win, they will play in the championship game at 2 p.m. Nov. 23. If they lose, they will play for third place at 10 a.m. Nov. 23. Both games are at Sparks Stadium.

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