The Bonney Lake girl’s soccer team charged head first into the fall season with a young team in a new league with much success.
The team stands now with a 5-1-1 league record after two shutout games against Spanaway Lake and Lakes high schools.
The first half of the Sept. 27 game against Spanaway Lake had little action, with Kaylee Coatney scoring an unassisted goal, but the Panthers were just getting warmed up.
The second half saw Coatney assist Jasmine Smith for a goal, followed three minutes later by an unassisted goal by Isabelle Sajjadi. Summer Kober then stepped up, assisting Keyaira Witt and Coatney score the final goals of the night.
The Panthers grabbed an early lead during the Sept. 29 game against Lakes with Coatney scoring a goal with assistance from Olivia Kirby at the 5-minute mark.
Payton Schelin and Coatney went on to score unassisted goals, and Coatney scored the game’s last goal with an assist from Hannah Shortt.
Coatney, a freshmen, is currently leading the team with 10 goals and eight assists, making her accountable for more than 70 percent of the team’s goals this year.
Senior Smith is right behind her with eight goals and three assists.
On the opposite end of the field, goalkeeper Jamie Flynn has staunchly defended the Panther’s goal and has helped the team achieve two and a half shutouts, with goalkeeper Sarah Daffern adding another one and a half shutouts to the team’s record.
With the season exactly halfway over for the Panthers, coach Wayne Farris said the team has worked hard to understand each other and their gameplay style to get to where they are now in the league.
“It takes time to build trust and the kind of relationships that actually make a difference on the pitch, but they’ve been willing to do the work in that area to accelerate that growth, and it shows,” he said, mentioning that the team’s growth is what he is personally most proud of so far this year. “They each have goals every day and in every game, but they are playing for a bigger purpose than just their daily individual goals – that purpose is driving them toward singular focus and vision.”
But the road to districts is long, and he’s not going to count his chickens before they hatch.
“If we keep improving and finding the right motivation, we might just make some noise at the right time, both in our league and in the district, but it is going to take a lot of work,” he said.
The team’s four returning players – Shortt, Kirby, Kober and Smith – have been key contributors this year, Farris said, but the team wouldn’t be competing as well as they are without every team member giving their all.
Farris also called out newcomers Payton Schelin, Olivia Grob, Tristan Butler, Witt and Sajjadi for their impact on the team, and said he looks forward to Coatney continuing to make a big difference for the Panthers in the years to come.
The Panther’s next away game is against Wilson is at 7:15 p.m. Oct. 6.