PUYALLUP — The Olympia Bears were looking for their first trip to the girls soccer state title game in nearly 20 years, but the powerhouse Issaquah Eagles proved to be too much.
The Eagles, who’ve won three state titles since 2004 and recorded another five runner-up finishes in school history, are headed back to the state title game after a 3-0 win over the Bears Friday night in a Class 4A state semifinal game at Sparks Stadium.
Issaquah will face Central Valley of Spokane, a 1-0 (5-3 shootout) winner over Greater Spokane League-rival Mead, at Saturday’s 4 p.m. state title game, while the Bears (15-4-2) will play Mead in Saturday’s noon third/fourth-place game at Sparks Stadium for their fourth trophy in program history.
Kentucky-bound Rachel Wheeler and teammate Tala Fry had the Eagles’ goals on a combined eight shots. Issaquah led 1-0 at halftime on Wheeler’s goal in the 18th minute, before she notched her second goal on a reset 10 yards out in the 57th minute. Tala Fry followed with a score in the 69th minute.
Both teams were greeted with a slick field, as the 8:55 p.m. game-time temperature dipped to 28 degrees. Olympia was aggressive early with two of its three first-half shots coming in the first three minutes, but Issaquah dominated and finished with 18 shots (including 14 on goal) compared to Olympia’s five.
Issaquah kept Olympia without a shot in the second half until a two-minute span starting in the 67th minute that resulted in a shot and two corner kicks. Maggie DeBell’s shot on a one-on-one breakaway was stopped by keeper Anna Miller for one of her four saves.
Olympia goalkeeper Sophie Kabel topped last week’s 10-save game against Edmonds-Woodway with 11 saves against the Eagles. This postseason, she and the Bears’ defense posted three shutouts and won three games on sudden-death shootouts to reach the state semifinals for the first time since 1995. That year, Olympia defeated Gig Harbor in the semifinals, before losing to Lakeside (Seattle), 1-0 in overtime, in the state championship game.
Central Valley 1, Mead 0 (5-3 shootout): In the all-Greater Spokane League semifinal, the Bears’ Taryn Miller hit the shootout winner on the fifth shot. Goalkeeper Jessie Knuz-Pfeiffer made a shootout save on Mead’s fourth shot to set up Miller’s winner.
Kamiakin and Liberty face off in Saturday’s 2 p.m. state title game after winning their semifinal matches against Bellevue (2-1) and Seattle Prep (2-1, 5-4 shootout) respectively. Kamiakin’s Ellie Heiden knocked in the game-winner in the 79th minute to break a 1-1 tie, while Liberty’s Tara Johnson’s fifth shot in the shootout following a 1-1 tie sent Liberty to the title game. Bellevue and Seattle Prep face off in Saturday’s 10 a.m. third/fourth-place game.
Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473