Seattle Christian stops Northwest School

KENT - Call it continuous control.

Summoning up strong, synchromous second half play, the Seattle Christian girls soccer team took charge and eliminated the Northwest School of Seattle in a round of 16 WIAA/Dairy Farmers of Washington/Les Schwab Tires Class 1A state soccer championship match up at slippery French Field on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Undefeated Nisqually League and Tri-district 1/2/3 Champion Seattle Christian (18-0) moved on to a Nov. 10 quarterfinal at French Field on Saturday, Nov. 10.

"We really started moving the ball around," said Warrior head coach Melissa Dunckley. "Our center forward moved high so their middle defender could not stay back. All the forwards moved high and we worked them wide. This opened up the midfield and all our parts meshed together. It was one of our best halves of the season."

After a tough first half, in which the Warriors held a slight field advantage over the Tri-district No. 6 Northwest from the tough and speedy Emerald City League, Seattle Christian adjusted its offense to ignite its powerful midfield that abetted its strong forwards.

In the first half, the SCS defense showed its normal strength, but the Warrriors' vaunted midfield was unable to muster much from the middle, although SCS had the more dangerous shots.

This condition changed greatly, as opening second half action featured the Warriors' ability to take charge with a mighty midfield push. Firing superbly on all cylinders, SCS pounded away from inside, outside and all-around in well coordinated attacks.

Kimber Howard outdueled a defender in an excellent individual effort that resulted an angled kick from the left side into the right corner of net for a Seattle Christian 1-0 lead in the 44th minute of regulation play.

"I was dribbling on a defender and took her on," said tri-captain (with Faith Pizzey and Taylor Hentschell) Howard who was a defender that had pushed up. "I just beat her and shot."

In the great majority of the second half, the midfield coordinated well with the forwards in organized attacks that continually kept the Northwest School defenders occupied.

With Northwest facing an uphill climb, the Emerald City League outfit rarely crossed midfield. Plenty of good ball distribution by SCS set up numerous scoring opportunities.

Despite being thoroughly dominated by the Warriors, Northwest was dangerous if given even a fleeting chance.

In the 61st minute, Northwest had a player penetrate deep enough to fire a shot from point blank range. Keeper Erin Swain smothered it and kept control to preserve the Warrior lead as part of her eventual shut out.

"I was confident our defenders would keep their players from rushing in and knew I would not let go of the ball," said the outstanding SCS sophomore.

Although Seattle Christian was unable to score again, its persistent pressure kept the ball inside enemy territory until the whistle.