The agony of defeat
November 26, 2013
By Christina Corrales-Toy
Issaquah girls lose second straight finale heartbreaker
This was supposed to be their year.
After a painful loss to rival Skyline in last year’s state championship, the Issaquah High School girls soccer team was not about to let the sting of second place plague them again.
The Eagles were off to a great start in 2013, finally defeating the Spartans in a thrilling shootout victory in the state quarterfinals Nov. 16.
They ran past Olympia with ease, notching a 3-0 win in the state semifinals Nov. 22.
Yet, for the second straight year, the Eagles came up short in the 4A state title game after a heartbreaking 3-2 penalty-kick shootout loss to Central Valley at Puyallup’s Sparks Stadium Nov. 23.
“It’s disappointing, but we gave it a really hard fight,” Issaquah junior Devan Talley said. “They’re a really good team, and we’re just going to have to come out next year and play harder.”
Talley gave Issaquah an early lead, scoring in the 16th minute, off a pass from Issaquah forward Rachel Wheeler.
Issaquah held the 1-0 lead until the 49th minute, when Central Valley’s Savannah Hoekstra scored.
“After the first 30 minutes of the game, it was like wow, we we’re just on fire, we’re in their head, and then the last 10 minutes of the half, Central Valley kind of gave a run at us,” Issaquah coach Tom Bunnell said.
The Eagles recaptured the lead after senior Juliana da Cruz came up with an unassisted goal in the game’s 71st minute.
Central Valley’s Hailey Spooner tied it up in the 79th minute, ultimately sending the teams to overtime.
The score remained tied after two overtime periods, forcing the penalty kick shootout.
Issaquah missed two of its first three penalty kicks, a hole they were unable to overcome, as Central Valley kicked its way to the state title.
“I’m disappointed by the whole thing and I’m sure the girls are crushed, but it was a great run, great season, great kids and good story for us all to tell,” Bunnell said.
It was an especially bittersweet moment for Talley, who battled back from two knee injuries to get the chance to play alongside her teammates.
“The team’s amazing,” she said. “I’m so thankful and blessed to be here with these girls and to get to play with them finally.”
Despite the heartbreak of yet another second-place finish, Talley said the team succeeded in its goal of making it back to Puyallup to compete for the title.
“We came together as a team, and our goal was to get here and we did,” she said.
Issaquah will have nine seniors graduate from the 2013 team, a group Bunnell described as relentless.
“We had a weird little run there at the end, where we dropped some games, but they just bounced back and showed a lot of heart,” he said.