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Women’s Soccer Takes First Championship
Defense Stifles Peninsula For 1-0 Win in Overtime
In the end, it took grit, perseverance, an unbreakable defense, and a jewel of a kick in overtime for Highline to win its first ever championship. After playing to a scoreless tie in regulation time, it was Jewel Boland, Highline’s top goal scorer, playing with a heavily wrapped left leg, who hit a rocket from 20 yards that caromed off the top crossbar into the Peninsula goal at 1:06 into overtime to bring the long-awaited championship to the Women’s program. It was the first loss for the Pirates, who entered the game a perfect 19-0-0. Highline finished the season as the league’s only unbeaten team at 18-0-2, and the 2017 NWAC Women’s Soccer Champions.
In addition to the winning goal by Boland, assisted by Bella Keane, the story of the game was Highline’s defense, which had surrendered only five goals all season, best in the NWAC Conference. Although constantly tested by Peninsula, with the league’s most prolific offense averaging seven goals a game, and hanging on by its collective fingernails at the end of regulation time, the Thunderbird defense, with Jocelyn Hanrath in goal, kept Peninsula at bay
T-Birds Edge Whatcom For Men’s Soccer Title
Kasim Sparkles in Goal; Evanger Gets Game Winner
When your goalkeeper is named Most Valuable Player in the Championship game, chances are you walk away with the title. And so it was with Highline defeating the Whatcom Orcas 1-0 behind Akili Kasim’s spectacular play in net and Dane Evanger’s goal at 58:39, assisted by Ryley Johnson. For the Thunderbirds it was their first championship since 2014, and the second for Head Coach Steve Mohn. Despite the lack of goal scoring the game was wide open, with Whatcom getting the majority of the better scoring chances, especially in the waning moments as it pressed the Highline defense in looking for the equalizing goal. In the end it was a contest between Whatcom, with the league’s best offense (65 goals scored) against Highline, with the league’s stingiest defense (11 goals against). In this case, defense won out. And as for Highline’s offense, while it was Ryley Johnson, the team’s top scorer and Adama Kante (3 goals in the semifinal win over Spokane) who put the most pressure on the Whatcom defense, it was Evanger, the team’s third leading scorer, who boomed in what proved to be the game winner off an opportune bounce. For the Thunderbirds and its defense, that is all it took.
Nov. 17 – playing hard can make all the difference in in a game. Such was the case in which an undersized Highline team took on a bigger and more physical Olympic Ranger squad. Although thoroughly outrebounded and dominated on the interior, The Thunderbirds scrapped and scraped and managed to walk away with a 65-59 win. They were led by Peightyn Perrien with 22 points, while Aileen Kaye added 12 points and six assists. Sharon Ajayi and Kanani Kremers each had 10 points, while Ajayi pulled down nine rebounds to lead the team. Olympic College was led by Lexi Ioane with 19 points and 20 rebounds. See the full report and photos.
Nov. 17 – a young Highline team (10 freshmen) showed flashes of its potential but learned it has quite a ways to go as it was dominated by the visiting Olympic Rangers 94-74. Highline was led by David Harris with 21 points while the Rangers were paced by the 28 points of freshman David Tserger, who hit 7-11 in 3-pointers. Go to the full report and photos.