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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Issaquah, Liberty, Skyline at girls soccer state finals / Nov. 17, 2012

November 20, 2012

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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 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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Liberty High School girls soccer team clinches playoff berth

October 30, 2012

Despite recording ties in their last regular season contests of 2012, a couple of local high school girls soccer squads essentially wrapped up titles in their respective KingCo classifications recently, as 4A Skyline went to 9-0-1 in league action after logging a scoreless tie with local nemesis Issaquah.

Issaquah, which may or may not be heading for state action, basically sent big sister on her way to the state tournament with a little reminder that it isn’t the only good team in KingCo 4A, and wait until next year.

Liberty meanwhile sewed up the KingCo 3A hardware, emerging as the clear-cut trophy winner in its division, winding down the regular season with a 12-1-1 league mark, after tying Mount Si, 3-3.

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Retiring Sports Editor Bob Taylor shares milestones from a long career on the sidelines

March 6, 2012

Kasen Williams, then-Skyline High School senior, makes his winning triple-jump leap of 45 feet, 5 1/2 inches, during the KingCo track and field championships May 13, 2011, at Juanita High School. File

I kind of know how Bill Gates must have felt when he made his first million. When I joined The Issaquah Press news staff May 22, 2000, I struck it rich, too!

Five days after being hired at The Press I covered my first Issaquah School District state championship team. Actually, it was inevitable that an Issaquah team would win when Issaquah and Skyline met for the 3A state baseball title in Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium. Issaquah won 5-3.

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Issaquah schools high schools keep same classifications

January 24, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. Jan. 24, 2012

Issaquah, Skyline and Liberty high schools will all remain at their current classification levels for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Executive Board approved the classification enrollment figures to the next two schools years at its Monday meeting.

According to the figures, Skyline (1,443.57 students) and Issaquah (1,396.47) both were clearly in the 4A classification. Liberty (870.64) opted up to remain at Class 3A.

When the new classification system was implemented for the 2010-12, the goal was to balance the number of schools in each class so they would have equal post-season opportunities, or as close to it as possible. Currently, there are 66 schools in 4A, 67 in 3A, 64 in 2A, 65 in 1A, 62 in 2B and 62 in 1B.

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Kasen Williams leads parade of 2011 best efforts from individuals, teams

December 27, 2011

Peyton Pelluer (right), Skyline High School junior linebacker, and teammate Nic Sblendorio (9), junior defensive back, combine to throw Woodinville senior running back Devin McKee to the turf during the 4A state semifinal game Nov. 26. By Greg Farrar

It was a year of state titles for Skyline High School, and the end of a career for a Spartan who always seemed to be in championship form.

When he graduated last spring, Skyline’s Kasen Williams left a legacy that might never be duplicated in the Issaquah School District. He was definitely the most dominant figure in the local sports scene in 2011.

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Liberty student athletes prepare for collegiate soccer

December 20, 2011

Kimberly Fry, Liberty senior midfielder (right), and Nicole Candioglos, Skyline senior midfielder, brace for impact with the soccer ball during a Sept. 6 match. By Christopher Huber

Liberty High School seniors Cassidy Nangle and Kimi Fry know success on the soccer field isn’t something that’s just handed to you.

“You just have to make sure you put in the dedication and hard work, and it really pays off for you,” Fry said. “You can’t just hope for it, you have to work for it every day.”

For Nangle, soccer has been something she keeps going back to because even though the sport requires time, dedication and sacrifice, there’s nothing sweeter in the world than winning a close game or helping a team make it to the state championship match.

“There’s no other greater feeling than that reward, that payoff,” she said. “Success requires sacrifice. It’s a sport that lives by that quote. I’ve thrived on that. I feel like you have to be very self-motivated, very team-oriented to be successful in this sport.”

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Issaquah’s Audrey Thomas named 4A KingCo most valuable player

November 29, 2011

Several athletes make all-league soccer team

Audrey Thomas (left), Issaquah junior midfielder, and Brooke Bofto, Skyline sophomore midfielder, battle during the Oct. 18 soccer match. By Greg Farrar

One of the smallest players in KingCo Conference 4A girls soccer had a mighty big impact this season.

Audrey Thomas, just 4-feet-11, was a dynamo on the pitch for Issaquah High School. The junior midfielder led the conference in scoring and sparked the Eagles to the 4A state tournament.

She was also selected the league’s most valuable player.

“She won it by a landslide,” Issaquah coach Tom Bunnell said. “She was just so dynamic.”

Although on the small side, Thomas commanded respect from every team she played against.

Thomas scored a league-leading 10 goals and had 11 assists to tally a league-leading 31 points.

“She is extremely quick and she can jump like nobody’s business,” Bunnell said. “She has the whole package. She has a great knowledge of the game and very good vision. Teams would come up with plans trying to stop her, and she always would find a way to avoid that plan. She is tough physically and can take a hit.”

Thomas was joined on the all-KingCo first team by teammate Lyrik Fryer, a freshman defender.

“Lyrik is fantastic,” Bunnell said. “She really took to the position. She had a great freshman season.”

Fryer’s speed made her a force on defense.

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