Liberty fades to finish fourth in state soccer tourney

November 20, 2012

Kali Youhgdahl (left), Liberty High School junior forward, has her jersey grabbed by Holy Names senior defender A.J. Fischer while attacking the goal during the first period of their state 3A consolation final Nov. 17 in Puyallup. By Greg Farrar

A Liberty High School girls soccer squad that breezed through the regular season to win the KingCo 3A with a 12-0-1 mark, and automatically punch its ticket to the state tournament as the conference winner, could not have met with worse fortune in the semifinal round of the state tournament.

In the semifinals held at Puyallup High School’s Sparks Field on Nov. 16, against Columbia River, Liberty was cruising along and it seemed as though it had secured a surefire 1-0 victory, courtesy of a Tara Johnson goal scored in the first half off a Katie Noonan assist.

Suddenly in the contest’s 69th minute, the Chieftains took one of their two kick-and-a-prayer shots on goal they strung together during the entire game. It somehow got past one of the leading net minders in the state to knot the tally at one all.

The Chieftains shored up their defense to keep Liberty at bay the rest of the way in regulation, and after a pair of five-minute overtime periods yielded no winner, the semis shifted into a shootout scenario, from which Columbia River emerged as the game’s winner.

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Rivals Issaquah, Skyline on collision course for soccer title

November 13, 2012

After a couple of phenomenal post-season runs on the road, it is quite possible a tandem of KingCo 4A Crown Division rivals, Issaquah and Skyline, may be paired off in the girls state soccer championship showdown, in Puyallup’s Sparks Stadium at 4 p.m. Nov. 17.

Between Skyline and Issaquah, neither is an easy mark.

The last time they met was Oct. 23 when the two squads dueled to a scoreless tie.

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Lake Stevens Vikings crumble under Skyline Spartan onslaught

November 13, 2012

Matt Sinatro, Skyline High School senior wide receiver, pulls in a second-quarter bomb from quarterback Max Browne for an 80-yard touchdown against Lake Stevens. By Greg Farrar

To say that the Skyline High School football squad is above reproach isn’t quite accurate. Every team has its Achilles heel, but the Spartans are a perfect ten — 10-0 that is.

The relentless gridiron machine that is the Skyline football contingent, currently No. 1 in the state at the Class 4A level, kept its untarnished accounting intact when it hosted Lake Stevens on Nov. 9 at Spartan Stadium, annihilating its visitors from the north, 42-0.

The onslaught began innocently enough, as at the end of the first 12 minutes of action the scoreboard displayed a scoreless tie. But in the ensuing quarters, the steamrolling Spartans slowly wore their formidable Vikings foe down, just as they had their previous nine adversaries.

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Liberty girls soccer team rolls to state semifinals

November 13, 2012

Kiana Hafferty (left), Liberty High School senior midfielder, races Kate Hildahl, of Shorecrest, for the ball during an attack on goal Nov. 7. By Greg Farrar

The memories of last year’s 3A state championship game delicately linger in the minds of the Liberty High School soccer players.

Last year, the Patriots were up 2-0 in the state final against Seattle Prep, but ultimately fell to the Panthers, 3-2, after a roaring comeback.

This year, under the direction of first-year coach Tami Nguyen, Liberty doesn’t intend on letting it happen again.

“The team’s goal is to win these next two state games, so anytime I can help them achieve that goal, then I’m happy about that,” Nguyen said.

It’s been a successful season for the fifth-ranked Patriots, who captured the KingCo 3A title after going 12-1-1 in league play. Liberty had only three losses in the season, all against ranked opponents.

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Issaquah Eagles bounced early from football playoffs

November 6, 2012

When an eager and optimistic Issaquah Eagle football team traveled to enemy territory Nov. 2 to lock horns with a perennially powerful Federal Way squad, it just couldn’t capitalize on a gaggle of Federal Way Eagle turnovers, and Issaquah’s season came to an abrupt close as the team lost, 24-14.

At first, the loyal Issaquah fans making the excursion to voluminous Federal Way Stadium probably couldn’t believe their eyes.

Issaquah received the opening kickoff and returned the ball to its own 20; that was where Issaquah set up camp.

Federal Way didn’t have time to get very comfortable, though, as on Issaquah’s first play from scrimmage, junior dynamo Jack Gellatly — who led the KingCo 4A in rushing with well over 1,000 yards on the ground in only nine outings — took a handoff and burst through a gaping hole in the line, dashing 80 yards for a touchdown.

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Issaquah School District soccer teams prep for state

November 6, 2012

The Issaquah School District will be well-represented in this week’s first round of the Class 3A and 4A state girls soccer tournaments, because Liberty, Issaquah and Skyline all made it to this year’s big dances in their respective classes.

Those critical initial clashes begin Nov. 7 for all three squads.

The only smudge on an otherwise perfect 12-0-1 league mark for Liberty was a 3-3 tie with pesky Mount Si in the Patriot kickers’ final league test of the regular season. The Patriots’ only losses overall came at the hands of Skyline (2-1), Issaquah (4-1) and Mercer Island (1-0).

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Skyline High School eyes run at state volleyball title

November 6, 2012

When Skyline’s volleyball squad breaks camp to participate in the Class 4A state volleyball tournament in Lacey, the Spartans will be aspiring to carry over some of the momentum they recently gleaned by beating nearby nemesis Newport in the KingCo 4A championship match.

In beating the Knights in that championship battle Nov. 1 in Skyline’s gym, where this year’s KingCo 4A tourney was held, the Spartans avenged a setback that they absorbed in mid-September, in which the Knights embarrassed their visitors by getting out the broom on the Spartans, sweeping them three sets to none.

Not only that, but Skyline did not score more than 19 points in any of the three swiftly-moving sets, as a stingy Newport crew made the Spartans earn every stinking point they managed to sweat out on that miserable night.

Fortunately, Skyline’s coach has a very long memory and he did not allow his team to forget that agonizing, torturous evening at Newport.

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Liberty High School cross country girls race to No. 5 spot

November 6, 2012

Liberty High School runners Megan Chucka (left) and Allie Wood run in tandem at the state cross-country championships held at the Sun Willows Golf Course on Nov. 3. By Mike Smith

To call the Liberty High School girls cross-country season a success would be an understatement.

The team, led by coach Mike Smith, brought home plenty of hardware this year, winning the KingCo 3A title for the first time in school history and capturing its third consecutive Sea-King District title.

Heading into the state championships, the team was ranked fourth in the state, its highest ranking ever.

At the Nov. 3 championships in Pasco, the Patriots placed fifth in what was the team’s best state finish ever.

But it was a bittersweet moment for the close-knit team, after star runner Megan Chucka suffered an asthma reaction during the race, preventing her from finishing in the individual top 10, as she had hoped, Smith said.

Still, the resilient Chucka, a senior, finished the race and even ran her best time at state with a time of 19 minutes, 56 seconds.

“You know, things can happen, you can get the flu, you can have an asthma attack and you can’t predict that,” Smith said. “Still, this is the very beginning of what I think is going to be a very long career for Megan.”

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Skyline Spartans remain unbeaten, claim KingCo 4A championship

October 30, 2012

Skyline High School’s Cedric Cooper gains a little ground before being tackled in the Oct. 25 game against Bothell. By Jim Nicholson

After plowing through the regular season undefeated, the Skyline High School football team kicked off what it calls the “second season” Oct. 25 with a blowout win over Bothell for the KingCo 4A title.

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Issaquah football team heads into playoffs after 20-13 win

October 30, 2012

The Woodinville Falcons came swooping into Gary Moore Stadium on Oct. 26 and nearly ended the Issaquah High School football squad’s 2012 postseason dreams before they began.

Thanks to a suddenly stingy Issaquah defense and Issaquah’s skilled field goal kicker Alex Shane, Issaquah rallied back from a 13-7 halftime deficit and pulled out a 20-13 triumph, to advance to the 32-team KingCo 4A state playoffs.

For Issaquah, the first tournament hurdle will come against a 9-0 Federal Way team out of the South Puget Sound League 4A, at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2 at Federal Way Stadium.

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