Panthers, Spartans ousted from soccer tournaments

Bonney Lake and Sumner High Schools both met the end of their soccer season last week.

A stellar season came to a disappointing close for the Bonney Lake soccer team.

Playing in the first round of the Class 3A state tournament, the Panthers took to the road Nov. 7 and lost 3-2 to the Warriors of Edmonds-Woodway High.

It was a loser-out contest, meaning the Bonney Lake girls wrapped up the season with a final record of 14-3. Aside from last week’s state tourney loss, the Panthers dropped a pair of Pierce County League games to Stadium High. Bonney Lake finished second during the regular PCL season, trailing only the undefeated Tigers.

The opening round of the 3A tourney brought a tough draw for the Panthers. Not only did the Bonney Lake squad have a long bus ride to Edmonds, they also were paired against a Warrior team on an impressive run of success. Edmonds-Woodway placed third in the Class 3A state tournament in 2015 after capturing the state title in 2014.

Despite the difficult circumstances, the Panthers “did not look intimidated in the least,” Bonney Lake coach Wayne Farris reported. His squad held possession for much of the first half and outshot the Warriors during the opening 40 minutes, but that didn’t translate to the scoreboard.

The Warriors “used their signature size and speed” to counterattack and turned that into a pair of first-half goals, Farris wrote in an email. The trend continued in the second half and allowed the home team to build a 3-0 lead at the 51-minute mark.

Needing a spark, the Panthers sacrificed some defense to gain an offensive advantage. The tide shifted, Farris wrote, “behind stellar play from Bella Sajaddi on the wing, Summer Kober up top, and the distribution duo of Hannah Shortt and Olivia Kirby.” The tactic allowed Kaylee Coatney to strike for a pair of unassisted goals, connecting at 72 and 78 minutes.

The game was exciting to the finish, with the Panthers taking a flurry of shots, once even striking the crossbar. But, in the end, it was the battle-tested Warriors advancing to the Elite Eight.

SPARTAN GIRLS BOUNCED FROM TOURNEY IN SHOOTOUT

The challenge was formidable – hop on a bus, travel approximately 300 miles and then take the pitch against the state’s top-ranked team.

But the Sumner Spartans rose to the occasion for 80-plus minutes, holding their own against the Central Valley Bears before losing in a shootout.

The Nov. 8 contest, played at Spokane Falls Community College, was the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs. The 16-team tournament is a loser-out affair, meaning the loss to the Bears brought an end to Sumner’s season.

The Spartans drew first blood when Sam Larberg took an assist from Sarah Rowan and scored in the game’s 20th minute. The Bears, who call the Spokane Valley home, answered with a game-tying tally shortly before intermission.

Tied 1-1, the teams battled through the second half and added time to no avail. Turning to penalty kicks, Central Valley prevailed.

Sumner finished the season 13-5-2, having placed second in the South Puget Sound League. The Spartans went 11-3-2 in league play and won two or three district games to reach the state tournament.

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